Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review of Savor the Danger by Lori Foster

Savor the Danger
Lori Foster
416 pages
ISBN 13: 9780373775828
Savor the Danger is the third and final novel in Ms. Foster’s Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. A definite must read.
Even though Alani Rives endured a horrific ordeal during her abduction and captivity by human traffickers she is slowly returning to society and her determination to not just survive but thrive sends her into the arms of the one man she can’t seem to get out of her system and although their first encounter is explosive, something is very wrong when the morning after comes around.
Jackson Savor is an enigma, even to himself but there’s one thing he knows and that is that he wants Alani with an intensity that borders obsession, when he wakes up to find a sated and warm Alani in his bed he should be flying high, and he would, if he could just remember how she got there. There is something rotten at work here and now Alani and Jackson need answers and they’re determined to get them by any means and if that means staying attached at the hip, well, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.
Lori Foster ends her trilogy with the charged romance of Alani and Jackson. She mixes a naïve Alani with the very sexual and outspoken Jackson and we the readers get to watch the sparks flare into flames. She leads us through her plot of the inhumanity we are capable of in the name of money, revenge and power and what happens when there are men who care enough to try to stop it. In this we find the two characters most unlikely to succeed doing just that in spite of their differences and at times because of them. To help them we have the incomparable characters from her previous two novels who will provide added action and excitement. The romance is improbable but her readers will find themselves cheering them on throughout the whole novel. The love scenes are far from meek and the author will definitely push the envelope on sensuality, but as a hard core romance fan, I found the scenes truly matched and enhanced the characters.
If you haven’t read the other two in this trilogy you really should as they will fill in all the blanks you’ll have if this is your first visit with these unforgettable characters.
Be sure to watch for Arizona’s Storm in 2012, it stars characters that you will meet and not forget in this novel.
Thank you Ms. Foster for another unforgettable tale.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review of Only Mine by Susan Mallery

Only mine
Susan Mallery
384 Pages Publish date July 26, 2011
ISBN 13:9780373775880

Only Mine is book one of the Fools Gold Hendrix triplets trilogy, be sure to look for Only Yours in September and Only His is October.

Fools Gold California has had its share of publicity ever since the news hit that there was a man shortage and not all of it’s been positive. Now Fools Gold has another situation caused by it’s fame, it’s become the host of a television reality show called True Love or Fools Gold and Fools Gold native Dakota Hendrix was handed the job of overseeing the city’s interest during the filming and broadcast of the show.
Finn Anderssen of tiny South Salmon Alaska followed his twin younger brothers to Fools Gold after learning they’ve left college to enter this Fools Game in Fools Gold and he’ll do anything to convince them to come home including becoming part of the production team which has Dakota beating her head against a wall trying to waylay this handsome Alaskan’s plan to sabotage not just the show but maybe her heart as well.

Susan Mallery takes us back to her fictitious town of Fools Gold California where they may be short of men but they’re long on stories to tell about it. In this episode she gets her storyline straight from the boob tube and the ever popular concept of reality television mixed with a dating game show and she does an exceptional job of it by mixing humor with an emotional tale. She tells her story with easy to understand dialogue that will have her audience laughing one minute and scratching their heads the next and the scenes she describes will pop into your minds eye with vivid detail. Her characters are intimated to her readers by the author’s unique ability to make real people out of fictional ones. Her hero Finn is a larger than life Alaskan frontiersman pilot that will have all the girls swooning and her heroine Dakota is a familiar face to those of us who are fans of this series only we get to see her from a very different angle in this instillation by seeing her in a vey personal light. The romance is from the beginning doomed and we will all revel to see how the author brings to fruition this couple’s HEA. But don’t expect smooth sailing because this duo will bump and slip their way into love. The love scenes are perfect for summer because you’ll need the fan speed turned up and the ice refreshed in your drink as you read the very hot and spicy lovemaking.

If you’re an old fan of this series this one will only endear you more to the life and times of these enigmatic residents and if this is your first visit to Fools Gold I have an idea that it won’t be your last.
If you like the Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs or the Virgin River series by Robin Carr you will love this series.
Ms. Mallery I can’t wait for your next episode in Fools Gold.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review of Storm Kissed by Jessica Andersen

Storm Kissed
Jessica Andersen
Peguin Group
480 pages
ISBN 13: 9780451233752

Snake (Dez) Mendez has not had a charmed life, he’s survived the massacre at  Skywatch that took not only his family but most of the Nightkeepers, an ancient race who’s duty it is to protect the earth and prevent the apocalypse the end date will precipitate if the beings of the underworld have their way. He’s battled not only being orphaned but also being stuck with a winikin ( a protector and servants of each of the particular noble blood lines of Nightkeepers) who’s lost his mind, so Dez does the only thing he can, he heads out on his own, to the mean streets of Denver where he becomes a street thug.
Reese Montana had no choice but to runaway from an abusive step-father when her mother chose to believe him over her, she finds herself alone on the streets and becomes prey to monsters worse than what she left at home, but Dez see’s something in her that sparks his protective streak and together they form a duo that lasts years, until he breaks her heart  by choosing the wrong side. Fast forward ten years and Dez has found his Nightkeeper brothers and sisters and has chosen this time to fight on the side of the good-guys, but he’s mysteriously disappeared and the Nightkeepers hire private detective Reese Montana to find him not knowing their history. There’s more than meets the eye when Reese and Dez team up  to go against their enemies, but Reese isn’t sure she can trust him, with her heart or with her life.

Jessica Andersen has given us a whopper of an urban fantasy series where she combines fact with fiction by giving us a plot that comes straight out of Mayan history where she uses their Gods, their legends and their Lights Out date as well. She accomplishes this with very urban dialogue where the men and women of her series have no trouble swinging swords or four letter words, but I never found them offensive as I truly feel they compliment the storylines. Her characters are either straight out of your best dream mixed with those of your worst nightmares. Her hero Dez and heroine Reese are no boy and girl next-door duo, no they’re gritty, don’t mind getting their hands dirty or bloody. Their romance is a study in complications and obstacles and from the first page she’ll have her readers wondering how they’ll ever pull of their HEA. Will they, well my friend you only have to read to find out. The love scenes are visceral, sensual and as earthy as her characters.

If you need a good summer read to help get your pulse racing and your temperature spiking you’ll find that and more in this. The story stands on it’s own, but it might be confusing if you haven’t read the series the background on not only the characters but how the whole reuniting of these super-heros came about.
Ms. Andersen, I know this series is starting to wind down and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your next couple, but I also find myself wondering what world you’ll take us to when this one is finally saved, or will you save it.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview with Award Winning Journalist and Author Hank Phillipi Ryan

For those of you who don't know General Fiction at B& will feature in August the first of the Charlotte McNally series and the wonderful author Hank Phillipi Ryan will be joining us to graciously answer questions and just hang out with us for the whole month. It's not too late to join in the fun grab the book and check out the reading schedule here, it'll be great fun.
Here's the interview that Hank was so nice to let me conduct

Debbie - Hank, first of all welcome to General Fiction and thank you for being here this month while we feature your first novel Prime Time.

Debbie - Okay first question why does a nice multiple Emmy, Edward R Murrow and other award winning news reporter want to write a mystery novel.

Hank - Ah! Thank you for saying I’m nice. There are a lot of people—some now in prison, in custody, or otherwise generally unhappy—who do not think I am so nice! In fact, when people meet me after seeing me on TV, they sometimes say, hey, you’re smiling! Because on the air I’m tough and confrontational. But Debby, you know the truth.
Anyway, mystery novels.  I’ve always wanted to write mysteries, since I was—gosh, old enough to read about Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames and then Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. I loved trying to find the clues and uncover the secrets and solve the puzzle.  I was a bookish kid, a loner, a reader, unpopular and geeky. (Before geeky was cool.) So being involved in a mystery was my way of having adventures.
When I grew up (?) and went into politics and then journalism—well, that’s kind of detective-y isn’t it? You’re still looking for clues and tracking documents and following leads. And I’ve loved it for all these years. Still do. I often think my best TV story is just right around the corner.
But mystery writing was still in the back of my mind.  Problem was, I never had a good idea for a plot.  Which, obviously, is a problem.
But then one day I got this weird spam in my email. And I opened it by mistake. It was clearly a spam, and the subject line was something about mortgage refinancing. But in the body of the email there were what looked like lines from what looked like a play by Shakespeare. So I stared at it for a while. Baffled. Intrigued. Thinking--why would there be lines from a Shakespearean play in what clearly is a spam about mortgage financing?
And then…I thought. Bingo. My plot! The plot I’ve been looking for, all these years! (I get goosebumps now, telling you about it. I remember the moment it so clearly.)
And that was Prime Time.    Which as you know won the prestigious Agatha Award for best first mystery! Became the first in a series of Charlotte McNally Mysteries. And it changed my life.

D - Is Charlie McNally you?

H -Ah. I’ve spent the last several years denying Charlie is me. Fine. Fine. Here in the privacy of this interview, I’ll say it. She’s me. What can I tell you?

 Like Charlie, I’ve wired myself with hidden cameras, confronted corrupt politicians and  chased down criminals. I’m a veteran journalist who’s worried about the job security of a career in television, and also about what happens when you’re married to a career in television and the camera doesn’t love you anymore. All true. Fine.

And, in trying to write an authentic and genuine story about a TV reporter who solves murders, it would be silly to ignore all my experience and experiences.

But I’m also not Charlie. She makes decisions I might not make. She’s a good and fearless driver. She’s single, I’m happily married.  I’m older than she is. I’ve been a TV reporter for more than 30 years so it seems to be (knock on wood) working out.   I’ve never been in a gun battle in an airport hangar. Yet.  Or involved in a high-speed chase. (Well, wait, yes I have.)

D -Tell us how your duo careers are similar and how they’re different.

H -Deadlines. I’ve learned do much about writing mysteries by making deadlines—and I know my years in journalism have made me respect them.

 Can you imagine if I told my boss— “I’m not feelin’ the muse today. Could I be on the news at ten after six, instead of six? Or better, could I have another week to work on this?” I’d be toast, instantly. So I learned there’s no such thing as writers’ block, and no room for procrastination, and no time for mulling things over. I just—-do it. And now, as an author, I have the glorious joy of being able to edit and revise.

There’s a huge been-there-done-that element to the books—I’ve worked in disguise, been stalked, and threatened and had many a door slammed in my face. I’ve had people confess to murder, and others, from prison, insist they were innocent.  So when that happens to Charlie, it’s fair to imagine me. Although the plots are completely from my imagination, those are real-life experiences. 
 Counterfeit merchandise, the essence of AIR TIME, came from my experiences covering that world and working with the Secret Service and police departments and TSA, as well as my own undercover work. I've had people confess to murder, and convicted murderers insist they were innocent--that's the key to FACE TIME. And the real-life big-money conflicts in the financial world I've covered for TV--that's what's behind PRIME TIME.  

 We've done lots of stories about car recalls--the pitfalls and the dangers, and what can happen that allows people to be driving dangerous cars. So I know the inside scoop on how recalls work--and what may be wrong with your car at the very moment, and why you may not know it-- and all that comes in to play in DRIVE TIME.
 The books aren't fact-made-fiction--but it's been wonderful to be able to use these real-life experiences as stepping off points.
 But the key--in television and in fiction--is to tell a good story, right? With compelling characters, and an important conflict, where the good guys win, and the bad guys get what's coming to them. Makes no difference if you're making it up, or reporting the facts. It's all about the story. 

D - SO what’s coming up for you?

H -Well, this is SO exciting. I’m about to debut a brand new fabulous wonderful —new thing.  (Charlie is not going away..she’s just on vacation.)  But I can’t wait to introduce you to THE OTHER WOMAN. It’s a suspense thriller  that’ll be out next year from Forge Books.
THE OTHER WOMAN is the fast-paced story of a disgraced Boston reporter tracking down the secret mistress of a political candidate! And of a Boston cop tracking a possible serial killer.  The two soon suspect they may be on the trail of the same person.  Jake and Jane have their personal conflicts--and one big secret they share: they're mad for each other, but if anyone finds out, it’ll kill their careers. Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and barrage of final twists—as one character says: “You can choose your sin, but you cannot choose your consequences.” Seduction, betrayal and murder—it’s gonna take a lot more than votes to win this election.

I’m so excited! (oh, I said that…)
I’m also off to Bouchercon to cheer on DRIVE TIME as an Anthony nominee for best paperback original. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about that. (And I’m the only woman who is nominated!) Will I see any of you at Bouchercon?
I’m also teaching in the Mystery Writers of America’s MWA University—a fantastic day-long series of classes for people who are interested in writing books of their own. We’re doing them all over the country—other teachers include Megan Abbott, Jessie Lourey, Julie Smith, Hallie Ephron, David Morrell, Reed Farrel Coleman, Dan Stashower and many more! So check  MWA website for info . We may be coming to your town—wouldn’t that be great?

D -What’s the one place you’ve never been that you would like to journey to.

H - Narnia. Okay, kidding. Well, not really kidding. And Lyra’s world in Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. And Nick and Nora’s Manhattan. Oh, okay, fine.  You want me to name a real place.
Venice.  (Italy, not California.) I’ve loved Tuscany, and Rome and Florence, and Siena. But we haven’t been to Venice. And might as well go to Milan, too, right? SHOPPING!,

D -Tell us all something that would surprise us about you.

H -I’m very very very shy. Truly.  (Does that surprise you?)

Visit Hank’s website here
Hank blogs at Jungle Red
And at Femmes Fatales

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review of Lamentation by Ken Scholes

Ken Scholes
421 pages
ISBN 13: 9780765360918

Lamentation is the first book in the Psalms of Isaak series
 Windmir is gone, the once Golden City the center of culture, education and religion is nothing but smoke, ash and bones. What or who caused this terrible desolation, and most important why. The devastation will bring out the best and the worst in people, some will rise to and above their potential and some will slither away, some will shine and some will show their true tarnish, some will live and some will die, but all will never forget. There are schemes at work here and it’s up to a chosen few to not only protect what is left but to prepare for the future, a future with more questions than answers, more doubt than hope, more fear than resolve. But these are the peoples of The Named Lands and they’re made of strong stuff and they’ll need to be to make it from their Lamentation to a Canticle.
Ken Scholes is a luminous voice in a genre of plenty, a relatively new voice and yet one so versed in his own new world that it seems they’ve been around for ever. This is not my first reading of Lamentation, I was lucky enough to get at ARC of the third in the series Antiphon and to give it what it deserves I read the first two in the series first. I was literally blown away by the creation of this semi-familiar and yet very foreign world and it’s people. It was familiar in the language and objects and so I didn’t have to learn a whole other vernacular, but the landscape was total make believe and he instilled the views in my mind with his narrative. Then there were his characters, most human with one very special metal man, the man of the hour Isaak who’s humanistic compassion set him far above his compatriots and other humans in the tale. His human characters are as diverse as the world they live in but they are all eloquently detailed and we readers will get all the in-depth information on them we need to make the read more enjoyable.
Lamentation is a love story, it’s a mystery, it’s a thriller and it’s filled with vivid imagery that highlights the author’s creative genius. If you’re a fan of Science Fiction you will love this, but that’s not a pre-requisite to enjoy this novel and the novels that follow.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review of Heart of Evil by Heather Graham

Heart of Evil
Heather Graham
384 pages
ISBN 13: 9780778329985
Heart of Evil is the second in the Krewe of Hunters series

Ashley Donegal is used to history, her family home and history are a big part of the Civil War, but when a re-enactment turns deadly and it looks like the perpetrator is targeting the Donegal family Ashley and her grandfather turn to the pros- Adam Harrison’s crack FBI team dubbed “Krew of Hunters”, created to investigate crimes out of the ordinary. Jake Mallory takes a very personal interest in Ashley’s case, he and Ashley go way back and their parting was less than favorable when it became apparent that Jake had a link to the other side and Ashley just couldn’t handle it. But he would do anything to keep Ashley safe, they may not have parted friends but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still love her.

Fans of Ms. Graham will recognize Adam Harrison from some of her previous paranormal novels and those of us who read the first in the series “Phantom Evil” will see the new FBI team on the case once again. The storyline could be read in any newspaper or TV headline in the Big Easy where woo-woo rules and is more normal than normal. Her dialogue is easy to read and will pull you right into the tale and keep your there. Her characters are all compelling and an integral part of the story. Her hero Jake is decisive and a take action kind of guy who’s not afraid to let his emotions come to the surface regarding his feelings for his leading lady. The heroine is a true Southern Belle, with all the strength and moxi it takes to fit that role. The romance is a fan favorite and mine too of second chances, do they get it right, stay tuned to find out. The love scenes are hot, sensual and sexy.

Spend sometime in the Big Easy, slow down the pace but turn up the heat with a romantic suspense with just a touch of the otherworldly. If you like ghost stories, Civil War Stories or a mystery that’s a bit macabre you’ve come to the right tale.
Thank you Ms. Graham for another interesting and entertaining trip.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review of Baby Come Home by Stephanie Bond

Baby Come Home
Stephanie Bond
336 pages
ISBN 13: 9780778329947

The Armstrong brothers after serving their country have come home to their tornado ravaged Sweetness Georgia committed to rebuild the town. But after hiring scores of men to do the work it’s become obvious that without women the men won’t stay. Kendall Armstrong uses this reason to lure his former sweetheart Amy Bradshaw back home. He’s never forgotten or gotten over what he and Amy shared. With this in mind he puts an ad for single pioneer minded women to come to Sweetness to help reshape the town, he places that ad in the newspaper where Amy just happens to live Broadway Michigan. But his plan backfires because Amy doesn’t arrive with the women from up north. Brother Marcus secretly knows Kendall’s intentions and also knows Amy is now an engineer, so he makes her an offer that’s hard to refuse.
Amy Bradshaw left Sweetness Georgia and never looked back, because the only thing she ever loved about the place didn’t want her, Kendall Armstrong. She’s worked hard and sacrificed much to be the woman she is today. The only regret she’s had is that she can’t seem to get over Kendall and it doesn’t help when she’s got something to remind her of him constantly. Now there’s a chance to go back and see him again and she’s not sure where it will lead.

Stephanie Bond gives us book two of her Southern Roads trilogy with Kendall’s story a story of second chances, of misguided feelings and missed opportunities. She fills in the plot with tidbits from the first book and adds to it this captivating love story. She does this with narrative that will let you see in your minds eye the mountains, the terrain and the developing new town of Sweetness. Her characters are enigmatic as well as diverse in culture and status and she brings them all to life with her words. Her hero Kendall is a thoughtful, kind and complex man who feels with all his heart even when the words won’t come. Her heroine Amy is a combination of strong woman and fragile female and competent professional. The romance is fraught with holes bigger than the tornado left and we the readers will get to see them fall in and sometimes cross over those pitfalls. The love scenes are sensual and visual and I think any romance lover will love them as long as you remember to turn on the fan before reading.

If this is your first trip to Sweetness have no fear it reads well as a stand-a-lone, but why deny yourself the whole story get Baby Drive South and then wait just a few more weeks for Baby Don’t Go.
Thank you Ms. Bond for an inspiring and entertaining read.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review of The Creed Legacy by Linda Lael Miller

The Creed Legacy
Linda Lael Miller
384 pages
ISBN 13: 9780373776009

Bad Boy, fearless but far from rootless Brody Creed has come home to Lonsome Bend to roost for good. After years of separation from his kin he’s got a future to plan and a past to make up for and with the help of the family who loves him still and always and one special woman he just may just complete “The Creed Legacy”.
Carolyn Simmons has been left before, first by her mother and then by the only man she’s ever entrusted her heart to, Brody Creed. Well now he’s back and he’s staying and he’s making it clear he wants another chance. Well run she won’t, Lomesome Bend is the only place that’s ever felt like home. So bring it on Brody, she’s a big girl now and she’s staying too. Is the town big enough for both of them or will one have to cut their losses and leave.

Ms. Miller has cowboy romance down to a science and her equations always mean some jean wearing, horse riding boy will go after and get his girl. In this novel she continues the story of The Creeds of Lonsome Bend Colorado and she takes off where Conner’s story ended with the long lost son Brody. How she makes these characters seem so down to earth is a mystery as they’re usually larger than life and rich beyond means, but she makes them humble but never meek and someone you might just run into at the local diner or Cattleman’s dance. She does this with her decisively western drawly dialogue fully equipped with ma’am, shucks and the like, but in doing so she really brings the west alive for her readers, with the country manners mixed with home on the range narrative where the cowboys and cowgirls don’t mind slinging a few four letter words along with the hay. Where the scenery is an equal star with the characters. And the characters will all dig themselves deep into the audiences heart. Her hero Brody is a complex man with a heart of gold that he disguises behind his rough attitude. Her heroine Carolyn is every readers idea of the perfect combination of beauty and brains with the saddest of tales to tell. The romance is my favorite, second chances and the author takes that extra step to make this one memorable by putting in all the mistakes they must overcome from the past. The love scenes are not tame, there’s no mask for these very earthy scenes that are intense and adult and very well done.

So come back to the higher elevation and continue the story of this prominent, enigmatic and very prolific family brought to us by one if not the greatest author of contemporary western romance, and don’t forget she writes a mean historical western romance too.
Thank you Ms. Miller for another exciting adventure staring characters that I will remember long after the last page is read. 
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review of Quinn by Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen
St. Martin’s Press
384 pages
ISBN 13: 9780312651213

Quinn is the second of Iris Johansen’s trilogy about Eve’s search for her daughter Bonnie and it is full of hard hitting action and a thriller that you’ll not soon forget. In this story we learn about Joe Quinn right from the moment he met Eve after the disappearance of Bonnie, she takes you deep into the psyche of a distraught woman fighting between hope and despair that her daughter would still be found alive but knowing it's not likely. She also gives us clues to the mystery and brings us ever closer to the final detail that will solve this crime and she shows us how one of the greatest love stories on paper began and was nurtured to the extent we see it today. She does this with her no-nonsense dialogue filled with emotion that her readers will feel from the wrecked Eve to the determined Joe and all the other characters as well. Her characters are old friends to many of us, so much so that we have formed a sotto friendship with them, but have no fear if this is your first foray into this series she also gives you enough background to feel secure in your knowledge. Her main protagonists Eve and Joe are enigmatic and complicated people who through all the trials in their life together have grown into a life-force that no one can break and the romance although far from new still grows in depths that many of her fans will aspire to.
So come along on this second journey to finally find the answers behind Bonnie Duncan’s disappearance learn along with all her fans what really happened and know that in just a few months with the release of Bonnie we will finally have all the answers. Even though this reads well on it’s own, I suggest that you read Eve first where the author tells us the story behind Eve Duncan, where she came from and how she got to be the woman she is today, then go back even farther and start the whole series you won’t be sorry you did.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here and while there read her interview about this trilogy and where she goes from here.
Thank you again Ms. Johansen for another wild ride for my emotions and my heart, I’m anxiously waiting and at the same time sad for the publication of Bonnie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review of Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

Joy For Beginners
Erica Bauermeister
269 pages
ISBN13: 9780399157127

A group of friends amassed over the years by circumstance with as much diversity as similarities jump over one more hurdle in life. The conquering of Breast Cancer is no small feat and the journey not solitary, so on the night of her victory dinner Kate gives each of the friends that brought her to this destination the gift of a challenge. Each challenge is designed especially for it’s recipient, and like many gifts not always appreciated at the time of it’s giving. At the onset these women view completing their challenge only to appease their friend, but in the act of doing, each of them will learn something about themselves that otherwise might have stayed hidden. So while Caroline, Marion, Daria, Hadley, Sara and last but not least Ava begin their personal adventure Kate will go on one of her own.

Erica Bauermeister might be a new author to me but by the end of the first chapter she was a new acquaintance and by the end of her tale a life long friend. I absolutely loved her storyline and being a woman it became very personal to me and as I read it my view of life and friendship changed and deepened. Her use of beautiful descriptive prose in her narrative made me smile and also increased my enjoyment of the read and I found myself looking intently for the next adventure in the novel and how the author’s creative words would describe it, I was never disappointed. Her characters are made even more special by the mere fact of their everydayness, their next door neighborness and their best friendness and I found myself jealous of their camaraderie and even their anger over their particular challenge at it’s giver. I also found each of the characters portrayed so well that by the end of the novel I was tempted to go out and greet them myself in my own hometown.

My challenge to you is to not only read this novel but to revel in the friendship, share in the joy and lend a shoulder in their sorrows, to not be afraid to try something new and maybe just a little frightening, but most of all to be the best friend you can possibly be.
If you cherish beautifully written women’s fiction this is a novel that has to be on your must read list.
Thank you Ms. Bauermeister for an incredible trip and I plan to take another one with you very soon.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On Stay-Cation

That's right folks I'm on vacation this week of July 4th and although I would love to bring you all the reviews I've been working on throughout the week I'm still stuck in the land of dial up connectivity here at home and like so many others I've become accustomed to the mind set of "right here right now". So I'll just tell you to pretend that's me on the left doing what I love the most in the world and will return with a armload of wonderful reading experiences to share with all my friends starting next Monday. So until then Happy Reading!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review of Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer

Kindred Spirits
Sarah Strohmeyer
Penguin Group
304 pages
ISBN 13: 9780525952220

With many things in common it’s understandable how “The Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis” came to be for Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth and Carol when on a fateful PTA meeting night they became friends and eventually confidantes. It’s with a heavy heart that Lynne celebrates her last Martini as she finishes the letters that will take her friends on a journey of discovery.
Mary Kay, Beth and Carol find it hard to complete Lynne’s last wish as they reel from her death. But the reeling isn’t done, in fact it’s just beginning. Lynne’s been keeping a secret one that will leave the remaining friends not only scratching their heads, but also running for the drink shaker. As they start on their trip of revelation they will not only learn more about Lynne but about themselves as well and not all of it’s good because Lynne isn’t the only one keeping secrets.
Sarah Strohmeyer is a new author to me and I found her storyline well thought out and presented and her dialogue easy to understand and flowing. I think what surprised me the most was that even though I found myself not liking two of the main characters I still couldn’t put the book down. It came to me then that, this is the mark of a good writer, one where even though you want to strangle the character you’re still driven to find out where the story leads you. And as we evolve as readers this is an important lesson to learn. So let’s talk about the characters, Ms. Strohmeyer does a great job of cultivating these women so that her audience feels they know them personally and I did as well and even though there were some choices that I had trouble with, isn’t that the way of life. She also paints a great picture of the co-stars so that by the end of the story I felt that I knew everyone very well.
So is this a love story, yes, but not as a romance. It’s a love of friends, of children and in the end a love of yourself, there is romantic love as well but it’s peripheral. It’s a great way to start the summer, it’s a Lucy and Ethel, a Golden Girls only younger, it’s a Thelma and Louise times two only not fatal friendship tale. It’s a lesson in life, a lesson in love and a lesson in the grace of absolution. So if you love any of these descriptions you will love this book and even if you don’t you’ll find it hard to put this away before it ends and you’ll find yourself going back to it again and again.
Thank you Ms. Strohmeyer for an enlightening read and I look forward to more of your work in the future.
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