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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Russian Hill

Russian Hill by Ty Hutchinson

Ty Hutchinson has done it again.

FBI Agent Abby Kane is on another case trying to solve another murder in San Francisco.  But when it seems this case may be part of a serial spree, the plot thickens.

Not only does Abby and her colleagues from the San Francisco Police Department have  few leads, but it seems the more they dig, the more confusing it becomes.  This is not someone looking for glory from these gruesome murders.  In fact, it appears the killer does not want to be acknowledged.  Tiny clues to the puzzle are what keep Abby going to determine not only who, but why.

Set in San Francisco with references to the great features of the city, Abby continues her search.  But what will she find?

Fast paced, page turning murder story.  Great characters to keep you interested.  Another great read from Ty.

Friday, November 22, 2013

P is for Prince

P is for Prince by Stu Gratton

Kenzia had one job, to protect the Royal Family, specifically, Prince William.  With the Olympic games in various areas around England, keeping the family safe and protected required quite a bit of coordination, and secrecy.

A tear gas released at a football game, a bomb exploding on the railroad tracks, what was next?  Who, or what, what was the target, and the point of it all.  Was it just one person/group, or were there multiple persons with numerous reasons.  And how is it that no matter how secret the plans are, or how quickly they change, the terrorist always knows the path to be taken or any of the other details?  Who in the Prince’s closest of guards is a spy?

As much as Kenzia knows the importance of guarding the Prince, she can’t help but notice his charm.  The Prince is well aware of his importance in trying to lure out the terrorist, and still keep himself and others out of harm’s way.

Loaded with twists and turns, action, adventure and plotting, you will keep reading to discover who the spy is, and what becomes of everyone involved.  Quite the cast of characters from the Royals to the security to the “Yanks” to the terrorists, someone for everyone’s taste.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Cancer Code

The Cancer Code by Andrew Findlay

Jim MacWaide loved research and the quest for knowledge in microbiology and quantum physics.  In his spare time working at the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, he finally had discovered the cure for cancer.  He was proud of his accomplishment, as he should be, but his thoughts for the future of this cure and his companies ideas were two completely different things.

He never thought his life would be in danger, and what was once a simple easy-going man became a man on the run for his life, doing things he never thought possible.  Realizing his lack of real friends, it seemed his help came from total strangers in an effort to help him prove to the world he did not steal the formula, he created it, no matter what his employer, Gluck Schmidt Little claimed.

Travel with Jim as he tries to convince a few choice people his cure should be available to everyone for a reasonable price, not just for the elite who could afford it.  Had it not been for a warning note slipped under his door, he would have been dead.

Travel with Jim and see who wins the battle for the rights to cure cancer, Jim or the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, affordable or for the elite only.

Select choice of characters, from Jim’s family to his employer to his co-workers to mere acquaintances, someone for everyone’s type of personality.  Easy to follow and page turning to see if Jim survives.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Betrayals of Grim's Peak

The Betrayals of Grim's Peak by Sean J. Quirk

Augie, adopted by Earl and Marge after a hurricane hit the waters, was always afraid of the water.  Earl and Marge had even given up using their boat to stay away from the water.  But Augie realized it was not fair to Earl and Marge, so they went for a vacation at their old Florida Keys home.

While on vacation, Augie see something he has never seen before and is forced to go into the water in order to learn the truth about what he saw.  What he learned was that there is a magical world beneath the surface of the water.  While feeling like an outsider, he is befriended by a few select people, and the more he learns, the more he has questions.  Even the elders of the underwater world are baffled by what is happening.

Who could ever imagine the world Augie discovers, and who is really telling the truth.  Travel with Augie every step of his journey and meet so many characters who don’t always appear to be what they seem.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Assassin's Rose

Assassin's Rose by Kasonndra Leigh

The warrior’s who pledge to the Caducean clan to protect their land can only be boys.  What if someone is not who they believe him to be?

Desmond Tarrenton, or Desi, in in training.  Desi’s boyfriend, Seth, seems to have a plan in mind.  But Desi’s best friend Kate does not like what Seth has convinced Desi of.  

The more Desi learns, the less she knows what, or who, to believe.  Who would you believe?

This may be a quick read, but Kasonndra Leigh has done it again.  You won’t be able to put it down once you start.  If you have not read her works before, you will want to start.  Kasonndra has a talent for creating characters with such personality, and her style of writing leaves you turning the pages to keep going.  The more you read, the more interested you become, twists and turns along the way keep your attention.

Although Kansonndra has written numerous young adult books, this is an adult read.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jim Henson The Biography

Jim Henson The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Jim Henson created the Muppets, but he did so much more, and Brian Jay Jones has done an excellent job in letting everyone see Jim Henson for the man he was.

Beginning with his childhood, Jim knew that once he saw what television was, he knew that was where he would be when he got older, but he never dreamed or intended it to be as a puppeteer, Muppets or not.  He was such a creative and talented man, every new piece of technology was like a toy, and his vision was usually before his time.

While others may describe him as a “workaholic”, Jim never saw it as work, it was just playing to him.  He worked long days and traveled extensively to try to create as many projects as his mind could envision.

He left us far too soon, but his opinion is something you need to read for yourself.  Brian has done such a wonderful job, and those who helped him should be thanked for allowing the public to be able to view his private life as well as his public life.

For anyone who grew up with Sesame Street, The Muppets or any of Jim’s other creations, you will not want to put this book down.

While I consider it an honor and a privilege to be lucky for have an Advanced Reader’s copy of a book, I am saddened by the fact that my copy does not have the photo on the cover, or any of the photos inside.  I grew up watching Jim Henson’s Muppets and have loved them all my life, having my kids grow up with them as well.  I was deeply saddened and shocked by the untimely death of Jim Henson, but I will treasure this book always.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Maya Papyrus

The Maya Papyrus by Richard Coady

Always curious how a story starts, when the first thing you see is a list of the cast of characters alphabetically, it gives you warning how many characters are involved, and how it might be confusing, needing a reference point.  As such, you can only imagine how involved the story is with a list like this.

Set in Egypt, this is the story of the continuing struggle for the reign of King, and their heirs.  The story is told by Maya, the royal courtier and historian, and what he has written.  In addition, Maya’s story is interspersed with what is happening at the same time.  Sometimes making it a bit confusing, sometimes leading you to believe what you think is coming next.

While the story begins with one king taking his young son into his first battle.  After that battle, the child does not want to be king, but being heir to the throne, the boy who did not want to be king became king.  Continuing tradition for generations, the first born son is to become heir, and when you add in an intervening mother-in-law, it is amazing how the turn the events can change things.  Murder for the good of the people and the kingdom, beliefs in one God instead of another, the story goes through numerous generations and people.

While it is a very interesting read in Egyptian history, a bit too much time is spent on one king.  The story is written in great detail and is very in depth, but while each of the kings needs to have their glory and to show their strengths, weaknesses and beliefs, and no piece of history should be ignored, even if it has a few fillers for the parts that may never be knows, it could have had a bit less on Amenophis.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grave Situation

Grave Situation by Alex MacLean

How do you catch a serial killer who not only seems to leave the scene without any witnesses or clues, but he also dismembers his victims?  And why does he dismember them?

Luckily, Lieutenant Allan Stanton is a very determined man.  Not only is he a dedicated lawman, although his dedication cost him his marriage, but what he feels for the victims, whether it be Trixy, the hooker, her sister, Cathy, or any of the others, compels him to find and catch the killer.

Herb on the other hand, is very meticulous in his planning, down to the last detail.

Details, this book is full of them!  From the scenery, to the recollections and in some cases, very graphic descriptions of the murders.  Parts of this are not for the faint hearted.  The cast of characters is as great as the details, making it seem even more realistic.  A serial killer case can not be solved by one man alone, and Alex MacLean leaves no one out or is made to seem less important.  This book will keep you turning pages until the end!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Concrete Kiss

The Concrete Kiss by David Grace

Detective Ned Danes had the lucky job of cold cases.  Those crimes that were never solved, with so little to go on, but had families that needed closure and to know the truth.

FBI Agent Phillip Abbott had seen a lot in his day, but the horrific crimes of a family serial killer ripped his heart when it happened to a family with an autistic girl named Jessica.  When her family is murdered, Phillip and his wife adopt her.

So when they teamed up to solve the serial killer murders, and went a touch out of bounds in order to try to capture him, you could not have asked for a better team.  This killer was cold, calculated and had no remorse for his victims, it was just a job he was paid to do.

While they are on the hunt for the killer, running as a separate side line was a cold case of abducted girls.  Little clues to help solve this case.

What could have been split into two books, maybe one as a number two in a series, was crammed into one book.  The majority is based on the serial killer, with small references to the abducted and raped girls case.  While the characters will keep you interested, and it is a thriller to be sure, it probably might have been better staying with one of the story lines rather than try to merge them together. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success

The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success by Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn has been called “The world’s largest online business networking site.”

If you are a job seeker, or looking to promote your company, this book is for you.

Whether you have never used LinkedIn before, or have already created your profile, you need to use this important reference guide.  Written in an easy to follow, almost step-by-step format, Wayne takes you from the very beginning of creating your profile, on up to what to do once you have it created.  If you have never used LinkedIn before, Wayne makes it easy to create a profile, but you still need to do the work behind it.  If you already are on LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure you use all that is available to you, and make sure to use those all important keywords.  Wayne won’t write your profile for you, you do need to do the work, but he will help you using his own profile as an example.

In addition to tips to check off at the end of each chapter, he also includes links to resources to help you even more.  With this being the second edition, he has noted what is no longer available and what has been updated.  No matter what your position is, if you are looking to network with others and grow yourself or your business, you’ll want to keep this handy as you use LinkedIn to help you succeed.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hacienda Moon

Hacienda Moon by KaSonndra Leigh

Slightly based on a story of a warship named “Fortuna” in 1748, this is a story of believing in spirits of the past, a Gothic Romance at it’s finest.

Tandie Harrison was a psychic who worked with the police department until she lost her power.  In an effort to get away from the terrible memories of the death of her 6 year old daughter, she decided to move away to North Carolina to a historic plantation house, called Chelby Rose, and try to continue her writing career.  Meeting a tall and handsome man at the airport, Eric Fontalvo, in an odd twist of fate, he is hired by the home owner, Saul Chelby, to help renovate the home.

Why does Saul not live in a house that has been in his family for generations?  The local townspeople are full of stories of ghosts and spirits and a curse on the house.  The more Tandie tries to find out, the more involved she becomes as her visions begin to return, and the more dangerous things become.

The characters, both from 1748 and the current story, each have their own deceptions and secrets.  Written in an easy to follow style, you’ll want to keep the pages turning to see what Tandie discovers.  A Gothic romance with curses, witches, relationships and adventures to keep you interested until the very end.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Legends Lost: Galdin

Legends Lost:  Galdin by Nova Rose

A thousand years ago the lands of Tesnayr were at battle, five hundred years ago Amborese helped the lands of Tesnayr that were in battle again.  Now it is Princess Nylana’s turn to end the battles.

The 5 lands of Tesnayr had been at peace, but the death of the King ended that.  Krispyn, Nylana’s brother, was crowned King in his place, but was on a 6 month review.  The people were in an uproar with the way Krispyn was ruling.  The battles were beginning.  Nylana was always a peaceful person, always seeing the best in everyone and helping any who needed it.  In her travels to help calm the people, she was captured.  In a strange twist of fate, she finds her long lost brother, Galdin, that everyone that was dead.  In her quest to restore peace, more and more battles are occurring, and the Orcs with their red eyes that paralyze seem to be under the control of someone, but who and how.

Holding true to the previous books in the series, numerous characters with all types of personalities, the good and the evil.  Lots of action to keep you turning pages.  Nice flow makes it easy to follow and hope for the return of peace to the lands of Tesnaryr.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Secrets of a Spiritual Guru: Real Estate, Yoga & Lies

Secrets of a Spiritual Guru:  Real Estate, Yoga & Lies by Tamara Lee Dorris

Melissa is a struggling real estate agent.  Her boyfriend of numerous years, Ron, left her for his yoga instructor.  When did he become interested in yoga?  In an effort to learn more about the woman who stole her boyfriend, Melissa begins an interest in yoga.  Not only that, but the woman who stole Ron is looking for someone to write a blog about yoga and related topics.  Out of spite, Melissa applies for the blog position under a different name to hide her identity.  In a weird twist of fate, she gets the job.

In an effort to sound like she knows about yoga, Melissa searches the internet and starts learning yoga at a local facility.  But the more Melissa learns about yoga, the more she truly wants to improve herself.  The articles she writes truly inspire herself and the boyfriend stealing instructor.  But should she reveal who she really is to this woman?  All this hard work of learning yoga to try to get Ron back, but does she really want him after all this improvement?

While the cast of characters is minimal, they each have a unique personality that you can relate to.  Written to amuse and make you laugh, whether you are feeling the pain of the yoga positions or routing for her success in real estate, you’ll keep turning the pages until you get to the end.  Easy to follow and hard to put down, you’ll smile and laugh till the end.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Split at the Root

Split at the Root by Catana Tully

Reviewing an autobiography is difficult, how do you critique someone’s life story?

In this case, the critique is on the positive side.  Catana (or Adriana as her birthname was) was given up by her biological mother to be raised by a German family.  Normally, that does not seem unusual, but in this case, the child is a Black child and the family is very white, and they are living in Guatemala.

Growing up, Catana was loved and given the best of everything, never needing to want for anything, but also never knowing her Black heritage and family.  Years later, after succeeding in school and becoming a famous model and actress, she was encouraged to write about her life and find out about her biological family and their heritage.

The truths she learned were not as she was led to believe growing up.  The secrets and mysteries she uncovered opened her eyes to her true upbringing.

While you travel along with Catana, you will visit numerous locations described in vivid detail and meet her extended family, along with a very loving and supportive husband.  This is true determination to discover one’s history.  Travel with Catana to discover why her mother gave up her first born.  The family has quite the difference in characters and her travels will keep you turning the pages to see if she ever finds the truth.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood: Pledging the Pink Sorority

Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood:  Pledging the Pink Sorority by Joanna Chapman

Breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is not funny, nor should it be taken lightly.  It is an extremely serious condition and needs to be fully understood with all the options available.

Joanna Chapman not only wants you to know how devastating it is when you are first told, and how confusing all the terminology can be, plus the options based on how serious the cancer is at the first discovery, but she wants you to know, you can still live your life and keep a sense of humor.  Do research and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.

There is no one correct way.  Every woman has her own situation and needs to make the best decision for her.  What seems like the best solution may not be after speaking with the professionals.  It goes back to knowing your own situation.  Don’t be afraid to ask for all your records, lab results, etc.  This is YOUR body.

Interspersed along the way are small tidbits of advice, along with websites, books, etc to help aid you in your research and travels.

You may not have the same family and friend closeness, but don’t feel you must bear this alone.  Search out your local support groups, try your religious groups and most importantly are your Pink Sisters who have and are going through the same diagnosis.

This book is a must read for anyone with breast cancer.  Not only does Joanna write the beginning, when she was diagnosed, and the during, but the difficulty in the after surgery.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Tenderloin by Ty Hutchinson

FBI Agent Aby Kane is on the move again.

This suspense adventure grabs you right from the first chapter and never lets go.

A young boy is running in fear through the jungle, but what is chasing him?  A DEA agent, Fernando Riggs, is killed and his body is so beaten and bruised, who or what could have done this?

Abby travels to Columbia, South America, to find out what has happened.  Aiding her is Special Agent Dominic Cabrera.  Genetic scientist brothers Julio and Elan Ortega now work for Faro Zapata, and his boss is a drug lord, El Monstruo.  The bosses have a special interest in the drug the Ortega brothers are working on, MZ-1.

Follow Abby through the jungle to discover what gruesome adventures come to numerous people.  

Even if you have not read Abby’s first adventure, you will not feel lost.  The characters in this novel will keep you reading to the end.  Short chapters make it an easy read, and easy to follow.

The Girl Who Put Out the Fire

The Girl Who Put Out the Fire by D. K. Janotta

Kari Erntemann and Jerry Peterson were both journalists.  Jerry had been working on piece about immigrants taking over jobs from local residents of Europe.  Failing in health, he retreated into seclusion.

Kari saw an article and immediately thought of Jerry and his work, except his name was not on the by-line.  The theme, again, young engineers from India were taking over the IT jobs and getting their visa’s and papers pushed through extremely quickly.

Anton is Kari’s pupil for learning the ropes of journalism.  Even though Kari is a freelance journalist, she was requested to teach Anton.  Anton is hard working and did anything and everything Kari asked of him.

Dan Mandeville had been working hard to make ends meet, but his anger over the potential job loss to foreigners was overwhelming.  Dan knew his job and did not like the newcomers coming in with so little knowledge.

How were these Asians coming in and finding jobs so fast?  Leo Foxe had made a living of finding the right people to fill jobs quickly and at quite a savings to the employers for payroll.

Lots of irrelevant details about the countryside, landscaping, etc.  It’s ok to have a description or two of where you are, but there was a bit much of this.  Needed to be more focused on the who and the why.  Dan’s character seemed so irrelevant to the story for quite a while, I had to read quite a bit to understand his importance.  While you get a good understanding of each character, it takes a good part of the book to see how they all fit together into one story.  The true motive is Kari and her journalistic instinct to dig deeper into the facts to get the true story and reveal it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rowan Blaize: Book One of the Enchanted Heritage Chronicles (Volume 1)

Rowan Blaize: Book One of the Enchanted Heritage Chronicles by Jonathan Kieran

Written in the form of poetry, an ancient sorcerer, Rowan Blaize, loses his magical powers and falls to Earth, landing in the farmland of one Devon Mould.  Devon could see Rowan was not from around here and was skeptical, but being the good person he was, Devon invited Rowan into his home for a meal and a warm bed for the night.

Determined to continue his journey to find why he lost his powers and how to get them back, Rowan leaves Devon to head to London to see his Auntie Ariadne.  Unfortunately, his journey does not go smoothly, as he is captured by some forest sprites and brought to their King.  Luck is on his side as a mortal girl frees him and lets him continue his journey,

Making it to London and see his aunt, she is unable to help him find a cure, but knows of someone who can help him.  Auntie Addie sends him to see Circe, a mistress of magic.  But Circe is not what she appears to everyone, as Rowan soon discovers.

Written in poetic style, this is easy to follow, as long as you like poetry.  Minimal amount of characters, but each brings his own uniqueness to the story.  A few illustrations give it that extra zest to see how the author imagines his own characters.  Quick read but worthy of your time.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fog of War (Justin Hall #3)

Fog of War (Justin Hall #3) by Ethan Jones

Justin Hall is at it again, but this time he is traveling.  His travels in this episode include Iran, Somalia, the United States, Canada and even Moscow.

What started out to be a rescue mission to aid an Iranian nuclear physicist to defect, ended up with the physicist dead.  But what Justin discovered was so much more, and no matter where he goes, someone always wants him dead.

In addition to a new partner in Iran, Nathan Smyth, his regular partner, Carrie O’Connor, will always help him out, even when it goes against direct orders from their superiors.

Who has it out for Justin?  In his line of work, there is always danger, but this takes it to a new level.  So many people seem to want him dead, no matter where he goes.  Someone doesn’t want him to find out who is the mole that every move Justin makes seems to already have someone waiting to kill him.  The fighting in different countries will always be there, but who is supplying the illegal weapons.  Being the true fighter, Justin doesn’t give up easily.  Each chapter will have you turning the pages for more.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Kashmir Shawl

The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

Mair, her brother, Dylan, and sister, Eirlys , had lost their mother years ago, but when their father passed away, it was time to let go.  The house they had grown up in was to be sold, and all their possessions needed to be distributed.  Eirlys and Dylan had a more traditional life, married, children, but Mair’s was a bit more adventurous, even joining the circus for a bit.  Because of Mair’s single lifestyle, they decided that a delicate shawl, a photograph and a lock of hair should go to Mair, but no one knew how they came to be.

Having no one with any family knowledge she could ask, Mair decided to go to India and research what she could.

Years earlier, in the years of World War II, a woman named Nerys married a missionary man, Evan, and moved to India.  Not regretting her decision, she found what a different and difficult lifestyle it was.  She did make a few close friends and their life and adventures are what you will read about.

Mair discovers that Nerys was her grandmother and found a few people she could talk to and learn more her grandmother, about the shawl and the photograph.

The majority of the story is written through the life of Nerys, but in between the life of Mairs will have it’s part. This is not a short story, this is an in-depth and detailed novel, along the lines of Gone With the Wind.  You will read all about the characters in the story and their families and friends, relating to each one along the way.  You will read in great detail all about where they traveled.  The beautiful landscape of India, the poverty, the people, their hard work ethics and traditional family values, the difficulty in traveling with the winter snows.  The characters will show you what love, friendship and trust mean.  The story will show you one woman’s quest to find the family history of what her grandmother’s life was like.  Very easy to follow, but very detailed, although I don’t think the story would have the same effect if the details were omitted.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worlds of Arthur: Facts & Fictions of the Dark Ages

Worlds of Arthur:  Facts & Fictions of the Dark Ages by Guy Halsall

Like many others, I am interested in the legend of King Arthur.  Naturally, when I saw the opportunity to read another book about him, I was intrigued.  Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

As Guy Halsall writes, there is no evidence of the existence of King Arthur, but there is nothing to prove he did not exist.  All in all, that is a valid argument.  As the author sets out to break the book down into 4 sections, or “Worlds”, he states valid points from the traditional ideas.  Great detail is written regarding the different civilizations, religions, customs, jewelry, pottery, immigration routes and other points.  Arthur, on the other hand, has a few brief mentions throughout this lengthy read.

If you are interested in the history of this general time frame, while expanding out somewhat, then this is a good read for you.  If you are looking to read about the legendary King, whether or not he existed, this is not what you are looking for.

While I did find this greatly educational, I was hoping for more.  Reading this, I felt as if I was in a lecture hall in college, not that that is a bad thing.  As I mentioned, it is very educational, and not in a boring way.  Overall the book is very well written and researched.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Bullet for Two

A Bullet for Two by Robert Strzalko

Jeb was a simple man who grew up with a sense or morals.  He thought the best of people, went to war to defend his country and shot for food, not for sport.

When Jeb heard the screams from a young girl in distress, he went to help.  His anger over seeing her being raped by not one, not two but three men took the better of him and he shot them dead.  They were no ordinary men, they were the mayor, the sheriff and a wealthy landowner.  Knowing he was now a wanted man, he took the half breed girl and fled.

The sons of the murdered men wanted revenge.  They formed their own posse and went out to search for him.  Other bounty hunters were after him for the reward, dead or alive.

While you travel with Jeb, you will see his hurt over losing his childhood sweetheart and how important this grandfather was to his life.  Simple details make it possible for you to imagine being there with Jeb.  The characters will leave you feeling exactly how they felt, the need for revenge, the search for a man for money, the love of a young girl and the feeling of losing everything that mattered.

Quick read but worth your time.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Japanese Dancer

The Japanese Dancer by Kevin Chapman

Adult Reading Material.

Interspersed with a few Spanish words, but a glossary at the end will help any who are not familiar with the words.

How could your life start out so good and turn around so bad so quickly?  That’s what happened to Marisa.

Her first 19 years weren’t perfect, but they were good overall.  Then she married at the age of 19, being innocent and a virgin, to Jose, a policeman, whose demeanor changed once they were married.  Their first night was a disaster that never happened.  After a few days of trying, Marisa sought the help of her childhhood doctor, only to find him unavailable, so sought the help of his son, also a doctor in the same practice.  While her marriage finally consummated, she also began a relationship with her doctor.  Thus begins her downfall.

Discovering she was pregnant with the doctor’s baby, she reconciled with her husband, only to have her secret admirer, Raul, discreetly inform Jose the true story about his wife.  One of her friends, Marisol, moves to Japan and marries, inviting Marisa to Japan to attend.  Once there, Marisa is trapped in a sex slave operation and unable to return to her home.  Working in the club one night, she met Travis, a man unlike the others who wanted to help her return to her home, her baby and her life.

The working girls in the story will tear your heart apart to feel what they are going through, with no hope for escape.  The others in the story will also have your emotions tugging at you.  The story flows nicely, easy to follow Marisa’s downward spiral and the decisions she made, whether right or wrong, good or bad.  This is an adult story, some situations do have graphic details.  Sex trafficking exists today and most of us are completely unaware, and even fewer are willing to help.  While this is a gripping subject, it is worthy of your time to read.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Magick in the City

Magick in the City by Zakariyya Ishaw

Magick, not the kind you normally think of, magic from a magician playing tricks with rabbits or cards, etc.  This type of magick, the practice of controlling natural phenomena,  is a secret known only to a select few worldwide, good vs. evil, the black magick and the white magick, going back through time.  An elite group of highly intelligent, motivated and dedicated people, working to protect the Earth to keep the balance and structure, the elite of the elite, as it has been for years is now under fire, but never for violence to take place among themselves, only those below them.

A wealthy, highly renown New Yorker is brutally murdered.  Then another.  And another.  A serial killer on the lose?  Call in the FBI to help the local area police.  Absolutely no clues or DNA left at the scenes, only a single out of place footprint.  Who did this and why?  Add in a man looking for clues to his father’s disappearance 25 years ago requesting the help from a local private investigation firm.

Major cities, major people, deep and dark secrets, occult, murder, mystery, good vs. evil, the struggle for power within the ranks, influence and control.

There are so many characters in this story it was difficult to know who the main character was in the beginning, or what the theme of the story was.  Short chapters and a very interesting and unique point of view will keep you turning the pages.  It does remain a bit confusing with so many characters, and more keep getting introduced as the story goes on.  Friends, enemies, who is who and who do you believe?  The more you read, the more you want to read.  Eventually all is revealed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bleed to Love Her

Bleed to Love Her by David Andrew McGlone

Patrick Nichols is a writer.  He had worked for a newspaper, but became an author and wanted to write about Arthur LaSalle, his wife Catherine Tremayne and their life at Manor House.  He rented the Manor House to study and learn what he could about their lives using the family history.

The family of Arthur LaSalle did not want his seedier side to be written about, only his good side.  Arthur may have loved his son, but he was not always faithful to his wife.  His wife Catherine had kept a secret journal that Patrick found, with a little help, and read.  Maybe his wife was not as crazy as they were lead to believe.  The “Black Lace Lady” that visits him in the night, in his dreams, catches his attention with her beauty and intrigue.  She wishes for Patrick to write “The Truth”.

Patrick begins to learn about Arthur and his wife Catherine’s deaths.  Murder, suicide?  Which one is which?  Who killed who?

Although not considered a short story, it is still a quick read, and with a minimal amount of characters the story flows nicely, from an author seeking to write the truth but finding so much more along the way, to the husband and wife with issues of their own, to the current family who helps to take care of Manor House but wants to keep the image of Arthur in good graces, even keeping you in suspense as to who the “Black Lace Lady” is and what her hold is over men.  Well written and easy to follow while you live with Patrick and the history he finds, keeping you turning pages to find out what really happened all those years ago.

Greedy for Life: A Memoir on Aging with Gratitude

Greedy for Life:  A Memoir on Aging with Gratitude by Lori Stevic-Rust

Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust is 50 years old and her Nana, Emily Bernice Sitosky Serian, is 100.  What a wonderful way to pay tribute to someone.

Lori writes using her memories of good times and bad, always keeping her Nana and her influence.  While this is a book on aging, it does show a true family full of love, friendship, trust, understanding and growth.

Not only is there a 100 year old woman, it also includes 4 more generations!  The story goes into different aspects of Lori’s past, including holidays and family traditions, learning what a caregiver really is, true friendship, sports and the realities of life and death.

While Nana had a difficult first 50 years, including physical, emotional and financial struggles, her second 50 years seemed to have made up for it.  Always willing to learn new things and never forgetting to have a sense of humor and laugh.

With minimal characters, you will get the true sense of family.  If only all families could experience this type of closeness.  While the plot is merely a series of chapters highlighting a specific feeling or experience, it will keep you smiling, laughing and feeling for the family during their heartbreaks.  The family closeness throughout the years, and the wonderful celebration of a woman turning 100 is worthy of your time.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Prelude

The Prelude by KaSonndra Leigh

A totally different avenue for author KaSonndra Leigh, not your young adult read, but none less worthy of your read.

Erin Angelo lost her father and sister at an early age.  Something she has held to her heart and vowed to kept within her.  Alek Dostov (otherwise known as Aleksandr Dostovsky) is a world famous Maestro.  While Erin finished high school and went on to study fashion design, becoming very good and catching people’s attention, she moved to Milan and began working at Blue Butterfly, a company that was hired to create designs for a new show of Alek’s.  Not only does Erin come up with some riveting designs, she also captures Alek’s heart, not something easily done, and not something he has ever experienced before, especially when he is very used to having women fawn over him.  But Erin is different.

But as in all good stories, the evil lurks.  Alek has a very demanding and protective mother, who still controls a great deal of his adult life.  Add in a secretive past that neither Erin or Alek will discuss with each other.  Both are so consumed with their past they have a difficult time trusting anyone with any details.

In what starts as a relationship “agreement” based on sex, it develops over time.  Their need for each other, in more ways that one, and those who are willing to stand by them and protect them against those who are not.  The twists and turns along the way discovering the reasons behind their fears and guarded nature will keep you turning pages.  Written from both Erin and Alek’s point of view, the story grabs your attention and keeps it.

Definitely an adult romance with a some intimate and graphic details, this is a story of passion, but not just about sex.  Passion to hold onto your deepest fears, secrets and truths and what passion it takes to learn to open up.  Set in Italy, a sexy male with a Russian accent, the small town girl from the US, the controlling mother, the mysteries surrounding both main characters, what’s not to make you want to read more?  Learning to love and trust someone can be difficult.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Bones of Others (A Skye Cree Novel)

The Bones of Others (A Skye Cree Novel) by Vickie McKeehan

The subject of child abduction is never one anyone wants to hear, but when you add the twist of murder, prostitution or sex trade, it becomes even worse.

Skye Cree was 12 when she was abducted and raped.  She was lucky to escape, but the loss of her parents a year later was devastating.  Her aunt and uncle forbid her to testify against the man who used her, and he was free to do it over and over again.

Skye made it her lifelong ambition and obsession to bring him to justice one day.  Every night she would walk the streets knowing he would find another innocent victim.  She trained to use her body, as well as weapons, in order to defend herself or others like her in her pursuit.

An odd twist of fate brought her to an alley one night where she rescued Josh Ander from would-be thieves.  He was so amazed by her ability and beauty he made it a point to learn more about her and meet her again.  Although Skye never opened up to anyone about her special ability and gift of a spirit guide, she eventually felt comfortable to open up to Josh, and they became a team in search of helpless victims held against their will.

Josh was able to use his expertise in the internet to locate info on Skye’s abductor.  While they plotted to find him and end his reign for good, what they found tugs at your heart.

A must-read, once you start you won’t want to stop.  Great mix of characters, from the determined Skye to the lowlife who prey on young girls.  Flows nicely and easy to follow, with some Native American legends and beliefs woven in.