Friday, December 30, 2016

Review of "The Nettle Tree"

The Nettle Tree claims to be a genre stretching collection of strangely different western stories. I agree, it certainly is that. Of the thirteen short stories in the anthology, I found interest in two. The Nettle Tree and Welcome, Stranger both tickled my sense of adventure, curiosity and were entertaining. Beyond those, the rest were stories one might chronicle with the episodes of The Twilight Zone. I have read several western and fantasy novels over the past couple of years, but nothing like this which I get was the point of the book. For all of you out there that enjoy stretching your imagination, this book is for you. 3 Stars

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review of "Good-Bye Russia Hello America"

Well written story about Russian Jews who came to America to start a new life. Nathan and Louis were the first and settled in New York, then came Jack, Rubin, and Mama Ida. Ida's oldest son, Yehuda stayed with his family in Brest. Jack married Bela and Rubin married Lota. All the boys were successful, then Jack was inducted to serve in the Army during WWII. He was sent to language school and served as a linguist. During his deployment in Europe, Jack met Vladimir, a holocaust survivor. During a three-day leave, Jack found Mosha Vinkovsky, a relative, at Buchenwald and hoped to take her to America. Vladimir and Mosha left for Italy instead, in hopes of making it Palestine. It was years later that the family learned that Vladimir and Mosha married and had a child. 4 stars

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review of "Consequences of Falling"

After a bitter divorce in Dayton, Ohio, Kimberly Young, aka Elizabeth Trent, returned to her hometown, Riverfield, Missouri. She signed on at the CYA Clinic to work as a psychologist and counseled Grace Benton. When Grace was abducted and found dead, her father, Peter Benton accused Kimberly of being involved and attacked her. She died shortly after the incident in a fiery car crash, then Peter was found by his boss, Ito, with his throat slashed in his home. Peter's co-worker at Shikata, Connelly Dunnerman was found by Ito in his office with an apparent heart attack. Were the deaths related? Was there a conspiracy at work? Sartori does a masterful job of keeping the truth from the reader until the very end. 5 Stars

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review of "High Plains Fort"

After a fight with his father, Justin Tolliver left their South Carolina plantation to make a new life out West. On his way, Justin stopped to say good-bye to the love of his life, Amelia and promised to send for her when he got settled. After taking some odd jobs on his way, Justin hooked up with the Bent brothers and was hired to run the store in their fort along the Sante Fe Trail. The fort was a haven for the wagon trains moving west and a place for the trappers and traders to do business. But the Comanche Indians provided a serious threat to the fort and its inhabitants. Holt proves again that she can spin a well-told western tale and one that's hard to put down. 4 Stars

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review of "from Stardust to Babylon"

This is a memoir, an extraordinary story and from my point of view, rather unbelievable. Amanda and Simon became lovers in their teens, but they couldn't live with the concept of love. Instead, they lived to hurt each other, him flaunting his new girls, and her marrying for the wrong reasons. Simon died at the age of thirty-seven, then Amanda began hearing Simon's voice, and even feeling his presence with her. It became a stumbling block in her marriage to Richard which ultimately ended in divorce. Amanda continued her journey in the metaphysical and related her experiences in the second part of the book. However, it is clear that Amanda has put a lot of thought and energy into writing her story. 2 Stars

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review of "Reverend Dumb"

The Brexit vote and the European Football Championship is the backdrop for this novel. During this period, a delegation of seven Chinese investors arrive to explore purchases. Deputy Director Caulfield of the British Security Services is assigned to interact with them. One of the delegation, Reverend Uhm is familiar to Caulfield from his days in Hong Kong, but there is something odd about his behavior. As the plot thickens, several members of the delegation die and Uhm, who doesn't speak much, spends most of his time away from his comrades. But there is a lot more going on in the story and Scantlebury does a nice job of mixing it all in. 4 Stars

Monday, December 5, 2016

Review of "Stone Angels"

College life is the backdrop for the story which is the complex psyche of Augustine Shaw. Shaw, Ben and Duncan share a room their freshman year, but Duncan becomes Shaw's nemesis and does everything he can to infuriate Shaw, including insulting his girlfriend, Lily. At a party one night, Lily has too much to drink and is egged on to drink more by Shaw. The result is death by alcohol poisoning, and Shaw blames himself. The testosterone-fueled feud continues and erupts in a fight behind a bar where Duncan is killed by some thugs after Shaw leaves him unconscious. Shaw accepts the blame for his death. Finally, on the ride home from the Florida Keys on senior spring break, Shaw finds the way to release the guilt and hopefully change his life. 4 stars

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review of "Outta Time"

This is an engaging and entertaining love story with a twist. Sophie is a psychic medium and animal communicator who also operates a small crystal shop named Otta Time. Nick is a contractor who specializes in renovations and new construction. Nick visits Sophie's shop to confront her about giving his mother guidance which he thinks is phony. The twist is the Guardian Angels that watch over the characters and who Sophie communicates with. As Lundgren spins her plot, the Angels guide Nick and Sophie in a delightful romance despite his non-believing and his present girlfriend. Try as they might to not interfere with the human's lives, the Angel's give a little shove just at the right time. 4 Stars    

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review of "A Person Broken"

In this sequel to Green Girl, Allanas was rescued from the King of Cessor, and taken to Pinnacles Aerie to tend to the dragon, Ja. She refused and soon was isolated and despondent until she met Jaleel. Jaleel sent Allanas and Vargus to Tanthanor to collect the dragon, Sathalor's bones and on the way, Vargus was attacked by a mountain lion. She nursed him back to health and became his mate. While in Tanthanor, she met Horatio who told her about all the things that happened in her absence and she was disappointed to find Mahbruk married. On their return, Vargus tried to teach Allanas how to use her magic to no avail. Again, feeling frustrated and alone, Allanas tried to commit suicide, then she suddenly discovered the truth. 4 Stars

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review of "Everybody has a Story...These are Ours"

This is a small book of short stories and some poetry, and the stories are engaging. I'm not a person who reads poetry, but there was one poem I especially liked on page 120. At first I felt that the words that formed the stories held a lot of power, but in the end I decided it was the voice that made me want to turn the pages. The voice was crisp, clear and delivered emotion both tough and tender and more than enough to permeate my thick skin. If you read my reviews you are sure to recognize this is a different one. If you're looking for a thumbnail, you are out of luck. My advice is, buy the book you won't be disappointed and you might even learn something about yourself when you hear the voice. 5 Stars

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review of "Bayou on Fire"

When the old courthouse in Plaquemine Parish caught fire there was a dead body found in one of the offices and newly promoted Detective Ginger Walker was assigned to investigate. The fire was proved to be arson and the dead body was that of a judge's clerk. When the autopsy was performed, it was discovered that Haik, the clerk, died before the fire from an injection of heroin and strychnine. As the investigation continued, Walker discovered ties between Scolone, a corrupt attorney, Karen a high priced call girl, Brady, a sheriff's deputy and Haik. She needed to connect the dots to prove who Haik's killer was and the motive. Moulton has written an easy to read mystery that will keep you turning the pages. 3 Stars

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Review of "Holmes, Volume 2"

"He lived in a ratty little flat, had no car, hardly any clothes and few friends, but in his mind he traveled the universe." This quote about Holmes is the underlying thesis of the novel. It's true that Holmes and Watson do solve cases in the story, but Small cleverly weaves the disorderly mind of Holmes into its very fabric. Holmes and Watson are cleared of bank theft, they find the missing Orb, they clear up old cold cases and Holmes suffers a mental breakdown. But the biggest foe is The Professor and ultimately Holmes' most dangerous challenge. Mystery and suspense abound here, but it's Small's dry British humor that keeps you reading on. 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review of "Matthew's Discovery"

This epic tale combines mystery, fantasy and ancient history. Pearle Sherapha, a wealthy archeologist, lost her daughter Oona to a mysterious accident in the lake on her property. She is now raising her grandson Matthew, and both have special ties to an ancient pyramid in Egypt's White Desert. When Oona's gold chain is discovered in the lake and the chain's medallion is found in the pyramid, McGee adds characters and spins the plot. There is a robbery at Pearle's estate, Matthew discovers fantasy creatures, they travel to the pyramid where a cave-in threatens loss of life. Now add Zara and Escursia, priestesses from the ancient world and you have a fierce battle for survival. There is a lot going on in this book which leads to Matthew's Quest. 4 Stars

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Review of "Jax' House"

Jack O'Hagan was thirteen when he moved to Tregenwyth from Stevenage with his parents. The minute he walked into the musty old house something creeped him out, it was like the house was haunted. After finding an old key in the basement, Jack began having episodes where he would be taken back in time. The things he saw and experienced made no sense and the old house seemed to have a life of its own. Kitchen works his magic combining the current time to that of the eighteenth century through a secret portal. But, it was Terry Blewett, Jack's friend that brings it all together when he introduced Jack to Bill Burney the previous owner of the old house. Don't miss out on this metaphysical mystery. 5 Stars

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review of "Hell Holes, Demons on the Dalton"

In this sequel to Hell Holes, What Lurks Below, Firesmith writes about the continuing war against the demons. Oswald, Martinez and Aileen O'Shannon drive out on the Dalton Highway in an effort to escape the pursuing demons. Along the way, they pick up two small children whose father was killed. They narrowly escape a forest fire and are rescued by the Army and flown to Eielson Air Force Base. At a high-level meeting at the base, a plan to attack the demons is formulated. The plan is to go into the hell holes and find the demons portal and attack them in hell. The ending seems to indicate there may be a third book in this series. 3 Stars  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Review of "Hell Holes, What Lurks Below"

Dr. Jack Oswald, a geology professor at the University of Alaska got an emergency call from Kevin Kowalski, an ExxonMobil manager. There were huge holes opening up on the tundra near Prudhoe Bay. Kowalski wanted Oswald's help identifying them as they threatened their oil wells and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Oswald, his wife Dr. Angela Marteniz, and two grad students, Mark and Jill Starr packed up their supplies and equipment, then flew to Deadhorse to investigate. What they found not only threatened the oil fields, but their lives also. Hellish creatures were coming up from the holes in an attempt to take over civilization as they knew it. Firesmith spins a devilish tale in this creative novelette. 4 Stars

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review of "Black Dawn"

Saul Climer, a depressed alcoholic and wannabe writer with a death wish is the protagonist. Antonella Rosario aka Pearla, a voodoo worshiper is the antagonist. Saul, after a drunken dream, awakens to find evidence that maybe what he experienced really wasn't a dream. His dreams take him to different places, interacting with different people even Pearla. As the plot thickens, Saul's dreams become more intense and Pearla goes on a killing spree with the help of a voodoo god, Kalfu. Blackwell serves up a supporting cast to enhance the narrative as well as time travel, mystery and murder. The ending may be a forecast of our future. 3 stars

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review of "The Radio Murders"

The detective story plays second fiddle to the lesbian sex in this novel, but don't let that keep you from reading this scintillating narrative. Someone is killing guys listening to deejay, Jasmine James, the Love Songs host on KLOV radio. Detective Nick Winston and his partner, Pat Strom of the Seattle Police Department are called in to investigate. Suddenly, James is missing and Winston is in a heated rush to find her. When James is pulled safe from an underground coffin and her kidnapper is locked away in jail, another murder takes place. As the search for the killer continues, James goes missing again much to Winston's chagrin. There are no subtle nuances here, just smack in your face anticipation and pleasure. 5 Stars

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review of "In Albuquerque, Abandoned"

Cinnamon and Burro are private investigators called to Albuquerque, New Mexico to help a schizophrenic man, Leon who hears a crying baby in a dumpster. They observe Leon search the dumpster and witness Officer Anderson draw his police weapon and order Leon to leave. As the investigation continues, Burro also schizophrenic, see visions that leads them in various directions and even to a murder. This clever mystery has lots of twists and turns and characters intertwined in the plot. Cinnamon is still searching for her mother and Burro has a love interest. The ending is a surprise, but it isn't what you might expect. Another good read from Lowe. 4 stars

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review of "Journey Home, A Cat's Tale"

When Patches was born, he had two sisters and a brother who were given away. Early on, his dad left and never returned, so it was just Patches and his mom. When the economy went bad, Patches was cast out from his abode and became homeless. For the next eight months, he was a vagabond wandering around trying to survive. He met and made a lot of friends, other cats, a dog, even three rats. Then one winter night he stepped into a steel trap in a dumpster. Two trashmen found him and took him to a vet. After surgery and a time of recovery, Patches, now known as Figaro, was adopted and renamed again as Stimpson. He spent the next nineteen years with that family and two other cats. It was very hard to put this well-written cat's tale down. 5 stars

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review of "Hi, My Name is Maryann"

This is a courageous account of the tumultuous marriage of Mary Ann and Eddie. Eddie was a sweet loving guy when he married Mary Ann, but he was raised in a hard-drinking family. Shortly after their honeymoon, Eddie's drinking problem grew and Mary Ann could tell it was trouble. Needless to say, it caused ups and downs in their marriage. At one point the stress on Mary Ann grew so high, she turned to gambling for appeasement. Wisely, Mary Ann took advantage of addiction support groups for help. Eddie's physical condition became grave and he needed a heart transplant to save his life. Eddie was a lucky man, he not only had a loving wife who never quit on him, he also got the heart he so desperately needed. 4 Stars

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review of "Travelers"

Complicated fantasy tale about a race of mermaids and mermen from the planet Kyra. The merpeople were sent to live in earth's oceans by Poseidon, the king of Kyra until the evil that threatened them was destroyed. The Stones of Power were the key that protected them, their leader and the way back to their planet. Triana, the protagonist, and Esmerilla, the antagonist matched wits and power as Esmerilla tried to gain all the stones and power for herself. Secrets are held close and slowly revealed as the plot expands. The ending is left open by the author to allow a second tale to be delivered in the future. 3 Stars

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review of "An Untimely Frost"

Pierce and Rose Wainwright, raised Lilly Long since her mother, Kate was murdered when she was eleven. Lilly married Timothy Warner and at the tender age of twenty-one, he robbed and left her. Lilly, an actress, decided to join the Pinkerton's so she could help other women who were afflicted by the despicable acts of men. Her first assignment was to locate Harold Purcell, the owner of Heaven's Gate. The Pinkerton's client wanted to buy the property which had been vacant for twenty years. What Lilly found during her investigation not only fulfilled her obligation to the agency, but to society by rendering justice for crimes committed by the Purcells. This well written period piece of 1881 displays the talents of an accomplished author. 5 Stars

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review of "Tracking a Shadow"

Jarvis Mann, a down on his luck private investigator, gets a call from a potential client. Emily White wants to hire him because she's being stalked, and Jarvis is happy to have the job. She suspects her ex-husband because he's done it before and so starts the story. As the plot expands, Jarvis meets some seedy characters and a possible long-term love interest during the investigation, but danger is lurking close by. Opus, a dog that Emily is watching for her neighbor is stabbed to death and Rickie, a stalking suspect is beaten to death to add to the mystery. But true to his potential, Jarvis is able to solve the case, much to Emily's chagrin. If you like an easy to read, action-packed detective story, this one is for you. 4 Stars

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review of "Union of Friends"

Travis Gibbs, a court reporter in Kansas City returned to his hometown of Riverfield, Missouri to try and prove his best friend's innocence. Union Miller was dead. shot and killed by Matt Martin after Union allegedly killed Matt's wife Patti. Sounds like an open and shut case, right? When Travis began poking around, Ally Richards, one of Union's old girlfriends joins him in the investigation. As the plot thickens, questions are raised and Sartori introduces sidebars that will have you asking yourself: What is really going on here? If you like mayhem. madness and murder, you're going to love this book and guess what? There is a real surprise on the last page. 5 Stars

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review of "Due Process"

Amanda Purcella had a perfect life, a wonderful husband, Tony and an amazing child, Jenny. When Tony was abducted and Jenny nearly abducted, she thought it was due to Tony's job. Tony, a criminal attorney had some dubious clients, but Amanda, aka Miranda Bell, had a past and it finally caught up with her. Miranda had testified against Samuel King, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison and now was out. He was determined to exact his own form of justice against her and the judge that put him away. Amanda decided the only way to save Tony and put her family together again was to face her persecutor face to face. Finch has written a nicely paced thriller that is sure to keep your head in the book. 4 Stars

Monday, September 19, 2016

Review of "Lost Family: Found!"

During World War II, a British girl, Heather Foster and a GI, Harrison Wheeler met and fell in love in England. When the war was over, Harrison sent for Heather, they were married and started a family. Heather was never really happy with her situation and eventually they got divorced. Years later, Kim their oldest son, got a letter from Anthony Leonard, residing in England, in search of his birth mother, Heather Foster. Thinking this could be a hoax, Kim contacted his older sister, Heather Nelson and that set the ball rolling. After research and discovery, the Wheeler family, Heather, Kim, Vance and Barrie realized that Anthony was their half-brother and that Kim was also. Heather Foster held her secrets close to her heart and lived a life of unhappiness for it. 3 Stars

Friday, September 16, 2016

Review of "Hero of My Dreams"

The peaceful planet of Arklardin is under attack by Dragoon from the planet Zahrbruk. King Dinaar dispatches four lieutenants to find a commander, somewhere in the universe, to train his troops and lead them into battle. Alex Freeman, a veteran of Vietnam is the man they convince to help. After many battles on Arklardin, the skilled force sends Dragoon's troops back to Zahrbruk. Alex falls in love and marries Princess/Science Officer Kumari and they have a daughter, Madilynn. Alex takes the war against Dragoon to Zahrbruk where Kumari is captured. The final battle is at Dragoon's Maagadi Castle where Alex rescues his love and the evil Dragoon is slain by his own men. This epic fantasy characterizes Pitts' ability to put his imagination into words. 4 Stars

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review of "The Perfect 36"

The American Revolution changed women's roles, but they were still considered Femme Covert, meaning they virtually had no rights. The first suffrage protest was held in Seneca, New York in 1848 and passed a dozen resolutions demanding equality. Two pioneers of the suffrage movement were Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but there were hundreds of others. On August 24, 1920, Tennessee's governor signed the 36th state ratification and gave women the vote. This book dramatically bespeaks the struggles of suffrage. Enduring protests, our nation continues its struggle for equality. 4 Stars

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review of "MS Madness"

In MS Madness, Yvonne gives us an in-depth analysis of what the disease can do, not only physically, but emotionally as well. But this is not a poor me story, well maybe just a little. An overactive bladder, chronic fatigue, depleted cognition and an inability to focus are some of the issues she faces with her Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Dealing with legal speed, a new computer system at work and massive doses of Vitamin D could make anyone crazy. Yvonne flexes her Humerus muscles and beats back those nasty symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis with her funny bone. She leaves two things perfectly clear, Free Cell Solitare is a tough game and MS sucks! 4 Stars

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review of "Holmes Volume 1"

Sherlock Holmes, modern day computer hacker, Dr. John Watson, his court appointed psychologist, and Detective Inspector Lestrade are the well developed main characters of Melvyn Small's amusing tale. The story begins when Holmes is approached by two FBI guys in search of a file, and ends with the capture of a sadistic killer. But, what's in between is the mastery of Small. The six short stories are well thought out and intertwined, leaving some queries answered and some left hanging. You'll delight to the quick wit, dry humor and quirky dialogue as Small thrusts his characters into each dilemma. In the last 42 months, I've read 337 books, and let me proudly say this one is in the top 10. Nice work Melvyn Small. 5 Stars

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review of "To Find One's True Self"

This is an amazing tale of the parallel universes, Earth, Eden, and Erebus. The sinister angel Lucifer, having been ostracized from Atlantis, moved between these universes and developed a plan to take over all the power in Erebus. Isaac Rooks and Jack Trailwalker, born at exactly the same time on Earth and Eden, switched universes when Lucifer created a secret portal vital to his plan. The benevolent angel Gideon facilitated Isaac and Jack's return to their original universe and Jack became Gideon's agent on Eden to thwart the evil angel's plan. Isaac and Jack were comfortable at last in their original universe, but Isaac had no memory of his time on Eden. Jack's knowledge of Earth was critical to Gideon's hope of banishing Lucifer to the outer darkness. 5 Stars

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review of "They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky"

When the war began in Sudan between government troops and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, people ran for their lives. Among them, the three boys contributing their stories in this book. They witnessed family and friends murdered, they suffered starvation, illness, and abuse. They walked, seemingly forever through the bush harboring wild animals, desert areas, and disease infested waterways to find some refuge. They spent years in refugee camps with no promise for a future, then finally a place in America opened up for them. The intensity of the pain they suffered can not be measured by the words in this book, and it's a miracle they survived, many didn't. The story is a tribute to the strength of their spirits. 4 Stars

Friday, September 2, 2016

Review of "Fire War"

Terrorist's declared Hariq Jihad (Fire War) on the free world. The United States and Canada formed the North American Union in an effort to squelch their efforts. President Meyers wanted Mexico to join the union, but while negotiations were going on, the Mexican president was killed by a sniper's bullet. Sergeant Anthony Jackson killed the assassin and became a presidential bodyguard. Mexico joined and the union became The United Continental States of America. As new laws were passed to protect it's citizens and restrict their liberties, the Apocalytes dedicated their lives to resurrecting the old constitution. Jackson dedicated his service to the president until his oldest daughter was arrested for sedition. Michael spins a fictional, political tale that will raise your subsequent thinking to a new level. 4 Stars

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review of "Italian Summer"

Twenty-something, Mina Calvi returned to her hometown of Veneto, Italy after spending ten years in California. She rented Professor Cervi's condo while he was taking classes at USC. Emilia Lauri, a semi-retired attorney lived upstairs and knew Mina's grandmother. And that was the first thread of the fabric that was woven into this small town mystery. The plot thickened around Mina's crazy friend Lola, her dead twin brother, Vittorio, Piero, the undertaker, his son, Enzo, and finally Diego, Mina's lover and his friend, Gino. This light-hearted narrative was well thought out, but like any series leaves loose ends for the reader to either tie up or read the next release. 4 Stars

Monday, August 29, 2016

Review of "The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List"

Here's another great little book (121 pages). Barbe Awalt gives the reader 100 suggestions on how to enhance your Christmas experience. Here are some of my favorites: #98 Don't be a Grinch and steal someone's UPS or FedEx packages, #97 Get a Christmas Cactus, but wait, it's actually tropical, #80 Eat a Pfeffernusse Cookie, #43 Fill a stocking, great for those little gifts, #28 Regift, #7 Bake cookies for a gift, and this one is really cool #62, Eat or throw a fruit cake, guess what I'm going to do! When you read this book, I'm sure you will be delighted to find something new to try this Christmas. 4 Stars  

Review of "Kicking the Bucket List"

What an amazing little book (121 pages). Gail Rubin provides 100 suggestions to not only get you ready for the end, but will get you so organized you'll be totally shocked. Here are my favorites: #86 Sort your stuff using the Ohio Rule (Only Handle It Once), #74 Regift Gifts, #71 Mix old meds with kitty litter or coffee grounds, #63 and #62 Sell or give your stuff away online, #51 Stop Junk Mail, my wife is working on this right now! Some of these suggestions are common sense, but there were some even I never thought of and I'm very organized. This is an excellent book for a person of any age to read and to live by. 5 Stars

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review of "The Rockets' Red Glare"

Tag Grainger, the leader of the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), and Ibrahim al Hasan, the leader of Al Qaeda of North American (AQNA) unite to steal enough cesium powder to make 16 dirty bombs. The plan is to set them off in various locations around the country, but Tag has his own plan. He wants to bomb Washington DC and create The Christian Covenant of America in the upper midwest with the capital in St. Paul. A vehicle accident near Lexington, Kentucky reveals radiation and starts the hunt for the bombs. It's easy to get bogged down in all the detail, but the authors do provide an exciting fictional thriller none the less. 4 Stars

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review of "The (In)Fidelity Factor"

I was very curious about this little book (110 pages) and that curiosity was richly rewarded. Elda Lopez starts by pointing out some obvious and maybe some obscure observations. She moves on to the answers of questions queried by her to both males and females, then on to some amazing statistics. The next section is on actual accounts of infidelity by a male and a female, then on to Elda's own admissions. She summarizes, by suggesting ways for us to improve as individuals which in turn will improve our relationships and our lives. There is simply a lot of good stuff in here for everyone, delivered in a clear voice with little bits of humor thrown in for good measure. 5 stars

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review of "XL7"

Xavier Lysten's life changed in eighth grade, his Dad left his Mom and their five kids, he started playing football and he started drinking. During his first drunk, Xavier's football coach saw him riding his bike and stopped to give him a ride home. His Mom promptly told Xavier that he was off the team, but the kid had talent for the game and later would excel at it. He grew up with the potential to be a champion, but his drinking got in the way and didn't stop until he killed someone. A prison sentence forced Xavier to change his life and live up to his true potential. Luther Guin, a first-time author presents a crisp fictional story written as a first person biography in contemporary style with a clear, bold voice. 5 Stars

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review of "Ten in Texas"

William Dale Gantry, a man born in Virginia is wandering the wild west in search of something, what he doesn't really know. Camping overnight in a draw in the Texas panhandle, he suddenly feels like he may have just found it. Will makes some friends, decides to buy some land and build a ranch. Along the way, he meets a widowed woman with a young son and falls in love. But there are a couple of scores he needs to settle and there is a lot more to this story. A. H. Holt spins a charming western yarn in a somewhat unconventional style and melodious voice that is sure to entertain you. If you like westerns pick this one up. 4 Stars

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review of "Ten Poems for the Hungry"

"Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and meter to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of the prosaic ostensible meaning."

When I read this little book of poems, I got a sense of Blue, who she is, what she saw, how she felt, and most of all what she discovered. Blue found peace, love, and self-worth and rose above the trash heap to become a treasure. Let Blue inspire us all to really look at what we see and change the way we see it. 5 Stars  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review of "Bailey's Remarkable Plan"

Faith-based story of a sickly kid growing up in poverty with an undiagnosed, congenital immune disorder. Throughout his formative years, David always seems to be able to beat the odds and whatever illness is putting him down. He also develops a strong belief in a higher power, his parents, and most of all himself. David finally finds a doctor who identifies the disease he suffers from and is able to treat him. Sadly as he grows older, the treatments stop working and David gets worse. In steps Bailey, a remarkable Shih Tzu who helps David cope with his chronic symptoms. Somehow this amazing animal can sense a crisis episode before it happens and can alert David before it's too late. David has a strong, clear voice, but the style is somewhat choppy. 4 Stars

Friday, May 6, 2016

Review of "Clarence Olgibee"

Clarence Olgibee was a black kid who grew up in Ohio. Both his parents were teachers, his mother overbearing. She tried to mold her son into something he could never be. Clarence, like most teenage boys, was driven by his hormones and got a girl pregnant. He chose to run and enlisted in the Navy. Faced with prejudice and racism, he struggled in the environment. An explosion onboard the vessel he was serving on led Clarence to his most heroic act, he saved a drowning man's life. Disillusioned and desperate, Clarence became a deserter. Forced to hide for the rest of his life by his actions, Clarence died haunted by bigotry and poor decisions. Kessler's style is challenging, but his voice speaks to the human condition that still thrives in modern day America. 3 Stars    

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review of "One Word"

At age 19, Tushar Bhatnagar falls for Adya Chauhan at age 15. They develop and go their own way, then at age 21 Tushar dies. His ghost, the book's narrator, follows Adya as an observer, not an intruder. He suffers watching her search for love, the love he feels for her. She loves Gyan, but he only wants her sex. She loves and marries Mahendra but he only wants her duty. Then while on a train she meets a boy named Tushar and a violent crash leaves him an orphan. She takes the boy home and finally feels the love she's been seeking. Then suddenly she's had enough of her husband, adopts the boy and moves to Singapore. The ghost is always with her. The boy has an accident and the surgery is successful but he doesn't wake up. The ghost now has a choice; does he take over the boys body or not? 3 stars

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review of "The Road Taken"

Laisha and Adir were husband and wife and Honey their child. Laisha, a teacher at 36 became interested in Zen a student at 20. Zen half-heartedly studied at his parents direction, but wanted to be a model. Laisha encouraged Zen to study, but Zen only wanted to seduce her. She allowed it and so the 16+ year affair started. Laisha wanted another child, but Adir was incapable. Cherry, Zen's child was born and raised by Laisha and Adir. Adir suspected she was not his child, but helped to raise her in spite of his suspicions. Somehow Laisha managed to remain loyal to Adir and passionate with Zen even over a long distance. When Laisha was near her death, the truth became clear, but it was done. Bhattacharyya has spun an intriguing tale of the power of a clever woman. 3 Stars

Friday, April 1, 2016

Review of "Guilt Trip"

Toby Stoddard is found dead in the gun room of the Roitman's hunting lodge, the local sheriff declares it suicide by shotgun. Karen and Mike, Toby's younger sister and brother aren't buying it, he had no reason to do it. Chantel, Toby's wife and her family, the Roitman's plan to scatter his ashes in the Caribbean and ask Karen and Mike to go along. Lauren Beck, former Landis, PA police officer and Karen's sister-in-law, replaces Karen on the trip. Lauren decides on a ruse to conceal her real identity, so she can investigate to determine if Toby's death was a murder. Lauren's cover is blown, but Roitman patriarch, Frank decides to hire her to protect Chantel, who may be next to die. The plot thickens, and Lauren does discover that Toby was murdered, but who is guilty will shock you. 4 Stars

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review of "Manhattan Madness"

Matilda (Mat) Carvel left Willis Depot, Arkansas, a virgin at almost eighteen, then got on a bus for New York City to become a portrait artist. Along the way she met Olivia, also headed to the city to live with her sister, Trudy. Olivia invited Mat to live with them until she could get settled, and thus started the Manhattan Madness. Mat painted apartments, sold used furniture in Carl's store, bartended in a gay nightclub and met all kinds of crazy people, and adopted two big dogs, Oscar and Gertrude. She met some guys, David, Trent, Jacob and Brewster, but never got to second base. On her twenty-fourth birthday, she found herself lonely and still a virgin and then a surprise ending. This story has more twists and turns than Lombard Street, and you will love it! 5 Stars

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Review of "The Flight of Snookems"

Snookems, Mr. Howard Simon is dead, courtesy of the 21st floor window of his luxury SoHo loft. Lulu's man couldn't have jumped, he must have been murdered. Raymond Simon is selling drugs out of Myron's (Merrie's fiance) hotel. Hamilton, his sister is running a bordello out of Snookem's spa and blackmailing the customers. Malcolm Simon's construction company is in trouble and he needs money. Elsa, Snookem's ex-wife claims to be an undercover agent and his partner, but she's buying drugs with counterfeit money. And this is only the beginning of a delightfully complicated and funny murder mystery. Find out who done it and why when you read this A. R. Alan sequel to The Mad House on Sutton Place. 5 Stars

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review of "The Mad House on Sutton Place"

Pretty Merrie Dixon is headed for a divorce from cheating husband, Howie. Although she's afraid of the dark, she moves in with LuLu, a black woman who refuses to use lights in her cave-like apartment. The arrangement becomes comfortable and the two ladies decide to go into business together. They enlist Myron, a wealthy attorney living upstairs, to draw up the legal documents. When Merrie finds Bubbles, the building's slut, murdered and shoved into a clothes dryer in the basement, all hell breaks loose. The NYPD investigates and Merrie and LuLu are suspects. What happens next is complicated, hilarious and above all just fun to read. A. R. Alan is an extremely talented and successful author who will tease your funny bone until you can't take it anymore. 5 Stars