Friday, April 30, 2010

Review of City Of Lost Girls

City of Lost Girls
Declan Hughes
Harper Collins
297 pages

No one does crime fiction better than Declan Hughes who’s Ed Loy with his mixture of European savvy and Irish Blarney give new light to the no-nonsense PI.
Declan shines once again as he sends Ed Loy on an unsolvable case twenty years old that started on the shores of LA and now it’s happening again as Dublin turns into The City of Lost Girls. But crime fighting is never easy and made harder by the fact that he’s dealing with Hollywood movers and shakers in Ireland to make a film, no matter their all sons of Éire.
Be prepared to hold your breath often as he takes us on a ride of bright spots and blight spots of Dublin and if that’s not enough we’ll spend half of the novel in LA fighting traffic, crowds and ghosts of the dead. His plot is current in it’s content and context, interesting in it’s reading and terrorizing in it’s implications. He’s masterful at words as well as feelings as he imparts both into his incredible work of fiction. His characters are all wonderfully crafted and Ed Loy shines once again as his hard nosed hard headed protagonist. His supporting characters some of whom we’re reacquainting with are equally important to the telling of the tale. And what a tale it is, snatched off the front papers of any major acropolis, missing young women presumed dead. It’s a grand scale who-done-it with a touch of noir and a whole lot of heart that will keep you guessing until and only until Declan let’s us in on his secret.
Ed Loy has a prosperous career in front of him and I can’t think of a more capable detective to handle the worst of what society can throw at him. Let him lead you through the pages as he unwraps the clues and gets to the bottom of that all elusive Case Solved. The City of Lost Girls is Declan Hughes 5th in his Ed Loy detective series.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review of Eight Days to Live

Eight Days to Live
Iris Johansen
408 pages
Iris has another smash hit with her newest paranormal thriller

At the age of seventeen Jane MacGuire started having precognitive dreams, already in art school she paints what she dreams as a release. These dreams have led her once before into troubled waters and she’s having them again. Any artist worth his/her salt should love gallery shows especially when you’re the artist on show, but Jane hates the notoriety and she does it only because her friend and gallery owner insist. What she doesn’t know is that disaster is right around the corner. Seth Caleb has been obsessed with Jane since he helped her and her adoptive parents rid the world of a ruthless serial killer. Now she needs him again, will they find the answers they need in time and what about what they feel for each other, is it a simple case of lust or does it run deeper.
You can never go wrong with an Iris Johansen mystery, and this one is no exception. The main-stream mystery lover will appreciate the attention to detail, the complicated plot and the myriad of wonderful characters both good and evil. The paranormal mystery lover will love the touch of woo woo that Iris includes in this titillating read and I’m not talking mythological or mystical she just dips her toe in the paranormal stream. You will recognize her dialogue if you’re a fan as you re-connect with the characters you’ve come to love and respect. Her characters are very real and almost three dimensional as this wonderful storyteller brings them to life for her audience. Her heroine Jane is a complicated player but Iris portrays her to a tee. Caleb is an enigma and she goes beneath all the layers to find what makes him tick. Together they are a powerful force. There is a romance and you’re present for it’s birth. Her supporting cast of characters including her usual protagonists Eve and Joe are essential to the telling of the story.
If you love a great mystery, look no farther. If you love a little paranormal thrown in, this is your read. If you want it told by a ace storyteller, here she is.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review of Out of Mind

Out of Mind
Stella Cameron
394 pages
Continue the quest of the Millet family to find answers to a curse, to save New Orleans with the second in the Court of Angels trilogy.

Willow Millet has long denied she posses any of the paranormal abilities her family is known for but that is about to come to a halt when those abilities so long held back come rushing forward. Ben Fortune is also a part of a family with strong paranormal qualities and has loved Willow for as long as he can remember. She long ago sent him away, but now he’s back. Can he convince her that he’s what she needs or are they doomed to repeat the same mistake over again.
Stella, a wonderful storyteller gives us a view of New Orleans unlike any other, she does it with flowing dialogue, interesting characters and scenes from our worst nightmares to our brightest wishes. Her scenes are descriptively vivid and some are unbelievable as she spins her tale of the macabre. Her main characters of Willow and Ben are well defined and enigmatic to each other and to her readers. Her supporting characters are also interesting and some are very scary, but they all have their place in the book. Her romance is sweet and powerful, it’s innocent and worldly. Her love scenes are hot, sexy and elemental and they will sizzle on the page.
If you feel a need for the eerie or the weird, for the dreadful and ominous or for the outlandish then Stella’s New Orleans is where you want to be. If you like love on the sizzle burner, you’ve come to the right place and if you want that all inclusive battle between good and evil here you have it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review of A Farewell To Arms

A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway
332 pages
I know what you’re saying, I said it too. Why with so many wonderful contemporary authors do I want to go back and read this out dated novel. Well my in-person book club decided for me that’s what I was going to do. And I am so glad I did.

First published in 1929 when Hemingway was 30 A Farewell to Arms is viewed through the eyes of an American serving in the Italian army during the WW1, his love of one woman and his eventual life on the run. We today are used to the prose like, flowing dialogue of contemporary authors, so I was at first un-prepared for Hemingway’s staccato, and very pragmatic verse, he puts us on the front lines with the soldiers and shows us how life away from the front was spent. He tells us of medical procedures of the time, procedures that we view as expectant as an aspirin, but in his day were life saving and sometimes life taking techniques. He takes us on an unequaled journey from the Mountains to the small villages and finally to the cities of Italy and ends our voyage in a small village in Switzerland. He takes us behind enemy lines and in the trenches of allies and he does it with an amazing proficiency. His characters are unforgettable in their portrayals from his protagonist Frederic and his love interest Catherine to his comrades in arms. His love story is poignant and heartwarming and tragic and yet beautiful in it’s telling. He was truly a masterful narrator.
So come back to the classic tale of love found and love lost, of war and desertion and of human frailty. Come back and see why this tale has survived a number of reprints and almost a century in time. Come back and make Papa proud. Come back and read the one and only A Farewell to Arms.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review of Hero at Large

Hero at Large
Janet Evanovich
288 pages

A classic Evanovich, a must read and an introduction to Bob the dog.
Way back in 1987 Janet published her first novel it was called A Second Chance at love and was written by her alter ego Steffie Hall. Here’s a quote from Janet “ This was the book that changed my life forever and made me a published author. When Hero finally reached the bookstores, I was almost arrested for loitering in Walden’s. I stationed myself in the romance section and wouldn’t leave until I saw someone buy my book. It took three days.” What a rush that must have been for Janet. Well join me now and read this slightly revised version as Hero At Large.
In this light romantic comedy we can see why Janet is now a household name. The humor, romance and just down to earthness about it is classic Evanovich. Her dialogue is funny, witty and fast paced. Her characters, let’s talk a minute about these quite over the top enigmatic players. We have our heroine Chris a divorced single mom skating coach, our hero Ken a supposed out of work carpenter who’s hiding his real identity, Aunt Edna Chris’s medling and quite eccentric Great Aunt, Lucy, Chris’s daughter and an array of supporting characters that make the novel a read to remember. Her love story is definitely Cinderella meets Prince Charming, only Cinderella really wants the Frog instead of the Prince, so now it’s up to the Prince to convince her that he’s her man warts and all, but Chris has known heartbreak and she isn’t sure if she can stand the pain again and now she has more than just her to consider, she has to think of Lucy. Her love scenes are the behind closed door variety and won’t offend any reader.
So take a trip back with us and give into that feel good read. And if you’re a fan of Janet here in the present I’m sure you’ll see a few familiar faces even though the names have changed. First we have Bob the dog, need I say more, then Aunt Edna who could easily be a pre curser to a certain Granny we all know and love. Give into those baser instincts and run don’t walk to your nearest bookseller and check out what started a revolution.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Review of Fairest of Them All

Fairest of Them All
Teresa Medeiros
Random House
400 pages
Welcome to the Middle Ages where the Gavenmore men have been cursed for centuries doomed by loving fair faced women, is it real or imaginary. It will take Austyn of Gavenmore to find the answer and it will take the head strong willful antics of Holly of Tewksbury proclaimed the fairest face in all of England to bring him to that end. But what end will it be, will she fulfill the prophecy of doom and disaster or will love reign over all else.
Teresa Medeiros is an amazing storyteller, from the first page her readers will be enchanted by her plot. They will be compelled to turn page after page to reach the outcome, to have their questions answered and they will be enthralled by her constant flowing dialogue that will take them to the imaginary castle high on a hill where all the secrets reside. Her characters are all unforgettable and memorable and her intimate knowledge of them will be apparent as you read. Her hero and heroine are two of the most likable and equally irritating people you will ever have the pleasure of knowing, but know them you will and by the end you will be rooting for their lives, their love and their future. Her supporting characters are also unforgettable and add depth to the story. Her romance is tragic and heartbreaking and pulls at your heartstrings. Her love scenes are sexy, sensual and sizzle on the page.
This is a historical classic tale of love conquers all and you will not read anything better no matter how hard you look.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

If you listened to 50 different reports by "experts" on the condition of Mother Earth you'd likely get 30 different answers, list 35 different sources and only lead to your being more confused then when you first tuned in.
Like many of you I'm a realist with idealist tendencies. I like to see the best in people and things and I have hope for a better future. I want our children to know what a Tiger, a Polar Bear or a Tree Frog is without having to view them either stuffed or in pictures. I want our grandchildren to be able to breathe without the use of masks, to be able to procreate without the fear of birth defects and to be able to glow in the unobstructed sunlight.
So I say, no matter what the experts say let's all help. If each of us turn off lights as we exit a room, if we use less disposable items, if we use reusable bags when we shop. There is no such thing as "there's nothing I can do", we all have a responsibility to make sure that the future generations are here to enjoy not only what we can, but more than we can. We all have the responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. If all of us did just one thing on the list life as we know it would not end it would improve.
So after you read this turn off your computer until you need it next and turn out the light when you leave the room go outside and plant something that gives off oxygen and give the Earth more time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review of Drawing in the Dust

Drawing in the Dust
Zoe Klein
Pocket Books division of Simon and Schuster
360 pages

Drawing in the Dust is a commanding and illuminating read told by a phenomenal new voice with an obvious old soul.
Page Brookstrone has been searching her whole life, for the meaning of life, the meaning of her life. She has a terrible legacy she hopes she won’t fulfill but is afraid non-the-less to realize it’s truth. At a young age her father died after a battle with ALS so she now devotes her life to the dead, the long dead as an archeologist and as she searches in Israel for treasures hidden in it’s dust she discovers something amazing, something life altering, something controversial and something heralding in her field. Now the true question is, what will she do. Will she go along with the status quo, or will she ford a new stream and take a stand.
Zoe is an astonishing storyteller as she spellbinds you from the first page and keeps you there until the novel is finished. Her plot is an always interesting subject for me as I love ancient history and archeology and adore stories of powerful women. Her dialogue is prose like in it’s flow, exact enough for a textbook when she goes into her science speak and scholarly in her theology. She will paint pictures in your mind of her scenes that will leave you breathless in their graphic depictions. She gives us amazingly diverse characters that will leave you in awe, some you will grow to love and some you will learn to despise. Her champion Page is a multilevel character who is tenacious in her chosen field and yet is vulnerable and immature in her own person. As we watch her grow through the tale we gain more respect for her and begin to understand what makes her tick. Her male protagonist is a most unlikely hero and at your first meeting you’ll think him just another minor figure in the book so he I will let you figure out. She has also a co-heroine and hero in the novel, but I’ll let you discover them on your own as well. This is a love story, but not a romance and her portrayal will offend no one.
If you love historic fiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction or theological fiction then you won’t be sorry you chose this read, actually anyone who reads this will be pleased they did. I personally love stories depicting capable and even forceful women especially in historic settings where we were little more than livestock to men. This is a definite must read.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review of Pride Mates

Pride Mates
Jennifer Ashley
Dorchester Publishing
304 pages
Jennifer Ashley begins a new paranormal era with her new exciting series Shifters Unbound.
For years Shifters have been in decline, starvation, women dying in childbirth so twenty years ago they ceded to the humans and accepted the collars that would control their natural instincts and become more assimilated to the human way of life. Instead they were shunned by society, were blatantly discriminated against and were relegated to form ghettos in places the humans no longer wanted. Liam has lived this way since the collars went on and although not totally for it he sees the benefits, his community is growing and not only surviving but thriving. Kim Fraser has become a DA to help the underdog and she’s set her sights on helping Brian a Shifter that has been, she’s sure unjustly, accused of murdering his human girlfriend. Together Liam and Kim search for truths not just for Brian because there's something fishy in Shiftertown and while they investigate they must also admit to their attraction to each other. Will they fight what they know has no future, or will they build a new future, together.
“A girl walks into a bar…
No. A human girl walks into a bar” This is the first line of the novel and she had me from there, and with a smile on my face I delved into the lives she created and the stage she put them on. Now this is just one of many paranormal series that have exploded from the publishing world lately and they seem to appeal to us, so why you ask should you try this one. Well that’s my job, to tell you why. Jennifer has created a unique society where the Were community isn’t the alpha, they are the Jews exodus from Israel, the Natives being ousted from their homes by the US government, the civil rights movement. This is a society where they are the enslaved. And she brings this society to us with dialogue where you feel their longing for freedom, their despair, their fear and anger and more importantly their hope for a better tomorrow. She brings it to us with wonderful characters who’s lives you want to know better, you want to help make better. Complex characters, characters she knows well, well enough to make us know them too. Her hero Liam and heroine Kim become your familiars, your friends and your heart hurts for them, but better it beats for them and feels their triumphs. Her villains are never cut and dried because she makes you see their point of view, to experience their demons with them. Her love story between Liam and Kim is touching, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Her love scenes are physical, sensual, intimate and will sizzle on the page.
So come to Shiftertown and meet all the players, good and bad. Try to figure out which is which. Immerse yourself in a fresh new series with a great story to tell and exciting characters to tell it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review of Rescuing Olivia

Rescuing Olivia
Julie Compton
Minotaur Books
376 pages

This is the best book I’ve read this year and Julie Compton is a bright new star in the literary world.
Imagine being in an accident and surviving with only scratches and find out that the woman you love is in a coma, her family won’t let you see her and then after several days she suddenly disappears. He soon learns that there are secrets, secrets that lead him on a race against time as he sets his sights on Rescuing Olivia.
Julie is one amazing storyteller, she had my complete and unobstructed interest from the first page and my house and family be damned, well at least until I closed the book. Her story line is imaginative yet utterly believable. She has an incredible way with words as she spins this tale of intrigue and terror. She takes us on an unconceivable trek from the Florida Oceanside to the African Bush county and her dialogue takes us on a journey for all the senses. Her characters are so well developed that they become our immediate intimates as they make us angry and laugh or cry with them. Her principle characters of Anders and Olivia are exceptionally portrayed and our hearts smiles and weeps with them in equal parts. Her supporting characters are an obvious necessity to the novel and as we realize their particular roles we learn to love, hate or fear them. There is definitely a love story here and she brings it to us through the veil of remembering as well as up close and personal and her love scenes are visceral but sweet in their portrayals. For lovers of great literary fiction don’t be put off by the love story, this is not a romance, but the love story is essential.
So get your senses ready for the ride of their lives in this intensely emotional piece of wonderful literary fiction as Julie takes us on a non-stop, nail biting, roller coaster, action filled adventure. An adventure filled with danger and deception but mostly filled with hope as she gives us a compelling look at just what the power of love can do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Review of The Mage in Black

The Mage in Black
Jaye Wells
Orbit Books
326 pages

The Mage in Black is the second of Jaye Wells’ new series starring her intense, complex and surprisingly fresh heroine Sabina Kane.
With paranormal novels inundating the shelves of your local bookstore, library or e-retailer, and the likes of vampires, were-beings and shape-shifters fill the pages of those novels why would you want to choose this particular one. Well that’s what I’m going to tell you.
Sabina a result of a taboo union between a mage and a vampire has been raised in the vampire community of LA under the strict thumb of her paternal grandmother who also happens to run the vampire empire, and a cold task master she is letting Sabina know in no uncertain terms that her only worth is as an assassin for said empire. In this episode of Sabina’s life she’s en route to NYC and the heart of the magedom, to meet her twin sister. Still stinging from her grandmother’s betrayal she joins with a covert-ops mage as they battle their to the Big Apple, where there are prophecies to fulfill.
Jaye has created an alternate society unbeknownst to humans that contain all manner of paranormal beings. Her story line/plot has been perused and pursued to the nth degree, but her audience will find a refreshing discovery, Jaye’s world is exciting, ingeniously different then all the others and of course dangerous. Her champion and heroine Sabina is edgy, tough, foul-mouthed and yet immensely vulnerable in her search for somewhere to belong and something always just beyond her reach. She also skates a thin line between hero and villain which makes her even more appealing. Her supporting characters are equally interesting and as we get to know them the allies as well as the enemies we see how the each fill a pertinent spot in the tale. There are some romantic elements in the story, but the main theme is definitely not romance, it’s more a coming of age and our heroine grows with each installment.
So if you’re the kind of reader who likes to get up close and personal with creatures the main population have nightmares about, if you like edge of your seat action, and tension filled drama, then you come to the right novel. This is fine as a stand-a-lone, but if you want the full Sabina effect I suggest reading Red Headed StepChild and coming next Green Eyed Demon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

The first comment I have to make is that I’m in mourning knowing there will never be another amazing work from Stieg Larsson. The world has truly lost one of the best writers of the century.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is the third in Steig’s Millennium series following The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire. And it’s the best of the three by far. His storytelling is factual and very precise and you might think because the novel is almost 600 pages that you’ll find it unnecessarily wordy, well you’d be wrong. The novel entails an enormous amount of information crucial to the telling of the tale. And what a tale it is, he gives you espionage, murder, gang bangers, cops, newspaper reporters, secret police and some of the cruelest villains ever to grace the pages of a novel. The plot is amazing in it’s intricacy and the detail is awe-inspiring and the story is uniquely his. The characters include some old friends from his first two books and some new friends and new enemies, but don’t fear that you won’t know them well because Stieg has a way to intimate you with each and every one. His dialogue is flowing and yes sometimes the minutiae is mind boggling, but every line is important to the telling of the story.
If you haven’t yet read this series, now is definitely the time. It’s something you’ll treasure and something you’ll re-read. It will become a permanent part of your library and you’ll find yourself talking about it with friends and lamenting the fact that his voice has been forever silenced. So get ready for the ride of your life and get ready for nail biting, edge of your seat, breathe holding excitement. Get ready to read the next to top the bestseller list. Get ready to be entertained like you never have before. Get ready to Kick the Hornet’s Nest!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review of Hidden Fire by Jo Davis

Hidden Fire
Jo Davis
Penguin Group
287 pages
If you like Hot romance, with buff beyond belief guys then come and visit Jo Davis’ Station Five firehouse series.

Julian Salvatore has harbored a dark dirty secret from his childhood and has used the fast paced ladies man image to guard it. But his secret is about to come out in the form of his nightmare come to life. Grace MeKenna is very aware of all the firefighters being that her sister Kat is married to one of them and she’s not immune to the charms of Julian and even gave into one hot kiss once upon a time, but she’s got more on her mind than forever with any man, she’s got a life plan and Julian’s not in it unless it’s on her terms. What they both don’t know is that they’re about to be hit by the freight train called fate and if they survive the danger that abounds they just might have a chance at that all elusive Happy Ever After.
Don’t be taken aback, but this is not your grandmother’s romance and is not fit for the eyes of young romance readers. Jo’s gritty, edgy and sometimes downright profane language is not for everyone. But if you’re brave enough to take the plunge you will find a great story with remarkable, memorable characters that are in one aspect larger than life, but in another very down to earth and all very very human. As Jo intimates us with her characters we will be happy to discover that she knows them very well as they all have a very important place in the tale. Her hero Julian and heroine Grace are very unlikely lovers, until you get to know them and remove the layers they’ve hidden themselves under. Her supporting characters some of whom we’ve met before in the firehouse we get to reacquaint ourselves with. And her villain(s) is the nastiest thing you’ve ever met. Her love story is full of hazards and just when we think they’ll make it, boom, another rocket crashes. Her love scenes are very sexual, very visual and very visceral, she uses terms that may offend some and yet there is a certain innocence in the encounters.
So put on the aloe because if the fire doesn’t burn you, the firefighters will and get up close and personal with the men and women of Station Five where Happily Ever After comes with a definite blaze.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review of The Demon Keepers

Demon Keepers
Jessica Andersoen
The Penguin Group
448 pages
A Short History of The NightKeepers
In the second millennia BC a small rag tag group escapes Egypt and religious persecution, these are the first NightKeepers and they are led by their first leader known as the First Father. When their journey is at last over they find themselves in the lush tropical paradise we know as the Yucatan Peninsula where over the next several thousand years they prosper and grow, that is until the great white god from the West comes and so Cortez all but obliterates the entire culture. But some of the NightKeepers have survived and thrived until the next extermination of 1984 where all but a few of the witikin ( a loyal servant of the NightKeepers) and some infant NightKeepers survived. Today there are less than two dozen NightKeepers left and they’re preparing for the final battle for Earth. With the help of the Gods maybe they can do it, but at every turn they discover yet another enemy. The Mayan calendar abruptly ends on December 21, 2012 predicting the end unless the NighKeepers can find the solution and save the world as we know it.
Jessica has created a new world order with her amazing new series about the NightKeepers. Demon Keepers is the 4th book in the Final Prophecy series.
Lucius just wanted to help, all his life he’s been too scrawny, too clumsy, too something, but since finding out about the NightKeepers he’s tried to make a difference. Well he was possessed by a demon, or maybe it was two and spent the better part of a year in Limbo trying to find his way out, he’s been released by the demon with the help of the prophet prophecy and his innate goodness, and he’s a bigger, better Lucius, but is it enough. Jade has always fought her natural instincts to be rabble-rouser because her winikin always preached duty, decorum and destiny to her. When she finds out some damning realities about her parents she rethinks her attitude, but she can’t help thinking about Lucuis and how he’s changed and if it’s for the better or not. But it’s not only their attraction that they’re fighting, with the final countdown two years away they have their own destinies to discover and whether they find each other or not is written in the prophecy, now they just have to decipher it.
Jessica has given us a uniquely remarkable story line/plot in The Demon Keepers. She spins her tale with edgy slangy dialogue that makes the fantasy more real to her readers and her scenes will pop out of the pages as she describes the places in the novel, but the best thing by far about her NightKeepers novels is how she gives us all a history lesson on the grand scheme, mixes facts and fiction to make it more interesting, what’s better or more exciting and more frightening than the final apocalypse. Her characters are all unforgettable and it’s obvious to her audience that she knows them intimately because of how they all seem to make the story mesh. Her hero Lucius and heroine Jade are an unlikely couple but Jessica makes us see them as one and appreciate how they got there. Her supporting cast of characters are equally memorable from the past and future NightKeeper hero and heroines to the evil doers who are some of the most creepy of villains you’ll ever see. Her love story is full of pit falls and heartbreak, she makes them work hard for that ultimate reward, her love scenes are hot, spicy and take love to the sizzle burner. Yet you see caring and tenderness as well.
If you enjoy romance on the edge, a paranormal beyond compare, a pre-apocalyptic drama with a spirited love story, you’ve come to the right place.
So set your clocks so you don’t miss the final countdown and purchase all the novels of the final prophecy, you will not be sorry you did.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Erin

Today I want to talk about motherhood and especially the special if not at times fragile relationship between mothers and daughters.
30 years ago today my wonderful April miracle was born. I can hardly believe it, where did the years go.
It hasn't always been easy being a mother, sometimes, okay a lot of times I made mistakes and sometimes those mistakes cost precious time to heal. If motherhood came with a instruction manual I don't think I would have adhered to it's strictures completely anyway. I like to make my own decisions too. But what I did learn as a result of being a mom was that life changed and for the better because there was now someone else to share it with, someone very special.
So for those moms out there who don't have a special relationship with their daughters or sons let me tell you that it's never too late. You have to at least try, because they are your legacy. And for those moms out there who do enjoy that wonderful bond with their children take the time right now to tell them how special they are to you.
Life is short, don't waste it.
And finally to my baby. I love you Erin with all my heart. Happy Birthday to my April miracle.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mark Nykane
Belle Books
384 pages

Mark Nykanes’s Primitive is as tense a book I’ve ever had the immense pleasure and great privilege of reading. It has a knock your socks off knock out punch from the first page and doesn’t stop until the last page is done. Come take the scariest ride of your life on this Eco-Thriller, apocalyptic roller coaster ride, where the lines between villain and hero have never been thinner and where the final outcome could be the fate of the world as we know it. We have never had more unlikely heroines in Sonya Adams middle-aged model and her multi-pierced, multi-faceted daughter Darcy, but as you get better acquainted with them you’ll see just what stuff they’re made of.
Mark is an exceptional storyteller, with dramatic, dynamic descriptive dialogue that takes your senses through many excruciating and exciting journeys and makes his images jump off the pages. He takes his readers through a wild untamed natural wonderland filled with not only natural terrors but human as well. His wonderful characters enhance the story and he is intimately acquainted with each one, they are all well defined and multidimensional. His story line/plot is unique and yet something that could easily wind up on the front pages of any major newspaper or head lines of any newscast.
This incredible work of fiction will take you through many emotions, not all of them easy to bear but you will none-the-less find yourself unable to stop turning pages to find out what happens next. It is definitely not a read for the faint of heart, you will find violence here, but it is intricate to the story and in my opinion very necessary. So if you like your novels to be edge of your seat exciting with nail biting, heart racing thrills get ready for the ride of your life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Karen Robards
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
388 pages

Deep in thoroughbred county Lisa Grant has come home to be with her mother dying of ALS. Working for the DA’s office she stumbles across a photo that’s like looking in a mirror, but asking questions about the woman and her family that went missing 30 years ago is like opening Pandora’s Box, she needs help and she turns to her boss local DA Scott Buchanan who she’s known for years and lusted after almost as long. Scott Buchanan son of the town drunk and all around no account father has made good for himself by hard work and it’s brought him to the pinnacle of his career, being the DA. His long time nemesis coming home to be with her ailing mother asks him for a job, even though he knows it’s a terrible idea, he does it. It’s a terrible idea because he’s been having illicit thoughts about her since before it was legal to do so. But she’s here and she’s in trouble and he’s the only one that can help. But there’s trouble in paradise and it seems to surround Lisa wherever she goes. Scott is determined to help her, but in doing so he finds more than physical danger also the danger of loosing his heart.
Karen Robards gives us a spine tingling mystery/thriller and a sensual romantic suspense in one terrific read. The plot takes us to the privileged in horseracing and the underbelly of society and does it with page turning excitement. Her dialogue is precise and yet flows fluidly throughout the novel. Her depictions of the lifestyle of the rich and famous brought down to earth really resonated with me and made the characters more real. And speaking of the characters, her hero Scott is the man that all mother’s want their sons to turn out to become and he’s made ever more human with all the ghosts of his pasts that only increase his attraction to the readers. The heroine Lisa is someone you may want to despise because of her lofty beginnings, but when she’s brought down to earth not only by her mother’s illness but also because of financial difficulty the audience will find itself championing for this unlikely star. Her co starring characters are a very solid addition to the telling of the story. Her love story is honest and heartbreaking, it’s intense and sensual and it makes you want to cheer for them. The love scenes are extremely physical with a great deal of carnality to tempt the purest of us and yet there is also a feeling of that Grand Passion that most of us find so elusive.
But don’t be fooled by the romance because there is an incredible mystery inside this fast paced page-turner with all the requirements that a true mystery fan looks for, a great who-done-it. So all you mystery and romantic suspense fans alike will find just what you’re looking for in Shattered which is #9 on this weeks NY Times Best Seller list.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Fallen Trilogy

Fallen - Tor -372 pages
Guardian - Tor - 357 pages
Claire Delacroix

Claire Delacroix is an author that I follow religiously, well usually. I am ashamed to say that I’ve been remiss in that by only recently reading her new series/trilogy, well new in 2008. The essence of this new trilogy is set in post apocalyptic USA where after a series of nuclear explosions the world is a very different place, a place inhabited by “norms”, self explanatory and “S H A D E S” a human deformed by or as a result of the nuclear fallout, and in the words of the norms, sub-human. The new world order is run by The Republic which is a nice way of saying big brother and it has eyes and ears everywhere. The celestial community has seen this all happen and has asked for volunteers to “fall” of their own volition to help humanity. But humanity leaves a lot to be desired in these dire times and the angels and their co-conspirators on earth face obstacles far greater and more dangerous than we mere mortals could ever conceive. The question is, can the world be saved and even more grievous a question is, is the world worth saving.
In book one Fallen we have fallen angel Adam Montgomery who has volunteered to come to earth to save humanity by helping Lilia Desjardins, his path is clear and his intensions are noble but as he seeks out, finds and comes to know her, Lilia becomes more than he can imagine and he finds himself deeply attracted to her. Lilia has deep secrets and she’s spent her life learning not to trust many people so when this enigma of a man named Montgomery a cop for the Republic and in her eyes public enemy number one. The problem is that he keeps showing up wherever she is and she wonders what his motives are. The more she gets to know him the more she begins to trust him. And while fighting the attraction to him she knows he’s hiding something, something big. But they have a mission and their time-table is short and their odds of achieving it is long.
In book two Guardian we have fallen angel volunteer Rafe, the problem is he doesn’t know he’s a fallen angel, he can’t remember further than his arrival the previous autumn. He does know he’s on a mission, a mission to find and help Delilia Dejardins and although he doesn’t know why or what will come of it he’s determined to try. Helping her is not going to be easy and fighting his growing feelings for her is going to be the least of their worries. Delilia has spent her life in the shadows and that’s common for a S H A D E. When she begins having visions, visions that tell her she’s the next Oracle, visions she’s convinced are sent from the heavens she marks herself as an enemy of the state and becomes a fugitive. While running for their lives Rafe and Delilia come face to face with evil in many faces and the race is on to save themselves and help to save the world.
In these first two installments of Claire’s Fallen trilogy we readers will be amazed, appalled and saddened by how humanity has become or maybe we should just call it inhumanity and be done with it. Her story line/plot has been addressed countless times by many authors, but in hers we find a uniqueness that says it’s hers alone. She gives us gritty descriptive dialogue that let us visualize the society she’s drawn for us in cruel focus. Her heros and heroines to this point are very worthwhile characters and we will find ourselves holding our breath as they face perils that we only have nightmares about. Her co-starring characters are many and varied, some we will befriend, cheer for and cry with. And some are so vile that we will fear with bone chilling dread. The love stories are wonderfully written and while not ecclesiastically accurate I’m sure, she gives us a very human look at some very heavenly bodies and does it with sensuality and corporeality. Her love scenes are hot, spicy and she puts them on the sizzle burner, while making them incredibly sweet.
You will love this series, you will love getting to know her characters and you will chill at her new world order. If you are a lover of paranormal romance, of apocalyptic stories or if you just love a great romance. Give this trilogy a try. The next novel is due out in October 2010 and will be called Rebel. Put it on your wish list. Also try her paranormal romance series starring the Pyr, a shapeshifting dragon species sworn to protect Earth and her humans, this is written in her other pen name of Deborah Cooke.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review of The Killing Edge

The Killing Edge
Heather Graham
379 pages
Heather Graham’s the Killing Edge is a gritty, edgy thriller of a romantic suspense.
10 years ago in the Miami area Chloe Marin was one of four who survived the bloodbath that became known as “The Teen Massacre”. Chloe now a psychologist is working part-time as a swimsuit model when a young model goes missing, she thinks maybe the girl just ran off until she starts seeing her ghost. The girl’s parents and friends are sure it’s foul play. In steps expatriate from England and PI in the States with demons of his own, Luke Cane is working undercover as a swim wear designer to find out what happened to the girl. But strange things are happening and Chloe and Luke are faced with the possibility that what happened all those years ago hasn’t truly been resolved and have a lot to do with what’s happening now. They must learn to trust each other, but can they trust the attraction that’s too all consuming between them and can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to find a future.
Heather wows us with her story line/plot that’s just believable enough to have her readers wondering about the validity of the paranormal aspect of the tale. Her dialogue is a mix of urban chic with a liberal dose of cop speak and a dollop of evil doer babbling, but enough of everything so that your attention is raptly kept. Her hero Luke and heroine Chloe are equally troubled souls and intimately enough known by our author that we readers can identify, empathize and sympathize with them. Heather’s supporting cast of characters is a motley crew of models, religious fanatics, concerned parents, friends and loved ones and the story benefits from every one. Plus you’ll get a reunion with the Harrison Agency members from her other works of paranormal fiction. Her romance is an integral part of her story and readers will see it blossom and bloom before their eyes. They will experience the joys and pitfalls of our hero and heroine. The love scenes are hot and spicy and while not leaving much to the imagination she makes them tender and sweet.
Do you like a healthy dose of terror in your romantic suspense, great characters wonderful scenery and dastardly villains. If so this is your next must read.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review of Caught

Harlan Coben
Penguin Group
400 pages

Harlan Coben’s Caught is a magnificent thriller with more who-done-it’s than you can shake a stick at.
During an investigation for her expose TV show reporter Wendy Tynes has uncovered yet another child predator. This man Dan Mercer has ties in the local community where three months prior a teenaged girl went missing without a trace. As the hammer begins to fall and justice served things start happening that make her question the case and the perpetrator up to this point. There’s something rotten in New Jersey the roots of which are far and wide, but to get to the truth Wendy must soul search to find the answers, is she willing to get there no matter the cost, especially when the cost is personal.
Harlan Coben is a masterful storyteller as proven by this spine tingling can’t stop page turning thriller. He brings us a tale of a parent’s worst nightmare right from the front pages of newspapers all over the world, and then he ups the ante by taking his readers on a roller coaster adventure ride where the dips and turns are as dangerous as they are entertaining, where he has you constantly wondering “Who-Done-IT”. He uses dialogue that informs us and entrances us, that scares us and gives us hope. His star character Wendy is a complicated and complex woman, one you’ll spend time deciding whether she’s friend or foe, but believe me it’ll be time well spent. His supporting characters, all memorable are so intricately important to the story that you’ll find yourself intimates with each one, some you’ll cheer and some you’ll curse but all you’ll never forget.
Be prepared to be wowed as you get enmeshed in a web that just keeps getting bigger the farther you read, be prepared to be entertained with nail biting tension and edge of your seat excitement, be prepared to be wowed when you reach the pinnacle. But most of all be prepared to spread the word of this must read and Number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
This book will make you think, make you cringe, and make you mad, but above all this book will make you glad you read it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eternal On The Water
Joseph Monninger
Simon & Schuster
359 pages

Joseph Monninger gives us a poignant love story. A story of hello. A story of good-bye. A story of life with all its joys and sorrows. It’s like a haunting melody that stays with you long after the song is over.
Eternal on the Water is a love story. A story of how a remarkable couple deals with a terrible and too often fact of life. Mr. Monninger is a wonderful storyteller which is evident by his flowing prose like dialogue filled with myths, folklore and stories forever told around a campfire, and interspersed with thoughts and quotes from the likes of Thoreau, Steinbeck and Darwin. He gives us wonderful picturesque scenes of wilderness glories from Main to Yellowstone to a brief stint on a quaint island in Indonesia. His characters are all three dimensional, all incredibly in depth and all wonderfully portrayed. His hero John and heroine Mary are exquisite examples of his skill as an author as he unwinds their lives for our reading pleasure.
This is an exceptional piece of literary fiction, one that’s destined to become a beloved classic enjoyed by generations of readers. As heart wrenching as it is to read this amazing story I will always come away from it with the thought of an eternal optimist who turned the lemons of life into lemonade.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review of The Postmistress

The Postmistress
Sarah Blake
Penguin Group
326 pages
The Postmistress is Sarah Blake’s debut novel. A literary masterpiece set in pre WW11 America she gives us a glimpse of what life was like. She gives us colorful and unforgettable characters as she takes us through war torn Europe and she does it with grace and style. She keeps you entertained while straining your emotions and pulling your heartstrings.
Sarah’s story is one that’s been told a thousand times, a story about life just before and during WW11, but she throws in a twist, a twist called fate and what happens when fate is challenged. And that twist makes this plot so unique. She takes us on a journey with her wonderful descriptive dialogue. She is an amazing storyteller and her words took me to those places from her book and I could see the aftermath of bomb stricken London and pre WW11 small town USA. But what she surely excels in is her characters who are all so well defined and developed that they actually appear three dimensional to me. She takes us right to the heart of her story and shows us faces of the forgotten in Europe and let’s us hear their voices. She has strong women characters and shows us just what they’re made of. It’s a tale of love and loss, of heartache and heartbreak, of friendship, cruelty and hate, hopelessness but most of all hope.
So come on a trip through time and experience this wonderful, dynamic and unforgettable read for yourself. It’s a must read for all lovers of recent historical fiction, lovers of literary fiction and those of us who love all that plus an unforgettable read.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the First Look program at B& and was able to discuss this wonderful novel with the author and her editor. It's a great experience and I urge all of you to sign up to participate. Check it out here: