Tag Archives: book

Miss Graham’s Cold War Recipe Book- a Review

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This reader wanted to love this book. Alas, even though it had a number of good points and some parts were immersive and well done, the beginning was slow and the last chapters—excluding the epilogue-ish last chapter, were devastating and made this reader angry.

This story had a slow start with way too many characters thrown into the first chapter which slowed the story even more as I tried to get a handle on who was who.

Edith, the character who was the point of view character for most of the book, was naive and put her trust in people too easily. She was recruited as a spy, so this was not a good characteristic for her to have. I see how it was relevant to the story line though.

The plot picked up after the first 100 or so pages. It was a dense plot with a lot of moving parts which I like. I didn’t have any problem following along at all. I usually read fast but this one took me a number of days off and on. I became invested in Edith and her journey. Recruited as a spy, she had some skills and was able to make people feel safe to talk to her (thereby giving away some of their secrets), but the misplaced trust issue became problematic. She couldn’t keep a secret and talked to pretty much anyone in her inner circle about what she was doing. I liked the character and was rooting for her.

There was a lot of graphic detail about the Nazis and the atrocities they inflicted; including the acts perpetrated on children and the disabled. I read a lot of books set in the WWII era so that was expected. What was not expected was how it turned out. Completely disappointing. I was enraged at the time I spent invested in this book to have it utterly dissatisfy me. The very last chapter went a little way to make me less furious, but not a lot. I am still gutted by the ending.

I give this one three stars as I enjoyed the style of writing, the premise, the attention to detail and the parts in the middle where things were happening.  I downgraded it for the time it took to actually get into the story and for the way I felt betrayed as a reader invested in a story by the two big events near the end.

Ghost: Justice Chronicles Book 1 by Michael Jack Webb, a Review.

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This book had a good story, buried in way too much minutiae and exposition. The characters had interesting backgrounds and the premise of the story was great. Sadly, the action was interrupted constantly by overlong descriptions and encyclopedia “dialogue” being inserted way too often. The periods of natural dialogue were good, but there was not enough of that to satisfy this reviewer.

The heroine’s parents disappeared, and rather than being upset and focused on finding them (she’s an FBI profiler), she’s more concerned with what the local cop is wearing when he shows up and that he looks like Chris Pratt. There’s a long section on Chris Pratt and how she binged watched his movies in grad school. This was the first of many such interruptions in the flow of the story.

At one point, the main characters are driving along investigating the case of the serial killer that takes her attention away from finding her parents. She mentions a winery and stopping to get a bottle of her favorite wine. She then goes into a long one-sided discussion of the history of the winery. This totally took the reviewer out of the story and was not the only time such exposition did so.

Each time the characters went to another location, one of them would go into great detail about the history of the area (to the point it was laughable as it appeared whole sections of the encyclopedia were cut and pasted into the text.)

Another time, they ate at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and we got the whole history of the hotel as well as the town. These numerous interruptions of the actual plot of the story—that added nothing to moving the tale along—began to grate on this reviewer’s nerves and caused the focus of the tale to meander off on tangents.

I kept reading as I was interested in how the story would turn out, but sadly, the author seemed to get in his own way. What could’ve been a tight, taut, thriller turned into a slog of too much information. Research is important to add richness to the story line, but telling the reader everything that was learned in the research for the novel takes away from the pacing and excitement of the story unfolding in a thrilling manner. Little tidbits sprinkled in to add authenticity to the settings/circumstances is good, but wholesale chunks of research take the reader out of the story.

I’d give this one three stars.  If it was tighter and there was not so much dialogue that sounded more like recitation from the encyclopedia, I would’ve rated it much higher. I most likely won’t read the next in the series even though I like the storyline. The information-dump style is not for me. I much prefer a tightly written, fast paced story. For those who like an intense history lesson while reading a novel, this one may be right up your alley.

Overkill- New Release Out in the World

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My great grandmother, Mallie Phillips Fowler wasn’t your typical sweet little old lady. She was a ball of fire and very sassy. I like to think I inherited some of her moxie. I was in my 20s when she died and she was in her 90s. One of the last times I saw her, she was in her yard with her cane in one hand and a rake in the other and my grandfather, her son, was begging her to go inside and let him do the raking. No way. She was adamant she could do it. He threatened her with the nursing home, but she just laughed and kept on working. She lived a number of months after that. Sadly, I lived over 360 miles away so I didn’t see her as often as I’d have liked.

Two things stand out in my memory of my whole life visiting her. She always, always, always—even those last visits—had a coconut cake on her dining room table. It was the best cake ever. She used fresh coconut and shredded it herself and used the coconut milk in the batter. None of us in the family have ever been able to duplicate it. One of a kind—like her. She also had one of those glass chicken candy dishes and it always had those hard candy mixes in it —you know, the kind you get at Christmas and they get all stuck together? My sister and I spent many hours tugging that junk apart. We each have a candy dish like that in our homes now. Mine holds loose change, though. Lol.

Why am I yakking about this lady? Well, my new book that’s out tomorrow and up for preorder now has a character who has some of my great grandmother’s characteristics. Miss Hattie in my story is one of the minor characters who plays a role in assisting the detectives in solving the murder at the heart of the story. She happens to be pretty sassy and makes a divine coconut cake (I almost said a to-die-for cake, but thought better of it 🙂 )

Overkill is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Black Opal Books, among other retailers. As an ebook or paperback.

Amazon link

Barnes and Noble link

overkill

 

 

 

Deadly Liaisons- Advanced Reader Copy

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I have my advance reader copies in PDF format for Deadly Liaisons.  I am offering an e-copy to the first five people who respond with their email address and agree to do an honest review in exchange.

To whet your appetite, here’s the first page:

October, 1938

Water ran over the top of Declan Cavanaugh’s shoes as he dashed across St. Mark’s Square in front of the Basilica. Two o’clock in the afternoon meant high tide this time of year in Venice. It wasn’t an ideal time to be chasing the flunky of a vampire through the streets to try to find the demon’s lair, but what was a man to do?

It was blind luck to stumble upon the short, gnomish creature in that Murano glass shop. Declan went in initially to purchase a new pen, but as soon as he laid eyes on the man he knew could lead him to his prey, all thoughts of a blue glass writing implement fled his mind. Making a lunge for the other man wasn’t the best plan, but Declan had been so stunned to see him, he hadn’t taken time to think through what he should do. He’d acted on instinct instead.

Declan regretted the loss of a portion of the shopkeeper’s inventory, but it couldn’t be helped. As soon as the smaller man noticed Declan, the wretched devil tossed a number of items at his pursuer to try to slow Declan’s progress. A few paperweights found their target. Declan’s head throbbed, but he kept moving. A bit of blood trickled down the side of his face. With each step, the pain in his cranium intensified. Thud, thud, thud.

When the flunky shoved the door open and ran into the street, Declan followed. Promising himself to return to the shop later to make things right with the owner, Declan kept up his pursuit.

At the rate the two men were running, staying on the boards the city’s fathers had devised to try to keep the citizens dry proved to be impossible.

Each time his foot slipped off the boards, splashes of water hit the hem of Declan’s pants and covered his brogans. Great, another pair of ruined shoes. A fleeting thought of gratitude for leaving the Italian suede shoes in his hotel room dashed across his brain. They were costly and the ones he wore would be easily replaced. A bright spot in the day for sure.

The gnome kept going. Declan wondered where the little man got his energy. For sure the shorter chap could move fast. Declan gasped for breath, but he couldn’t afford to slow down. He needed to find and capture Ambrose Schumacher.

 

Pre-Order Now Up- The Eisenger Element

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Eisenger ElementI was thrilled to find The Eisenger Element up for preorder. It’ll pop right into your inbox on release day. How cool is that?  Here’s the Amazon link (which is the only one I’ve found so far).

A New Orleans trolley

A New Orleans trolley

I’m really excited to get this one out there. I love, love the city of New Orleans and the inspiration it gives me. I hope I’ve done the place justice as there’s really no place like it.

Sale – Ebooks for Mom or Yourself

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Sweet Cravings Publishing as well as their parent company Secret Cravings Publishing is having a 25% off sale this weekend that is site-wide. Pop over and grab some romance for mom or for yourself. Here’s the link.

Use the code Mothers25.

Here are some covers!

Book Recommendation

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418XFnCZWrL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I’m reading a book about and by a former undercover ATF agent called Assassin Hunter. It’s an amazing story of bravery and I’m in awe of the man who wrote it. I met him this past weekend and he’s an intriguing and interesting man. Reading this book about his experiences in the undercover world is making me admire him even more. The experiences he describes are pretty harrowing. This real life story reads like a novel but it gives me chills as I realize how easily it could have turned out tragically for this man.

To meet him, the first impression you would have is that he’s mild-mannered and polite but man! under that exterior must beat a heart of steel. He’s gutsy as hell. My admiration for this man and all he did is growing more as I continue to read. I’m not even finished with it and I highly recommend this one. Run and grab your copy now! Here’s a link to make it easy.

Sebastian’s Salvation- an Inter-racial Romantic Suspense Novel

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Sebastian’s Salvation is now out in paperback.

http://www.amazon.com/Sebastians-Salvation-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance/dp/162241117X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340207488&sr=8-1&keywords=Sebastian%27s+Salvation