Sunday, July 31, 2011
The year is 1994.
Jasper College is about to embark on a new course. It is titled “Unraveling a Literary Mystery” The class will be talk via television by convicted murderer, Dr. Richard Aldiss. Dr. Aldiss’s inspiration was recluse author, Paul Fallows. Followers of Fallows’s work would play a game called “The Procedure”. You were special if you were invited to play. The rules of the game are simple…Try and uncover the true identity of Mr. Fallows through his work. If you do than you are in the top elite few that have solved this great mystery but if you don’t than you should hope for death.
Alex Shipley was one of Dr. Aldiss’s students. Now, it seems that someone is still playing the game only the person is playing for keeps. Two people have already been killed, who attended Dr. Aldiss’s class. It is up to Alex to find out who among the remaining former students is the killer.
I can remember reading Mr. Lavender’s debut novel, Obedience and saying, “Ok, this is an author to keep me eyes on”. I was right. Mr. Lavender’s newest book, Dominance is out of this world rockin! This book reminded me of the classic, board game Clue. Which I loved by the way…Mr. Plum in the library with a candle stick. From the first page until the last page, I was hooked. The past story line just help to add to the present. If it was not for Alex, Dr. Aldiss and a great story line, this would have fallen flat. Most of the other characters, while secondary were flat and boring. The ending was one of the best. I yelled when I read the ending. Mr. Lavender can not leave me hanging like this. There are a few “ghost writer” authors that I have read that I have tried to uncover their identity but I have never tried to discover who they were from their books like the students did for Paul Fallows. I just may have to start my own Procedure game.
I have a special treat for my readers. Have you ever wondered what the secret to life is and if so how you could gain it and live forever. Well the secret is out (kind of) in How to Live Forever (A Very Fictional Guide) by author Barry Burnett, M.D.
Here is a brief sample of the book. If you want to read the whole book. You can download it from Anazon for free here.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire
Head in hands, elbows on knees, David Black looked out between his fingers.
Beyond them lay a warm evening in late spring – new leaves and new flowers, the sun behind the mountains, an infinitely deep blue sky. High within it, a single band of cloud glowed with a copper-colored radiance that traveled down between the low brick buildings, the telephone wires and the still-dark streetlights to burnish the concrete at his feet.
A good day, he thought, to die.
“Oh, come on...” said the executioner.
David squinted sideways, over his thumb. “Did I say that aloud?”
“Sit up, will you?” Ozvaldo Garcia, MBA, CPA – and, for one year and
counting, AA – brushed pastry crumbs from a drum-tight suit vest and sighed.
Then added, as the gleam from his titanium laptop’s screen bounced off his gold
Rolex, “It’s only money.”
David appreciated the sentiment, sort of. About as much as the venue Oz had
picked to deal the fatal blow.
His oldest friend – and now business consultant – had snagged a prime
sidewalk table at the Triad, Boulder’s oldest, calmest Buddhist coffeehouse. It
was the unofficial spiritual epicenter of a town that guarded itself against any kind of carnage, be it physical, emotional, or financial. Inside and out, the place was dense with self-medicated students, mutually therapeutic sets of midlife women, and philosophically if reluctantly aging men. Together, they generated a sort of metaphysical chitchat, a murmur set to the distant bonging of recorded temple bells and punctuated by the hiss of the espresso machine inside the open bank of windows just behind them. In other words, it was not the kind of place a thirtytwo- year-old doctor would choose to lose it. No matter what, or who, he’d just
David unfolded broad shoulders, raked dark hair into a modicum of respectability, and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, the fine faded denim softened by another long day at his office. Fear battled hope, a hopeless hope that fought on for a final few seconds before he throttled it and said, “Okay, I’m ready.”
“You sure? Really, really sure?”
Oz cast a brief and supplicating glance up to that glowing cloud and swung his laptop around. The screen displayed a month-by-month spreadsheet, the dwindling earnings in black, the definitely not-dwindling losses in red.
“A solo family practice...” Oz began, full cheeks sagging in economic sorrow.
“A thing of the past, and this is why.” He tapped a well-manicured finger on the screen. “No one to split the rent, no underpaid staff to hound the insurance companies, plus the breaks you give, the free care... You might be keeping your patients alive, but the practice is beyond resuscitation. Time to let it go, David: it’s dead.”
David’s eyes dropped from the hemorrhaging columns to the exsanguinating sums below them, following Oz’s finger to the biggest saddest spurter, the übertotal of his totaled medical career, on the far right.
“First Sheyoni,” David said softly, “now this.” Sheyoni who’d told him she was tired of being married, at a small round table just inside. Had she brought him here for the same reason, to be surrounded by the same subdued and muffling crowd? Probably – like Oz, Sheyoni knew what was best for him. Or said she did, and he believed her. A clean break: no kids, no pain, no tears allowed.
“You let her have the house,” Oz said. “A lot of guys wouldn’t have done that.” A level look. “A lot of guys might have noticed it was their only asset.”
Perfect, David thought. Generous and stupid. But of course he’d signed it over; it was the right thing to do. As she’d pointed out, she’d given their marriage a full four years – now she needed to fly free, needed it in her most genuine, core, neglected-but-finally-flowering self. Then clasped his hands and reassured him, with that special kindness Oz somehow missed, that their persistently reduced lifestyle had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with her decision.
He gripped the sides of the razor-thin laptop in his large hands and, as the keyboard flexed and popped and Oz began to look a little nervous, stared at the numbers, hard. What had he done with her gift of years? Heedlessly buried himself in taking care of patients – patients who were, when it all came down to dust, only strangers. Heedlessly trusted that if he simply did the right thing, his and Sheyoni’s life would work out fine. Heedlessly, completely, utterly, failed.
Oz might act like his practice was just another tanking business, but it was all he had left; since Sheyoni’s announcement it had come to stand for everything his life, his hopes, his otherwise broken dreams. They said you couldn’t feel the axman’s blade when it hit your neck, but this hurt.
Three miles to the south, where the highway from Denver crests a grassy rise and the wide valley that corrals Boulder is first visible, Junie Blanche spotted a reflective green sign for a lookout point. Still not quite one-hundred-percent ready to commit to her new home, she pulled her venerable Pontiac convertible into the exit lane and stepped on its stuttering brakes, barely stopping before the front tires rolled over the far edge of the parking strip. Unwinding her fingers from the steering wheel she’d gripped for the last fifteen hundred miles, Junie ran them through the cocoa channels between the tiny pigtails that bobbed around her head,
then cranked the tattered top open and considered the lake of lights below her.
A new start, she thought, and as new starts go, completely new starts, this landscape easily fit the bill. The cliffs that rose toward the broken spine of the Divide, the indigo sky that framed one side-lit copper band of cloud – all of it as beautiful as the glossy brochure the University of Colorado had sent her. As beautiful as she’d expected, but also, unexpectedly, unsettling.
Junie found herself longing for the pancake landscape, flat and urban, she’d spent the better part of an academic year scraping Mississippi River mud from – a landscape she’d abandoned the instant she received the University’s offer of a graduate placement and a functioning, mud-free lab. A ruthless choice, her mother had said, a comment Junie’s watching younger siblings did not have to echo. But her mom had made plenty of ruthless choices – evicting a faithless husband and whipping five too-smart but too-poor children through New Orleans’s struggling
public schools – and Junie’s family was now safe and dry, folded in the embrace of countless cousins in the city’s Seventh Ward. And, as her professor had known when he sent out his pleas to save a favorite student, Tulane’s former molecular biology lab wasn’t going to rise up from those saturated ashes soon.
Colorado’s offer had been one of those post-Katrina gestures that really could change a life, at least for this impoverished near-PhD. A lifeline, and maybe a lifeline she’d been reaching for all along, a chance to fly free into an unfamiliar orld. She’d read the letter, looked at the brochure’s deceptively welcoming peaks, packed her bags and hardly looked back. Or wanted to, until this minute.
Now, all she could do was put her chin on the steering wheel and watch the strange Western scene blur and blend, the first bright stars above and the mercuryvapor lights sparking on below, all softening to something as soft-edged as a Delta memory, distorted by the melting pools – Could those be tears, the first since her faithless father walked the walk? – that swelled and threatened to overflow each latticework of lashes before she could bring herself to wipe those tears – Yes, tears away.
After David’s bout of self-loathing had subsided, he registered the rainbowhued distortions from his iron grip on Oz’s computer screen and gingerly eased it closed.
“Maybe...” he began, “Someone else could make it work.”
“Someone else?” Oz’s eyebrows went up.
“Another doctor,” David said, ignoring that skeptical look. “Someone with different... priorities. Someone who could, you know, bend things here and there.”
“Bend things?” The eyebrows went up further, heading towards Oz’s almost
“Sure,” David tried. He’d thought bending things was Oz’s specialty. “I mean, the patients are great—”
“When they pay their bills—”
“And the inventory,” David tried again. “The vaccine stock, for instance.
That could be worth, well, thousands, right? If I found the right doctor, someone
with some business sense—”
“The kind you’ve never listened to?”
David stopped and glared. “Anyway...”
“Yes?” A beatific smile lit Oz’s face.
He took an even breath. “Well, I thought I could sell it, and...” David hadn’t been completely blind; he had a back-up plan, or kind of. Face burning, he took a folded printout – a listing for a small but ocean-going sailboat from his pocket. An errant gust rattled the spindly sidewalk tree in front of them, and David felt a sudden chill. Oz plucked the paper from his fingers and read the details below the photo, then shook his head and pointed to the numbers on the screen.
“Even a crummy one?” David asked. “I could stay close to shore.”
Oz shook his head again. “Remember what you said last week, when you weren’t telling me how everything would turn out fine? How in the worst case, however unlikely, your patients had to have a two-month warning? I’d like to make it easier on you, but things didn’t work out fine, the worse case wasn’t unlikely, and it’ll take every penny from those vaccines – which I’ve already
figured in, by the way – to buy that time.”
David looked down to the espresso that sat cold and forlorn in front of him.
So much for a clean getaway. Raising the tiny cup to dry lips, he drained it, but
the bitterness brought no relief.
“I never expected more than a living wage,” he said, “but everybody, Sheyoni more than anyone, acted like we could have anything. Even you, telling me I’d gotten a license to steal.”
“You did get one.”
“It’s not all about money, Oz.”
Oz snapped the computer shut and drummed his fingers on the top. “Really.”
David didn’t like it, but Oz was right. “It’s almost funny... a doctor who isn’t
worth a secondhand sailboat.”
“A family doctor,” Oz said. “A doctor who spends too much time with patients.”
“I didn’t hear you complain.”
Oz shrugged. “Too busy squealing from that rectal. But I would have, if you’d showed me your books sooner. You’re inefficient; you can’t help yourself, whether your patients pay or not. And that – plus those exams, big guy – is why we love you.”
“Some people think a good doc should be broke, or nearly,” Oz added. “Not only you family practice types, but all of them.” He scratched reflectively at his beard, a close-trimmed carpet above a starched collar. “If healing’s a religion – the white coats, the secret Latin words and all of it – maybe you’re supposed to offer it up.” Oz pulled a cigarette from the open pack in his monogrammed shirt pocket, then paused, catching David’s look.
“What I’m supposed to do,” David said, “is convince you not to do that.”
“See? Like I was saying: you can’t help helping.” Twisting to one buttock,
Oz rummaged for his lighter.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t, as your friend or as your doctor.
Health starts with stopping those.” David was warming to the task, to any task that would take his mind off his disasters, recent or impending. “The cholesterol meds, the blood pressure, those extra fifty pounds? None of it comes close.”
“I can skip it all? Great!”
“No, of course not: life is short, too short... make it longer any way you can.
Cigarettes kill more than half of smokers; smoking outweighs everything.”
“Excuse me,” Oz said, cradling the heavy gold lighter in his palm. “Didn’t you say that about the drinking?”
“That was then – this is you killing yourself now.” He’d found Oz lying at the bottom of his wine cellar steps, drooling sweet nothings into the empty mouth of a Mouton-Rothschild ’45. David had cleaned him up and pointed him towards rehab, but maybe he should have hammered Oz on every one of his bad habits. He could have pushed Oz harder, but no, that wasn’t his style. Oz had him nailed: he was a helper, filling other people’s needs, and look where that had gotten him...broke and divorced. On the other hand, between David’s light touch and Oz’s chagrin at siphoning the cornerstone of his investment-grade wine portfolio, Oz had quit drinking. Not only that, but he’d yet to light that cigarette, and almost looked like he was ready to listen.
And so, as a thoroughly sober Oz glanced at his watch but gave up center stage with an unusual degree of equanimity, David kept on delivering the message.
Doing the right thing, the helping thing, pushing along the information, not too hard but lots of it. Starting with everybody’s greatest mortal risk, heart disease, which most people didn’t realize was more than doubled by smoking, not to mention...
Junie’s eyes had dried and the night had grown darker – those far peaks etched with a fine gold line that made them even sharper – by the time another vehicle crunched to a stop on the gravel beside her. The rumbling engine died, leaving a ticking silence, the rare car rushing along the unseen highway, and a rusted red pickup, huge and flecked with mud, that was almost as low-rent and sketchy as her ride. Without moving her head, she counted two unshaven males.
They were white, of course, white and gaping at the same falling night and complex topography spread out in front of their parking space.
Then the nearest slowly turned, with a lopsided grin, and leered down at her.
Worse, that looming leer was completely unimpeded, with nothing more than her convertible’s raised windows and the rapidly cooling night air to separate her bare mahogany shoulders from whatever they did to strangers, strangers of color, in this vertiginous Western place.
Carefully, but casually, Junie put the car in reverse, and managing to only spin her nearly treadless wheels a little, slumped down so as not to present too clear a target during her anxious exit.
Wayne and Jeremiah turned to watch her go, watched the fishtail swerve before she hit the on-ramp’s pavement and the sudden acceleration after. As Wayne’s hand clasped Jeremiah’s, rough warm palm to rough warm palm, both sympathized with that rapidly receding driver, feeling the same bright eagerness to get on with their new lives – to love in a Western city that accepted all lovers, or so they’d heard, and even had cool black people who drove interesting cars.
Oz listened as David waded on to the perils of emphysema, doing his best to look like he was paying attention. The oxygen, the drowning phlegm... Whatever.
Oz would quit the instant he was ready, something he’d been sure of since his first sweet pre-teen inhalation two decades ago – so sure that it was beneath his dignity to try. But he knew David was finding solace in the meddling that was medical care, and that David needed solace now.
For another moment, perhaps two. Then he had to bring him back on point.
Because Oz had big plans for David, and this evening’s event, or something very much like it, had been headed David’s way for decades, ever since Oz’s boyhood pal decided that doing the Right Thing would be his guiding light. Not the Smart Thing; not the thing you really wanted to do but were only calling the Right Thing; but the single course of action that would both satisfy all ethical criteria and please absolutely everyone, alive or dead – an impossible presumption that David, nonetheless, had often managed to pull off.
Throughout their shared adolescence, Oz had tried to demonstrate that David’s approach might be too simple, that bad could be good and often truly excellent. But all his attempts, from the school-lunch Ponzi schemes to the afterhours liberation of a certain church’s sacramental wine, hadn’t make a mark.
Behind David’s beneficence, defeating Oz’s efforts, lay the pernicious moral influence of David’s parents.
Oz had known them well; in fact he’d loved them, if only for living next door.
Their kindly presence – a white-haired Unitarian pastor married to a junior college professor – had proved a useful counterpoint to his own father, who’d been unfortunately inclined to limber up his belt for anything less than an A-minus.
While David’s A’s came easy, and his choices easier: always the Right Thing. Too easily, Oz thought. Maybe David had needed Oz’s father as much as Oz had needed David’s.
Then, as Oz labored and David floated through college, that vague humanitarian dad had died – an early stroke from his nonjudgmental Lord, a classic Western sun-filled funeral, and David’s mother collecting cash donations for their church’s African orphanage where she planned to teach English, soon. Oz’s gruff paterfamilias had taken David aside, telling him he needed to be practical, now more than ever, practical despite the tears. After David made it into medical
school, Oz’s father thought David had heard him, but Oz knew David hadn’t.
Medicine, primary care, an absurdly small and self-sacrificing practice: his friend
might have been working hard but he was still cruising on moral autopilot. The Right Thing, no questions asked.
And now, finally, a chance for his friend to grow up. David’s fall from his unthinking, impractical grace had taken this particular alignment of ill-favored stars: Sheyoni finally serving a purpose by softening him up, and then, right on cue, a set of wickedly bad spreadsheet numbers.
Could, Oz asked himself, he have pulled this evening’s financial punch? He’d been disgustingly soft-headed enough to try, but even with the mitigating influence of this meeting’s venue (civilized, if a mite too Boulderesque), the surprisingly well-crafted coffee (an oxymoronic decaf espresso for David vs. a triple-hit caramel-vanilla latte for yours truly), and his careful selection of two organic (but all butter) scones, the boy was going down hard.
My story started in Detroit. After a rather truncated high school career, I worked in a bronze foundry, briefly attended art school, got my GED, then slipped into a progressive college at Wayne State University and segued to med school at the same. This was followed by a residency in Colorado, an alternative practice in Boulder, and a fellowship at UCLA Public Health. After that, my partner lured me to her beloved NYC, where we had the second of three great kids, I taught for a few years, and was certified in Preventive Medicine -- before dragging her back to this near-fictional isle in the great literal West.
Currently, I have a half-time position as a family doc, the world's best day job, a solid dose of life and patient care that usually leaves time to write (and, yes, exercise regularly, wear sunscreen, practice safe monogamy, and struggle to eat right).
Aside from a few published studies, I began writing professionally with the "Zen of Science" column for Nexus, covering topics from sex to homeopathy, yoga, massage, meditation, acupuncture, social connectedness, and the psychology of cancer survival. A decade ago, I fell into fiction and have been addicted since. This led to the novels Resonance, Thrilling Romance, The Mortalist, a handful of short stories, and now, How To Live Forever. The last has been the best: the characters became friends (as opposed to friends becoming characters), plus I've been fascinated by aging and longevity since, well, forever.
A few recent short stories, and (soon) my columns and samples of novels, can be downloaded gratis from howtoliveforever.com. I can also be reached by emailing email@example.com
Thanks for reading!
It was obvious Mr. Parfitt is knowledgeable about China and not just someone interjecting their thoughts about what’s wrong with the country, but rather explaining the reason why things are the way they are. Or course, this came a little later in the book. First, Mr. Parfitt goes into detail about the country’s culture, history, and national psyche. On the one hand, I liked the detail as it was as though I were in China and could see, touch and smell it. On the other, there was so much detail that at times it was like reading a history book, and I would gloss over sections. The one constant was that I got a good feel for what the real China is – in language I could understand. What I took away from this book was that China, though a major manufacturer, will not overtake the US because it is stuck in its old culture and ways. Until China truly progresses and is ready to let go of its old culture and ways, it will never be as advanced as the US. Why China will Never Rule the World is an enlightening book.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Detective Anna Travis has a serial killer on her hands. Someone is targeting prostitutes and killing them. The latest victim was found naked and by a truck stop. Anna and the rest of her unit have tried everything to identify the woman but she is a Jane Doe. With the trail growing cold, Anna’s boss is feeling the pressure to crack the case and soon. So when opportunity presents itself to Anna in the form of an offer from inmate, Cameron Welsh offering to help Anna track the killer, she can not pass up the invitation.
I had high hopes for this book and it did have glimmer of brilliance but it was far and between for me. I found Anna frustrating. I kept yelling at her to wake up and grow some, you know what. For instance, when she was interviewing a gal that she knew was lying, she just took the woman’s word and left. Later when she and another detective were talking, she said that she bet that the gal threw away the suitcase after I left. If Anna believed that the woman had the suitcase, than why did she not sit in her car and wait for the woman to toss it and than go through it? Another instance: Anna went back to the woman later and once again questioned her, the gal shock an article of the victim’s clothing in her face and Anna did not ask to look at it. She just apologized and left. In addition, there was a lot of dissecting about why the killer would target prostitutes but not a lot of action going on. Sadly, this book was just middle of the road for me.
Ten years ago, Rosemary Thomas is found guilty of murdering her husband, Thomas. It was said that Thomas’s body was found encased within an iron maiden trap. His body was decayed and so decomposed that it was almost impossible to identify his body. The only thing that the police were able to use was a small, piece of a tooth.
Jon Nunn was the lead detective on the case. Present day. To this day the image of Rosemary’s execution still haunts Jon. Jon decides to reinvestigate the case for closure. What Jon finds instead is a web of lies and deceit.
What do you get when you mix some of the best (twenty-six mystery writers to be exact) and ask them to collaborate on one mystery novel? You just get one of the best books of 2011! The book is…No Rest for the Dead.
Ah, as if you could not already guess but I really, loved this book. I started this book on my lunch hour and by the time my hour was up, it was hard to go back to work and concentrate. I finished this book later that afternoon. There were no mis-steps in this book. It flowed and read like one author had written the book. One of my favorite parts was when author Kathy Reichs contributed her chapters. She didn’t so much write a chapter but instead wrote the forensic reports. I have read a few of her books and she was middle of the road to me but after reading her parts, I think I will try her again. I met many new authors to me that I will be checking out. I kept trying to figure out who the killer was and the motive before the story was over. I wanted to see if I could beat the authors but sadly, I did not figure it out until I was suppose to but this did keep the book interesting. Mystery/suspense fans you have got to pick up a copy of this book. Besides, you will be helping a great cause by purchasing a copy of this book. Editing brother and sister team, Andrew and Lamia Gulli are donating their portion of the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Review by Nancy
Okay. So you’re spending an evening with your best friend as usual. She’s a bit magic addled (thinks she’s an expert in casting spells). So she is playing with a summoning spell which brings someone to you. Good, so far; an absolutely gorgeous guy - then the glitch – this dude is NOT breathing!
Isabel is not at all thrilled with the appearance. She is even less thrilled when she finds that said ghost is attached to her by an invisible 5 foot chain. Makes showering and toileting more interesting than usual – more embarrassing, too. Tripp, the spell-caster un-extraordinaire; is totally unconcerned because, hey, not her issue!
Turns the ghost may not be an actual ghost. Yet. It has to do with a copied spell book and a pretty unhappy real spell caster named Parker, a spirit named Finnegan and, of course; the requisite demon.
Girl vs. Ghost was a funny, entertaining story with a well-thought out plot. The authors “get” the teen-age years and I’m personally looking forward to Part Two coming out in November titled: Witch vs. Wizard. So go get your ghostly fill before the wizards hit!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Things are alright with Hailey. Nothing that a missing finger will keep Hailey down. Hailey is going strong as Serena’s right hand woman. Hailey has also taken up fighting in the ring for money. Things just may be looking up for Hailey. Nope, I spoke too soon. Hailey has just become the number one suspect in a murder investigation. To make matters worse, one of the victims was a cop.
Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot is the follow up to Hailey’s War. It is recommended that you read Hailey’s War first. This way you get more of the background of Hailey and Serena. Though, author, Jodi Compton does a good job of briefly explaining what transpired in Hailey's War.
Don’t let Hailey’s looks and blond hair fool you. She is one tough cookie. She can fight with the best of them. She is a good person to have around as she has your back. While, I did like this book and the fact that it focused on a group of tough women, which you can never have enough of. It was a slow start for me. In fact I did put the book down and was ready to move on but picked it back up after reading some of the other readers’ thoughts. This book did get better and move at a steady pace after the third chapter but I would not say that this book totally won me over. This book kind of reminded me of the movie Girl Fight with Michelle Rodriguez.
Warning as there is some language.
I have one copy of this book to giveaway to US only. Leave your email and why you would like to read this book. Contest Ends August 10th.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I must admit that when I was sent a copy of this book that I was not sure about reading it. I don’t have any children but I do have nephews. I like that Mrs. Courtney shares during the introduction that she is not an expert on children but just a mom. This started off the book in the right step for me. I don’t want to read about someone preaching to me about the do’s and don’t on how to raise a child.
Vicki Courtney breaks this book up into five different conversations…”Don’t define manhood by the culture’s wimpy standards. It’s ok to be a man! Conversation two” What you don’t learn to conquer may become your master. Conversation three” Not everyone is doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won’t hear in the locker room) Conversation four” Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It’s time to grow up! Conversation five “Godly men are ion short supply. Dare to become one! Each conversation is than broken down into chapters. Mrs. Courtney does good job of touching on each conversation and how it relates to present day. She gives helpful tips, references to information and even shares about her own stories about her sons. While, I do not have any children, for anyone who does or grandparents this book is worth checking out.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
V is for Vampire is a fun, witty look at the Alphabet in a whole new light. Like for example did you know that A is for Arterial Spray and no matter how much a vampire might still nice in the moonlight or that he would only like a little bit; the vampire is really all about the arterial spray. Or that G is for Garlic and that vampires are not really allergic to it. In fact, what if I told you that the garlic trick was just some vampire’s sick joke to see how gullible humans really are. It worked. Finally… T is for Tombs for the Budget-Conscious. This applies to those vampires that are not wealthy. Warning, if you find an empty lot with the top of a motor home sticking out of the ground, do not investigate as this is more than likely the home of a vampire. Mr. Atomic is a very talented artist. The illustrations in this book were like something out of a classic black and white horror movie. To learn more about the Alphabet, than check out this book. V for Vampire is a blood-sucking good time.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Cotton Malone finds himself in the deadly cross hairs of a political game of cat and mouse, where the stakes are high. When Cotton receives an invitation to meet his old boss, Stephanie Nelle, Cotton accepts. Cotton enters the hotel room where he is to meet Stephanie but she is not there. When Cotton realizes that he has walked into a trap it is too late. Cotton is than captured and charged temporary for the attempted assassination of President Danny Daniels. Once President Daniels learns that Cotton is involved, he turns to him for help to stop the real people behind the attack before it is too late.
The Jefferson Key is book seven of the Cotton Malone books. I have not read many books from Mr. Berry. I have to admit that I could not stop reading this book. I like the mixture of history with mystery that was in this story. Cotton is the man. He is like Nicolas Cage in the National Treasure movies but way cooler. Sorry Mr. Cage.
The reason I mention National Treasure is because the story incorporated present with past. It was fun reading Andrew Jackson’s letters and trying to decipher the hidden meanings behind them. There was lots of action that had me running from place to place. It was almost like I needed running shoes. The Jefferson Key is worth your time and money. This book would be approved by the voters!
Lily Burns is twenty nine years old. She has yet to be married. This could be because both her mom and grandma have warned her that all men are evil and to never marry for love. If you are to marry, make sure it is to a ugly man. Lily has been dating Gogo for just a short period. Lily receives a surprise when Gogo proposes to at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Both Lily’s mother and grandma warn Lily that marrying Gogo will only lead to heart break. There is a curse on the women. If they marry a man for love than something will happen to him. The only way to have a man stay is to marry a ugly man. Lily does not believe in the curse but she will witness how true it is when she tells Gogo to pinch her as she cannot believe her good fortune that she has married a good man. As soon as Gogo pinches Lily, she is transported back to her house and Gogo does not remember Lily. Lily must find a way to break the curse or lose Gogo forever.
This is a comedic book that will have you smiling the whole time. The only way you could get me to stop reading this book was to “Pinch Me”. Lily’s mom and grandma were hilarious. My favorite moment in the book was when Lily informed her mom and grandma that she was getting married. The conversation went like this: “Why didn’t we force her into lesbianism?” Lily’s mom states. “Look, I am sorry, I ‘m not a lesbian. I tried for you, I did.” Lily responses. “We shouldn’t have named her Lily. It’s too pretty. I told you to name her something less attractive. What was wrong with Ethel cries Dolly, Lilly’s grandma. There were many more funny moments to be found in this book. Even the most wary readers of chick lit will fall in love with Pinch Me and author, Adena Halpern.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Stephanie Plum arrives at her cousin Vinnie’s temporary new job site, only to find her boyfriend, Joe Morelli there. Joe is not here to see Stephanie. There is a dead body. Stephanie and her friend Lula are on the case.
Murder stands in no way of Stephanie’s family’s quest to find Stephanie a good man, even if that means someone other than her boyfriend, Joe or her lover, Ranger.
There were some funny moments to be found in this book that I would find myself stopping for a moment to read my husband a line in the book. For example there was the moment when Lula accidentally shot off a possible suspect’s toe. I must admit that I have not followed this series that closely. I have only read a couple of books. Though, this might have been an advantage or disadvantage. Whichever way you look at it. I say this because this book seems to have a lot of mixed reviews. A lot bad and a lot good. While, I am sure I might feel the way some of the readers did with the three star or less reviews, if I had followed this series but since I had not, I did not see a problem with this book and enjoyed it. This book was on the lighter side of the mystery/suspense spectrum. There was not a lot of blood and gore. If I had to choose between Joe and Ranger, I would have to go with Joeger. This is a combination of Joe and Ranger. Joe is sweet and loves Stephanie but on the other hand Ranger is the bad boy, who you can guarantee you will not get bored with. Stephanie is too independent to be tied down to just the one guy and needs both guys to equally even her out. Now, that I have read this book, I do plan to go back and check out the other books that I have missed.
Alani has been in love with Jackson for a long time. This is why when Jackson awakes beside her in bed the next morning and can not remember that they just had hot, steamy sex, Alani is heart broken and mad. Fortunately for Jackson, he had a good reason for not remembering. Someone has erased Jackson’s memory. Dare, Trace, Alani and Jackson are on the case.
Savor the Danger is the third book in The Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. Though author, Lori Foster says you can read these books as stand alone novels, which you can, you will probably want to read all these books starting with When You Dare. All the men in this series are sexy and yummy.
Alani and Jackson are smoking hot together. You could tell that they had sexual chemistry. They could not keep their hands off each other. Some times I think that this can get to be a little over board but in this story it worked. It was funny though that Trace, Alani’s brother and Dare were so protective of Alani. It was more about the way that Trace and Dare acted. Like they were some big, tough guys and they were fighting for Alani’s honor. Alani did not need protecting and besides Jackson could take both Dare and Trace. Dare and Trace were more for show than anything as they would not like to admit it but they were happy for Alani and Jackson. While, I did like this book, I did find at times that it did move slowly as Dare, Trace, Alani and Jackson tried to track down the culprit behind Jackson’s memory loss.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Soorya Giri is a smart, educated, young woman. Soorya Giri went to college and became a lawyer. Though Soorya Giri may seem like she has everything, there is one thing that she desires more…a husband.
The Full Moon Bride is the latest novel from author, Shobhan Bantwal. If you like Indian culture and stories than you have to check this author out. I have been reading Mrs. Bantwal’s books for a while. Each one brings something different to the table but almost always Mrs. Bantwal sticks to her roots of being raised in India and adds her influence to her books and characters. The women in each book are strong and independent. This is not something you would probably typically associate with the women of this country but being strong does not always mean being loud. I must admit that the last book I did not care for but this book is a step in the right direction again as to why I like this author.
After seeing how much trouble Soorya Giri went though to find a husband, she was almost better off having an arranged marriage. If she had, she would have avoided all the drama and losers she had to meet. Of course, if this had happened than I would not have gotten to know Soorya Giri as well as I did. As I was reading this book I could not help but notice how much detail Soorya Giri got when she explained things. Soorya Giri tells the story from her perspective. The Full Moon Bride is a book that you will say “I Do” to over again and again!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Skin Kadash is a former cop. He was recovering from a gun shot wound, only to learn that his girlfriend, Ruby Jane Whittaker has gone missing. What had Ruby gotten herself into? When Skin goes to Ruby’s apartment to find any sort of clue as to where Ruby is, Skin finds a dead man in Ruby’s bath tub. Skin decides to start off at Pete McKrall’s place. Pete is Ruby’s former boyfriend. On one hand, Skin hopes that he does not find Ruby with Pete but on the other hand if she is there than he and Ruby will have to figure out where they are in their relationship.
County Line is the first book I have read by this author. I could tell that these were reoccurring characters when I first starting reading this book. It started out with Skin staying at a quiet, retreat where he was recovering from a near fatal gunshot wound. Though, I have not read any of the previous books, I was able to reading this book with no problems. Skin really made this book for me. He is like a modern day outlaw. He takes no bull and does not hold back. Ruby could hold her own with Pete and Skin. I liked this because if Ruby was a weak female than I would not have felt the connection between Skin and her and wanted Skin to find her. This book is split into several different parts. The first part is about Skin and him trying to find Ruby. The next section flashes back in time to Ruby and her past to help clue the reader into what Ruby is hiding and running from. The last section brings the reader back to the present and tries all the loose ends up nicely. Fans of a good suspense/mystery novel will enjoy this book.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a book that can be treasured by all.
There once lived a twelve year old girl named September. September lived with her mom. Though, September grew lonely and bored. She longed for a grand adventure. The Green Wind took pity on September and flew September away to Fairyland. There September meets witches, a dragon, an evil Marquess, and a wairfuir to name a few.
This book reminded me a little of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It had that dark feel of a Tim Burton movie. This book may be about a little girl but this book can be enjoyed by adults. In fact, some of the parts in this book were above a younger reader’s mind set and would be understood by adults. For example: there was this one part in the story where September had come to a four way crossroads. She had to choose which way she wanted to go. One way pointed her to if she wanted to get lost, another way if she wanted to lose her mind, another way to lose your life and the last way to lose your heart. September chooses the way to lose your heart. The story goes on to say that us being an adult and knowing how painful it is to lose your heart would not have chosen that path but being a little girl September did not know any better. At the beginning of each chapter was a quick summary of what September was about to encounter next. The illustrations drawn by artist, Ana Juan were great. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a book that can be treasured by all.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
It was great to get to visit with the women of Happiness Key again. I must admit that I found Tracy and Wanda’s stories more interesting this time than the rest of the ladies stories. In Tracy’s case, I wanted to see how her and Marsh’s relationship would turn out, when he found out she was pregnant. I thought Tracy and Marsh made a good couple and wanted them to have a happy ending. In Wanda’s case, I don’t need to say any more about why I liked Wanda’s story other than Wanda’s Wonderful Pies. All the different pies that Wanda was coming up with was making my mouth water.
Author, Emilie Richards really brings to life the women of Happiness Key. Sunset Bridge is book three in this series. I would suggest reading these books in order, just because you are going to want to get to know them better and once you do they will become some of your best friends. I am sorry to see this series come to a end as I have enjoyed reading these books. Clear a stop on your bookshelf for Sunset Bridge. This book is like talking to your best friend! It is that good.
Stories for Nightime and Some for the Day is a fun, kooky, entertaining collection of short stories.
I am not usually a fan of short stories but when I heard about this book, I knew I had to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. Stories for Nightime and Some for the Day is a fun, kooky, entertaining collection of short stories.
So of the stories I liked better than others. For example: The Book, a story that teaches you to use your imagination. The Octopus, a story that shows you that you can always return home. Also there was the story, The End of It All, about a husband and a wife, where the wife is taken by an alien. The man searches all over to find her to no end. Though, the man never finds his wife, he would not trade anything in the world for the time that he did get to spend with her. Of course, there were some stories that I did not like as well. Than there were the dark stories. Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day has a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy. Don’t be fooled by the title of this collection of stories and the stories can be read any time of the day or night. I plan to check out more of Mr. Ben Loory’s work.
Alex has just finished a training session with Sangster, his mentor with the Polidorium, a multinational organization. Just because Alex is part of the Polidorium does not mean that he is exempt from curfew at Glenarvon Academy, where he attends. On his way back to Glenarvon Academy, Alex is attacked by Elle. Elle is a vampire and Alex’s nemesis. Elle works for Scholomance. The Scholomance want Alex dead for good. After almost succeeding, Alex is forced to stay at LaLaurie School for Girls, Glenarvon Academy’s sister school. Will Elle finally take down Alex once and for all?
Alex Van Helsing: Voice of the Undead is book two in author, Jason Henderson’s young adult series featuring Alex Van Helsing. Book one is Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising. I would strongly suggest starting with book one as there is no lead up into book two. Though, it is pretty easy to quickly figure out who the bad guys are, there is not a lot of back ground story as to why the Scholomance want Alex dead.
This series is geared towards readers twelve and up. I think twelve is the perfect starting age for this series. There is some violence and the story is written for a more mature young reader. Young boys would enjoy this series. Alex is someone that young readers can get attached to and cheer for as he battles vampires.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Review by Nancy
What if you were almost 16 and your life sucked? I’ll bet millions of “almost 16”ers could answer that one! However, your life probably doesn’t suck quite like Scarlett Cavanaugh’s. Yes, she climbs up the trellis to get in late at night and yes, she has talked her twin sister, Gwen, into covering for her. Typical? Yep. However, does your Siamese cat talk to you? I mean really speak. Though not!
Habock (aka Adonis the Siamese) has a mission and it’s over two years old. His job is to take Scarlett forward in time to see what has happened to herself and her family and it isn’t pretty. Scarlett has gone Goth and is a mean, spiteful girl child. She treats Gwen horribly and has been grounded to the house for various indiscretions. She can’t even speak to her boyfriend, Sparks, who isn’t deemed worthy of her.
Habock explains that this isn’t all quite correct but Scarlett has to stop a timeline crisis from happening and restore things to their old pattern. Scarlett must put aside what she learned as a child and become a young warrior, brave enough to talk to the moon (Avari by name) and secure knowledge to help.
A mid-teen life crisis story written well with characters any teen can relate to. I wish my cats had been able to talk (although not to my parents!). Pick it up and go lay out in the front lawn and read this one!
Nancy was nice enough to offer up her copy of this book to giveaway. Since she is mailing, it is limited to US only this time. Please leave your email address. Contest ends July 10th. Thank you
Monday, July 11, 2011
Ali Carson is training to become an FBI agent. Ali’s dreams just may come crashing down faster than she can blink her eyes. Ali has just become the number one suspect in her boyfriend’s murder. All the clues point to Ali. Ali only has one person she can turn to and that is Jack McClure.
Jack knows that Ali is not a murderer. Jack agrees to help Ali. It seems that there is more to the murder than just a lover’s spat. Jack and Ali’s investigation leads them down a path filled with deceit, intrigue and an Albanian slave trade.
Blood Trust is the third Jack McClure and Ali Carson novel. Jack and Ali do make a good team. Jack is like Ali’s second father. He is protective but without being too much. At times I did feel like Ali tried too much to prove that she was more than just a “President’s Daughter”. There was non stop action though this book. It did have a little feel of Jason Bourne in it with all the action. As much as I do like the fact that the story line was constantly moving along as a rapid pace, for some reason this time I was not fully invested in this book. Some of this might have to do with the fact that I thought that was a lot of other side stories taking place that were a bit distracting. Example Jack’s dead daughter talking to him. While I understand Jack’s close relationship with her, I did not feel like it helped the story or that Jack was at his very best. This book was just middle of the road for me this time but I know that I will still check these books out.
Jennifer Stirling awakes to find herself in a hospital. She was involved in a terrible accident that left her with amnesia. Now, Jennifer is being released form the hospital and going home with her husband. Though, the doctor told Jennifer that she will regain her memories, Jennifer hates the feeling of being lost. Jennifer goes on pretending that she remembers. The problem is that Jennifer is not the same person that she was before the accident. She feels nothing for her husband. This explains why, when a mysterious man comes into Jennifer’s life, she starts a love affair with him. Things get really serious when Jennifer’s lover writes and asks Jennifer to meet him at Platform 4, Paddington, at 7:15 on Friday evening.
Years later, Ellie works at a newspaper. The paper is moving to a new location. While sorting through old papers, Ellie stumbles across a series of letters between Jennifer and her lover. Ellie becomes intrigued. At first Ellie thinks this will be the perfect thing to boost her career but as she digs deeper into Jennifer and her lover’s story, Ellie can not help but wonder if Jennifer and her lover ever found their happy ending.
I had reservations about this book. I was not sure if I would like it. Just from some of the other reader’s comments I read about this book were not that great. This book was better than what I had read of the other people’s thoughts. While, the book was not perfect it was still one that I would share with my other reader friends. I preferred Jennifer and her lover’s story to the present. Even though I did want to know like Ellie if Jennifer and her lover did go off into the sunset together, I just did not become connected with the Ellie as much. Luckily the present story is only the last third of the book. It did not really feel like a lover affair between Jennifer and her lover as her husband was mean and there was no love lost between them. It was like Jennifer and her lover were meant to be together. The Last Letter from Your Lover is signed, sealed and delivered!
If you are a novelist, the question you will be asked most often (as well as “should I have heard of you?”) is “Where do you get your ideas?” Well, if you are incorrigibly nosy, and have one of those faces that apparently compels people to tell you stuff (I possess both these traits), ideas for books actually stack up like planes waiting to land.
Give me a room of people, and I will give you a novel for every person there; whether it be family secrets, unexplained jealousies, hidden loves or lifelong regrets. The stories are there, all around us, just waiting to be told. And the best ones are always inspired by real life.
And so when I decided to write a book that told the interwoven story of two love affairs through the different means of communication: email and text now, and handwritten love letters in the early Sixties, I knew my starting point should be real life.
Almost on a whim, I put an advertisement in a national newspaper asking for examples of real life Dear Johns; the last communication of a love affair, whether it be written, emailed, or punched with fury into a mobile phone.
What came back to me made me laugh, cry and wince in sympathy. Some of them were frankly brutal. “You n me finished”, as were the ubiquitous Facebook updates “John Smith is no longer in a relationship”.
Others were equally harsh, while apparently trying not to be.
“”Happy Birthday! Enclosed is your birthday present, which I hope you like… I am thinking of you especially today… because I have decided that although I love you I am not in love with you. I don’t feel that you are God’s One for me. Anyway, I really hope that you like your present and that you have a fantastic birthday.”
Some were indirect ‘last letters’, as with the woman who opened a letter addressed to her fiancé from his solicitor, only to find that their planned house purchase “was now to be in his name only”.
And others were oddly charming, like this, on a postcard: “Staying in Greece, not coming back to London because you scare me, but in a good way.” And on another postcard, the cheery: “Happy Days Are Not To Be… It Really Isn’t You, It’s Me.”
Some raised more questions than they answered, like this letter, sent to a female recipient in 1960. “There was no affair between us. If you try to suggest otherwise I shall make clear it was all in your imagination.” There’s a short story in that one, if not an entire novel.
But when it comes down to it, there is no real way to soften the Dear John. Because however elegantly you put it, you are still saying “I Just Don’t Love You”.
What my motley selection of correspondences brought home intensely was that sense of despair when something is abruptly brought to a halt, either through love, betrayal, or circumstance. In my own book, The Last Letter From Your Lover turns out not to be the last letter after all.
But what these letters also gave me was the sense of what we miss by no longer writing down our true feelings, or at least crunching our emotions into a short, bald text message. Without hearing, in uncomfortable detail, why this is definitely over, it is too easy to read hope into a short message that suggests your lover “see you around”.
Still, sometimes a last letter is the best thing that can happen to you. My own favourite was forwarded to me by a female relative, who had been shocked and dismayed to receive it from her boyfriend of the time.
“There are things that I love about you but there are things I hate too. I guess you should know that I think more and more about the things that bother me about you now.
The time you slaughtered that lobster.
The way you shouted and clapped at those cows to get them out of the road. Why couldn’t we have just waited for them to pass? We could have missed the cinema…
The haphazard way you chop vegetables.
Your constant negativity.
It took me three coats of paint to paint over where you left your phone number on my wall in red pen. I know I was redecorating but it was a complete waste of paint.”
She’s now living with a man who adores her and never questions the way she chops vegetables. Which, in my book, qualifies as a happy ending.
Isaac Kingston lost his wife to fever. Isaac has no where to go. He sold everything his owned to try and cure his wife, only to lose her in the end. Isaac finds his way into an Amish village. It is here that Isaac finds a home.
Lacey Bishop lost her mother when she was young. Lacey is a grown woman at twenty. Lacey is married off to Preacher Palmer. It is not a match made in heaven. Preacher Palmer has a mean temper. Lacey becomes friends with Isaac. The more time that they spend together, the stronger their feelings become for one another. Lacey and Isaac are just looking for a second chance.
The Blessed is book four in the Shaker series. It can be read as a stand alone novel. This is what I did. I have never read any of the other books in this series. I have however read Angel Sister by Mrs. Gabhart and fell in love with it. This book was good but not what I was expecting as far as the aspect of the Amish. In most of the Amish books I have read, the people are caring and stick to tradition. While, this book did have the people sticking to tradition, they were not that inviting and friendly. Especially when it came to accepting new people into their group. Though, Lacey and Isaac did not get to spend a great deal being a couple, I thought they were a good match for each other. I do like Mrs. Gabhart’s writing.
“Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Review by Nancy
If you were a child in World War II Britain, it’s quite possible that when you arrived at school on a normal day in September of 1939 you were greeted with a note to be taken home to your parents immediately. Over 3 million children were evacuated from Britain to Wales, Canada and even the United States. This is the story of one evacuee and his family and you’d best get tissues now.
Ray Evans was one of nine children in a home in Liverpool and was 6 years old when he and his older siblings were shipped off to live with volunteer families in South Wales. Ray’s dad broke the gas meter in the basement to get money for shoes for his children to wear on the train. They were happy kids but certainly not wealthy. He was told to stay with his oldest sister but, upon arriving in Wales they found girls went with girls and boys with boys. Ray and his brother Frank went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Jones while the girls went to live with a Mrs. White who immediately welcomed them with open arms.
Mrs. Jones, not so much. It was her husband’s idea to take in two evacuees and she never let the boys forget it. An obsessive compulsive person, she had a strict schedule and God helps the person who interfered! They ran away from her and were them sent to a Mrs. Simmons and her two sons who made Mrs. Jones look like the Virgin Mother in comparison. Ah well…
This book made me cheer for Ray and his brothers and sisters and also broke my heart. This isn’t any “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” evacuation story. This is real and should be read by any student of World War II, history in general and any advocate of children. Ray did good in writing this and three cheers to Morgan James for publishing it!
This book did not make me sit on the edge of my seat but it did keep most of my interest. The things Ethan did was more on the subtle side in the beginning. For example Ethan just went undercover to get to know more about Morris, sent Shelia a compromising photo, calling and texting. This to me was not too extreme or over the top. It was not until about the last half of the book when Ethan really showed his dark side. I had mixed feelings about Shelia. One hand, I liked that she did not back down from Ethan but on the other hand, Shelia did not have a lot of personality to her. I did not really see where having Shelia be a recovering sex addict really helped with the story. If this was to excuse Shelia for hooking up with Ethan in the first place, I was not feeling sorry for her. The ending though led up to the fact that I would see Shelia again. While, I did think this book had good potential, I do plan to check out the next book.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Susie O’Brien and Mack Franklin have been “just friends” for about three years. That is three years too long. Susie and Mack’s friends and family are putting the pressure on these two to admit that they are dating. Susie would like to take things to the next level but she is afraid that Mack sees her as just a good friend. She will not make the first move in case Mack does feel this way and than that will just ruin things between them. It just so happens that Mack is ready also to make things official with Susie. Unfortunately before Mack can do so, he loses his job and Susie receives some news that could change things between Mack and Susie forever.
Beach Lane is book seven in the Chesapeake Shores series. I have only read about one of two books in this series. This goes to show you that you can read them as stand alone novels and enjoy them, each on their own. I can tell you that even though I have not read all the books that fans of this series and of Susie and Mack, especially will enjoy this book. Susie and Mack make a great couple, now that they finally have made it official and went from single and just friends to a couple and dating. The people of Chesapeake Shores make me want to visit. They pull together when someone is in need and their bond is strong. Beach Lane is a book that is a good as warm, apple pie.
Review by Nancy
Well. This was an entirely new genre for me and what a fun one it turned out to be! An e-book full of puzzles was one of the last things I thought I’d ever be asked to review but…there you have it.
The Grabarchuk’s have created a fun book for any puzzle-inclined older child or adult to spend some time with. Some of those puzzles are really hard (at least for me) but you are encouraged to try again if you pick the wrong answer. Did I tell you I sucked at Geometry? There are, as promised, 100 puzzles to pick and choose from and I think so far my favorite is one Trimino Sums. I actually got that one right!
This book is only for Kindles but there is a Kindle app you can download so by-pass that little detail. Go ahead…have fun!
Friday, July 8, 2011
Toni Matthews is about to get married to her fiancé, Scott Chadwick. They are to get married tomorrow. Toni has a closing today. Toni is a real estate broker. Toni accidentally left her briefcase in Scott’s car. It has all the paperwork she needs for today’s deal. Toni has been trying to call Scott and he is not answering his cell phone. Toni decides to drive over to the new construction site that Scott is working at and pick up her briefcase. There are police cars and an ambulance at the site when Toni arrives. This is because Scott is dead. The police believe that Scott took a header off the top of the unfinished hotel that he was building. Toni does not believe that Scott would take his own life. Neither does Scott’s best friend, Mark Ross. Together Toni and Mark hope to uncover the real truth behind Scott’s death.
Deed for Death is more of a cozy mystery than a suspense/thriller mystery. The murder was brief, the plot didn’t have a lot of surprises…main female character falls for fiancé’s best friend, main suspect has to be the brother or relative that has lots of motive. The motive is pointed out step by step so that I am led to believe that it has to be the brother. Of course, I knew it was not the brother as it was the butler in the library with the candlestick. Ok all joking aside, you get what I mean by the fact that I would have liked the story line to be more original. Though, I do still enjoy a good cozy mystery every now and again. Deed for Death is a quick read. Author, D.B. Henson shows she can write. I am sure the next book will be better.
Celia’s husband, Jonathon suggests that she, him and their sixteen year old son, Oliver go to Mexico for a family vacation. It has been a long time since they have been on a vacation. When Ceia arrives in Mexico, it does not take her long to get into vacation mode. While out by the swimming pool, Celia meets Benico. He seems like a nice man. Celia and Benico talk until Jonathon arrives and than Benico leaves.
The next day, Celia goes for a morning jog. Afterwards, Celia goes for a swim, It is while she is swimming that she spots Benico again. Benico calls for Celia and tells her that he has been looking for her. Her son, Oliver has been in an accident and she must come quickly. He will drive her. The next thing Celia is aware of is that she awakes to find herself tied up to a chair and people demanding money or else.
A Small Fortune is the first novel from a new author, Audrey Braun. I must admit that this book sounded good but at the same time I was not sure how much I would like it. I must admit that I was still on the fence until about chapter five. I thought, in the beginning, ok, here is a couple who does not communicate anymore and they are going away to rekindle their romance. Fine but I hope it is not all about romance as I don’t like that to be the main focus in my suspense novels. There was some romance involving Celia, though I was not really feeling the chemistry and spark. The people who kidnapped Celia are vicious and can be violent. There was lots of action. It was constant throughout the book. Though, if the characters had come alive more for me in the book, I probably would have put all the pieces of the puzzle together a lot sooner. Still a book that is worth spending a small fortune to read.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Mr. Winkler is a normal, laid-back type of guy. He is a good family man, husband, fisherman and photographer. Mr. Winkler is also someone who has Dyslexia. He found that fishing is one hobby that he enjoys but it also helps calm his brain. Another thing that Mr. Winkler is good at…photography. The pictures he took was like looking through a family album. All the talk that Mr. Winkler went on about Firehole Ranch in Montana makes me want to go there. As much as I did like this book, there was only so much I could take about talk about fishing. Which is pretty much all that Mr. Winkler shared about himself. Don't be expecting a big fish story in this book.
I thought this book sounded really good when I read the summary. I tried to like this book but found that I could not get into it. I gave up at chapter six. At this point I did not care to learn why Clem’s father left them. As it was pointed out in the book, the secret that Clem’s father has kept from her and her sisters is bad and it is a good thing that he left. So if Clem’s father was such a bad guy, why would I want to know or care what his secret was, so that I can forgive him? Another reason that I gave up on this book was that I found Clem getting on my nerves. It was like she wanted to be different but all I heard was Odette this and Olivia that. Enough already. The Orphan Sister was not my cup of tea.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Marjorie Richards lived a sheltered life. She did not know much about the world other than school, home and her parents. This has something to do with the fact that young girls have been kidnapped around where Marjorie lives. Marjorie does not mind living a sheltered life. In fact her and her parents have created their own language. It is kind of like their own form of pig Latin. The way Marjorie talks you would like she lived in the back woods. The other kids do not get Marjorie and have nick named her “The Talk Funny Girl”.
Marjorie’s life changes when she meets Arturo Sanderson “Sands”. Sands is building a church in the middle of town. Upon Marjorie’s Aunt’s suggestion, Marjorie applies for a job helping Sands. She and Sands become close friends. Soon Marjorie starts getting a different view on the world and looks forward to her time with Sands.
I thought this was a good coming of age book. I must admit that at first I did not know how long I could stick with this book. It was the way that Marjorie talked. I wanted to grammatically correct her every time that she spoke. Once I got pass the way Marjorie talked, I found myself enjoying this book. Sands and Marjorie were the stars of this book. They both shined. It was nice getting to see Marjorie open up and grow. This book is not upbeat and light but more serious. This preferred this from a coming of age book. The Talk Funny Girl can talk funny all she wants as she is talking her way to the bank. This book is a perfect summer read.
Laura and Adrianna were so similar in features that they could just about pass for twins. Laura and Adrianna were riding together in a car when they were involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, Adrianna was the only survivor. The accident has left Adrianna with amnesia. This is sad as Adrianna is a famous concert pianist. Hopefully Adrianna will regain her memories soon.
Gavin works with Adrianna’s brother. They are business partners. Gavin must admit that he never really paid that much attention to Adrianna in the past. Of course, it had to do with the fact that she was his business partner’s sister. There is something different about Adrianna. Gavin can not pinpoint what it exactly is but Gavin is falling for Adrianna.
I thought this book was alright. I must admit that I never became fully invested in the characters. I did not find Adrianna to be a strong presence, which was sad as I wanted her to be as she was the main lead. This might have been due to the fact that everyone else was crowding Adrianna trying to get her to remember and not let her really embrace her new outlook on life. The chemistry between Gavin and Adrianna was mild. It was slow to build up. Black Slate missed the high notes for me. I might give author, Heather Justesen another chance in the future.
here is the purchase link for the hard copy:
enter code WV49Z, you can download Blank Slate for just $1.49 through the end of July.
Here is the link for the Kindle version:
here is the link for the Smashwords version:
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Mariah Carpenter had just taken a bunch of pills. The bottle in her hand felt heavy. One more time. Mariah Carpenter replaced the bottle on the nightstand and padded silently through her shadowy apartment. Moonlight cast uneven shadows on everything it touched. No need to turn on the lights: she could walk here blindfolded. She wants to commit suicide. Though, Mariah awakes to find that she is not dead. In fact, it seems that though the ordeal, Mariah has the psychic ability to communicate with children. Of course, these are not any children. These children have been kidnapped. It stated with Amanda. Mariah saw the news story on her and the next thing she knew, she was about to talk to Amanda and notify the police where Amanda was. Mariah soon becomes a celebrity. She is both praised and feared for her gift.
Chosen is the first book in the Line of Descent series. The next book is called Prophecy. I thought Mariah was an intriguing character. It was nice to watch her ability grow as the story progressed. As Mariah embraced her gift, she was able to do other things with it. The story moved fast. Though, I liked this book and Mariah’s ability. I would have liked the story to focus a little more on her gift. I got to see what Mariah could do but more as a passing glance than the focal point. Other than this little issue, I enjoyed the book. Chosen reminded me of a cross between the movies, Stigmata and The Eye.
I have a copy of this book to giveaway. Open to US and Canada. Leave a comment as to why you would like to win this book with your email address. Contest ends July 12th.
Also, if you liked this review and excerpt than check out Book Junkie for the next stop on this tour at Book Junkie. Follow along on this tour for more chances to possibly when this book and read more about it.
Review by Nancy
Plots upon plots. This is the only way I can describe this book. I loved it! It begins with someone changing places with the Vice-President of the United States and that person dies. Violently. Then the Speaker of the House gets a phone call from someone known as “Hannah” and she tells him that he will be President in one week. In a reminder of the “two heartbeats away from being President” theme, Sec. Hartford is also nearly kidnapped and his daughter is taken prisoner in a separate incident.
Meanwhile, in Oregon, Melissa Stone is tired. A waitress in a small-town dive; all she wants to do is go home and soak her feet for a couple of hours and go to bed. That was the plan. Until she gets home, can’t find her boyfriend and seems the reflection of a laser-sight in the refrigerator door behind her. Instantly, Melissa changes into a hunter. Something she was once, tried to stop being and is now forced to remember everything she had tried to forget.
What do Melissa, Hannah, really bad bad guys and the US President have in common? Several things, as it turns out. The author outdid himself with the plot twists and turns. The bad guys are truly bad, the good guys aren’t necessarily good and Melissa (or ?) isn’t at all a waitress in a diner. She may be the baddest one of all. And just who the hell is Hannah anyway?
Monday, July 4, 2011
I have been a horse lover for a long time. I may not be an extreme horse lover as I have never owned a horse but I enjoy reading about them and watching movies about them. I wanted to own a horse when I was younger but after really getting a feel for how much work they really are, I was fine to be a bystander. I have met some nice horses and some mean ones as well. So, when I saw this book, I thought I have to check this book out. I am glad that I did.
Mr. Wilson did a wonderful job with this compilation of stories. Every person that he interviewed had great stories of their one favorite horse or in some of the people’s cases; it was several horses or even a donkey or two. Like for instance in the case of Pam Minick’s story. I enjoyed reading about how when Pam and her sister were younger, their mother purchased two horses for them. Coming from a non horse family and they did not really know the first thing about horses but they came to learn and care for them. In fact, Pam’s father used to call the horses “dunkeys” and not even the correct pronunciation of “donkey” Of course, I also enjoyed reading about Charlie Daniel’s story and Michael Martin Murphy’s story as well. These are two of my favorite guys. The illustrations, which I think was too simple a word to call them. I would call them masterpieces were grand. They really captured the essence of the people. Tell Me About That Horse is a book to be shared with that horse lover in your life.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Dr. Jay Erlich and his older brother, Charlie are estranged. Though this does not change the fact that Jay would do anything for his brother. Especially when Charlie’s wife, Gabby calls to inform Jay that their son, Evan is dead. Jay drives down to be with his brother. It seems that Evan was a disturbed young man. He had stopped taking his medications. His parents had him admitted to a facility. Only, Evan was released four days later. Gabby and Charlie did not know that Evan had been released until they saw the story of Evan’s death. Jay thought that Evan’s death was just a sad event but he soon realizes that there may be more than meets the eye.
Every time that I pick up an Andrew Gross novel, I know that I am going to be in for a ride. Eyes Wide Open This story was based around true events. I can not imagine learning that your child has dead from the news. This book had a bit of a different feel to it than Mr. Gross’s past novels. While, it still had the suspense and adrenaline rush that I get from reading his books, I could tell that the characters were more real. This is probably because it was based on true events. There was never a dull moment in this book. Charlie was an interesting character. I liked getting to know about his past and how he got to be the way he was now. This made him three dimensional. My eyes were wide open the whole time reading this book.
Tess is Goddess of the Dawn. She is seeking protection. The demon of the underworld is trying to steal all of her people’s powers…particularly the goddess’s powers. The demon has already stolen one goddess’s powers. The demon is after Tess.
Caligo is a mighty Cimmerian warrior. After his last job, where Caligo ended up in a coma for two days. He is not on trusting terms with any woman, no matter how beautiful she is. Though, Caligo can not help but want to help Tess, especially when he sees the danger is real. There is just one catch. Tess draws her strength from sex.
This book had sizzle when it came to the love making between Tess and Caligo. Though the book was a little laggy to get moving. It seemed that there was a lot of explaining about where Tess came from, who Caligo was and why a demon was after Tess. Tess was more of a goddess in the bedroom than she was in real life. She was a damsel in distress and she was lucky to have Caligo protecting her. Every once in a while, Caligo would bring some comedic relief. The fight scene was over too quickly. The demon was suppose to be this book bad guy and Caligo was about to defeat him fast. This book would make a fun, beach read.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Review by Nancy
19 Dragons takes us into the future in a steampunk kinda way. The Dragons have kept humans on an fairly even keel for milleniums’ but now something has gone wrong. Badly wrong.
Posing as humans and in some cases posing for so long that the Dragon side of their lives has been forgotten, the 19 Dragons as being murdered by one of their own. Why? That’s for you to find out but let me say that although this novella is not very long, there is a lot of information here for you to digest. The murderer is quite clever and VERY persistent!
“New Haven” is the center of the world at this point and is surrounded by other countries and humans and each seems to be watched over by a Dragon. When the Dragons begin to die, so do their protected places.
If you read Six Moon Summer by this author I want to let you know that this book is nothing like that. And that isn’t at all a bad thing!