Coming Up This Week…

I’ll be posting a review of Be Careful What You Wish For by Sibel Hodge later this week. In addition, I’ll review a book (or two) chosen from my personal stash of TBR books. I haven’t decided on the title yet as there are so many to chose from, where do I begin? 


I’m also pleased to announce a guest post for Monday, May 8th. Ms. Naomi Bulger, author of Airmail, will be providing us with a post on “The Case for the Novella.”


Happy reading until then…

Book 105: AIRMAIL by Naomi Bulger

Anouk is currently living in New York City and writes letters about her life, sent via airmail, to a complete stranger in Australia. Mr. G.L. Solomon is that stranger. He’s an elderly retiree and his life is centered around highly structured albeit empty days. This life of his is given a lift when he starts receiving letters from this strange woman in New York City. His life takes an unexpected turn when he the letters begin to state that they are being written from the “other side.”


There’s a bit of quirkiness and the strange woven into this tale that borders on paranormal or fantasy without quite taking the step fully into either of those genres. Ms. Bulger presents us with two lives, Anouk and Mr. Solomon, that seem incomplete without the other even though they don’t really know one another. They both seem to be biding their time and waiting for something miraculous to happen. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this story and was pleasantly surprised throughout my reading. This story kept me on edge, never knowing what was going to come with the next line or what the characters would do. If you’re looking for something different to read, then please add Airmail by Naomi Bulger to your list.




DISCLOSURE:  I received this book free from the author for review purposes. I was not paid, required nor otherwise obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 104: THE ART OF FORGETTING

Julia Ferrar and Marissa Rogers have been friends since their high school days in Michigan. Marissa is an editor for a health magazine and Julia is a publicist for a ballet company in New York. Their friendship survives quite a bit over the years, including an onerous boyfriend breakup in college at the behest of Julia. Now Julia is suffering from traumatic brain injury and isn’t the pivotal point in Marissa’s life. Julia returns to Michigan to recover and Marissa must find the nerve to move on in New York. Although you can’t go back in time, Julia’s return to Michigan brings an old love back into Marissa’s life. Will she be able to withstand Julia’s current machinations? Can they both move forward without reliving mistakes from their past? 


Marissa is, in many ways, the every-woman. She has moments when she is lacking in self-confidence and is sure that those last 10 pounds will allow her to feel more comfortable in her own body. She loves her current boyfriend but constantly wonders about the one that got away. It isn’t until Marissa begins to work as a mentor/coach in an after-school running program that she learns that self-confidence and self-esteem must come from within. I enjoyed reading about the self-discovery and self-awareness that evolves in both Marissa and Julia. I have to say that I didn’t really like Julia as a person or a friend. I thought she was too manipulative and insistent on getting her way no matter what. It’s as if she expects Marissa’s life to revolve around her needs, and this is before the brain injury occurred. However, without Julia there is no impetus for Marissa to challenge herself and move forward. This is not just a “feel good” read but an honest and insightful look at friendship. The Art of Forgetting is scheduled for release on June 9th.




DISCLOSURE:  I received this book free from the publisher through the early reviewers program at netGalley.com. I was not paid, required nor otherwise obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 103: BEG FOR MERCY

Megan and Sean Flynn are sister and brother that have survived losing their parents as children. Now they must survive Sean’s death penalty conviction for rape and murder. Megan knows that her brother is innocent but even Sean’s best friends have their doubts and attest to this in court. It doesn’t help that Megan’s boyfriend, Cole Williams, a detective on the Seattle Police Department, is the arresting officer. Sean finally gives up on the entire appeal process and is determined to stoically face the death penalty. Megan refuses to give up and knows that there is more to this murder than meets the eye. Just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, Megan’s juvenile advocate client comes across a dead body and Cole re-enters Megan’s life. Sparks fly between the two old lovers but is it love or hate? Will she uncover the truth in time to save Sean’s life? The clock is literally counting down…


Intrigue abounds in this romantic thriller by Jami Alden. Most of the thrills are centered around Megan’s amateur investigation into her brother’s conviction. Her investigation stumbles upon an underground prostitution ring with loose ties to a serial murderer and this provides most of the suspense. Megan’s actions are credible because most of us are willing to do whatever it takes to legally protect and fight for family. The romantic aspect of this thriller is only truly apparent in the beginning of the story with the burgeoning romance between Cole and Megan. Regrettably their romance dies a sudden and horrible death when he arrests her brother. The mystery and suspense aspects were somewhat predictable towards the end, but this did not detract from the overall storyline or my reading pleasure.


As a romantic thriller, this was a little light on the romance but the thrills were abundant. Ms. Alden has provided a well-written and quick read that I expect will be perfect for weekend or summer beach reading. Beg For Mercy is scheduled to be released on June 1st.





DISCLOSURE:  I received this book free from the publisher through the early reviewers program at netGalley.com. I was not paid, required nor otherwise obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 102: CLOSER THAN BLOOD

After numerous interruptions and several days of reading in 5-10 minute fits and spurts, I finally was able to read and finish Closer than Blood by Gregg Olsen. This is another fantastic mystery-thriller that leaves the reader trying to guess whodunit (or in this case who helped) until the final pages.


The reader is re-united with Detective Kendall Stark and her partner. They aren’t working a current case at the beginning of this story but are simply involved in the periphery. Why? Kendall feels that an evil and devious high school classmate, Tori, is more involved than just being the innocent bystander in her husband’s death. Tori’s twin sister, Lainie is the proverbial good sister and she also feels that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Is this another instance of Tori getting away with murder…literally and figuratively speaking?


I enjoyed the intrigue and mayhem that is unveiled throughout this story. There are times when Kendall’s investigation into the past and present seems to go off half-cocked but, trust me, it makes sense in the end. The theme that ties all of the little stories together seems to be what secrets are we all hiding and what lengths are we willing to go in order to protect those secrets. The characters might seem trite at first, good twin vs. evil twin, but Lainie, as the good twin, is not the perfect child or adult. She has her fair share of faults and weaknesses. However, Tori goes a long way in epitomizing the evil twin. She is so much more than a femme fatale, although she fits that role quite well. As the story unfolds, Tori becomes not only hated but reviled by the reader as well as the characters in the story. This feeling of camraderie with the characters is one of the things that makes Mr. Olsen’s writings so unique, in my opinion. I’ve read all of his fiction works and enjoyed them all and Closer Than Blood was no exception. A well-written and well executed mystery that brings thrills and chills.

Libraries and Kindle

For many who use an ereader, a sticking point in choosing an Amazon Kindle over a Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader was the ability to borrow library books. Well that has become a moot argument. The Amazon Kindle will now support borrowing ebooks from public libraries. Now if Amazon will only provide Kindle access to epub and PDF formats it truly will become the perfect ereader (IMHO).


Book 101 – Review: NEXT MOVE YOU’RE DEAD

Next Move You’re Dead is a mystery novel centering around Detective John Cooper as he investigates several seemingly unrelated crimes. He is working on the murder of numerous prostitutes around town. But a routine traffic stop results in the arrest of a prominent city councilman for these crimes. Why? His car has the body of the latest victim in the trunk. Later a well-known lawyer comes home to find his wife dead, apparently by suicide. Why? She has presumably found evidence that her husband is having an affair and rather than deal with it she is killing herself and their unborn child to torment her husband. The question arises just what do these crimes have in common and why is John being contacted anonymously to participate in this “game.”


When I first started reading this story, I thought I had it pegged as a mystery. However, the further I got into the story I realized that this was perhaps more of a mystery and a psychological thriller. I began to question whether John was truly being contacted by an anonymous task master or if he’s simply having a breakdown? Ms. Barton definitely keeps the reader wondering what’s going to happen next. One moment you’re cheering for John to succeed with his investigation and the next you’re hoping he gets the medical help he obviously needs. Ms. Barton has given us a well-crafted story with believable characters but… I wish I could put my finger on it, but there was just something about this story that just didn’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I found it intriguing and interesting while reading but as soon as I finished reading the story was completely forgotten. 






Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 100: Review PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

When I first read that this book involved the story of an angel, Gabriel or Gabe Horn, and demon, Lucifer or Lou Cypher, in Las Vegas, I thought “no way.” Then I began reading and thought “okay this might work.” Keith Darrell has provided a tongue-in-cheek, humorous read about this angel-demon duo in Paved with Good Intentions. They are both sent to earth to fulfill a mission and fail. Rather than dealing with the possible repercussions of their failure by returning to Heaven and Hell, they decide to stay on earth and head to Vegas.


I laughed while reading about the exploits of this dynamic duo. Their sexcapades result in Cory Evian and Violet Adams, a few others, being expelled from their dormitory, Eden Hall. Yes, that’s Adams and Evian being expelled from Eden. This is the action that causes Gabe and Lou’s decision to stay on earth and relocate to Vegas. While in Vegas their exploits continue, but this time Gabe and Lou are playing at being private investigators. They meet shamans, dreamwalkers, vampires and trampires, witches – Morgana le Fay and Samantha Twitch, and warlocks – Perry Hotter, Merlin and Mordred. 


I can appreciate any novel that makes me laugh and this made me laugh. Even better, Mr. Darrell evoked the desire to want to learn more about the characters and cheer them on during their exploits. The story slowed a few times with all of the action and subplots going on but it usually picked up again after a few pages. I may not be sure of how to classify this in terms of genre but I can definitely say I liked it. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”