Archive for the ‘book’ Category
I forgot how much I love John Sanford’s books! Luckily, I came across a mention of his new one (Silken Prey)coming out soon and went searching the on-line library site for his books. I read Bad Blood first.
Bad Blood opens…
with the carefully plotted murder of a farmer delivering grain to the co-op during a hasty harvest. A teenage boy is taken into custody and ends up dead on his cell. Was it suicide? Murder? If it was murder, it was likely committed by a police officer. Unfortunately the officer is dead in his home when his fellow officers go to talk to him. Virgil Flowers is called in by the local sheriff to lend a hand in solving the crime.
Flowers finds links to an unsolved murder of a teenage girl with sexual undertones. Plus, a mysterious religious sect that values secrecy about their ways and their beliefs over all else. He also finds a new lover in the local sheriff, but then Flowers always gets the girl.
Sanford tells his tale smoothly and elegantly. The conversations between law enforcement personnel ring true in my mind. The subject matter (pediphelia) of this novel is a little disturbing, but it’s not graphic.
I can’t wait to catch up with the novels I’ve missed from Sanford. He just filled my summer reading list!
I reviewed How to Knit A Wild Bikini, the first of a trilogy of knitting-themed books by Christine Ridgway and was excited to read Unravel Me. There’s one more and I can’t wait to get it read too!
In Unravel Me…
we learn the story of Juliet Weston, recent widow and the oldest of the trio of sisters resulting from the same seminal donation. Juliet is heart broken after her much-older husband dies after just eight years of marriage. She first met General Wayne Weston when she was a 13 year old girl and noted in her diary that she had met her future husband. When she was 23, they met again at her parents’ funeral; their romance and marriage caused many changes. Juliet became known as the Deal Breaker, because the General was no longer trusted to become a presidential candidate. After all a man marrying someone so much younger had to have flawed judgment. Then when he died, the rumor mill was full of stories of his younger wife enjoying a day at a spa while he lie at home dying.
Now Juliet is left on her own. No husband. No family. No identity of her own.
But finding out she’s the third sister of Malibu & Ewe owner Cassandra and chef Nikki changes all that. As does recognizing her growing attraction and passion for the General’s assistant, who now lives in her pool house while he interviews for jobs as a lawyer.
Maybe I really love this series because of my own discovery of my seven siblings. Or maybe I just love how Ridgway writes.
Her characters are real. She does great good guys and great villains. Even the most dastardly of characters has some redeeming quality making them likable.
Ridgway also writes a mean sex scene. This woman should write erotica or at least teach a class on how to write a proper sex scene. Because she has it mastered. I swear I blush when I read her books. And I consider myself unshockable.
You’ve got to check out this trilogy! I’m going to do my best to get my hands on the third book. I hope this one covers the romance of Cassandra and her scruffy, gruff landlord Gabe.
I told you I was on a James Patterson binge! I read Alex Cross, Run in about two evenings. It was riveting and kept me interested to the end. You might not think reading a book in two evenings is very quick, but that’s reading after hours of trying to get through another level in Candy Crush and playing a word search game on my iPad! So it really is a feat!
In this book,
strange murders are taking place in Georgetown. In an area of Washington, DC, normally not stricken with many murders, they are suddenly occurring regularly and with a bizarre quality that has everyone taking notice. A body dangling out a sixth floor window, a mutilated high school senior, and others. Alex Cross notices that all the women look similar and the young men are active in the sex trade, leading him to consider that there are two separate killers. Are they working together or separately?
Add infamily drama: Alex Cross’ foster daughter is acting strangely. But no one can figure out what exactly is going on. Is she experimenting with drugs? A stalker intent on revenge upon Cross complicates things even further.
Murder. Kidnapping. Prostitution. Revenge. Alex Cross, Run has it all.
I do wonder how much trauma and drama one family can take. Because the Cross family seems to experience entirely to much to bear. Also, what will happen to all of them when Mama Nana passes away? She’s getting old! If I seem a little invested in this family, it’s because I’ve been with them through these books for years!
I haven’t seen the Alex Cross movie starring Tyler Perry, but I found it quite easy to slip Perry’s image into place as I was reading. It was a nice fit.
Thankfully Patterson is prolific, and I won’t have to wait long to get my next dose of the Cross family.
Once again, I must comment on James Patterson’s prolific writing career. Last weekend I read two of his novels and was mesmerized. Today I’m going to talk about Private Berlin which was written by Patterson and Mark Sullivan. Obviously, this book is set in modern day Berlin and involves the staff of Private, the elite private investigation firm created by Jack Morgan.
This time the Private investigators are investigating one of their own.
When Chris Schneider disappears, they rally the forces and their incredibly forensic resources to find out what happened to the secretive investigator. Initially the trail leads to an old slaughterhouse, abandoned years ago when the wall fell between East and West Berlin. The investigators are only able to get a quick look at a horrifying crime scene before explosives are found. They barely evacuate before the building is blown to pieces.
What was Chris investigating before his strange personal leave? What was he searching for in the abandoned slaughter house?
This is an exciting read. I was starting to think Patterson was getting boring, but this book renewed my faith in the God Father of Prose. There’s plenty of historical information to keep the story rolling along and to add to the excitement of the chase. There are personal relationships at stake and being formed.
With lots of twists and turns, this book should keep you flipping through the pages, soaring through the short chapters at break neck speed. Plan on going to bed late…
I grew up reading Lois Duncan’s books. Down A Dark Hall was read so many times I memorized it. If I had to pin point one of the early authors I read that made me want to write, Lois Duncan would be on the short list.
After seeing Ms. Duncan on Twitter, I researched her a bit, planning on re-reading some of my favorites. What I discovered sent a chill down my spine. Lois Duncan’s 18 year old daughter was shot and killed in 1989 and Ms. Duncan wrote a book, Who Killed My Daughter, chronicling her family’s quest for the truth.
Kaitlyn “Kait” Arquette was gunned down in the evening, while in her car. No one can tell what really happened, but people are acting suspicious. Kait’s boyfriend is distraught but saying strange things. Because he was an immigrant, some of the confusion could be contributed to language barriers. But Kait’s family sense it was much more than that.
It was hard reading this book on two levels. One as being just a little older than Kait when she died. I can relate to her thoughts and feelings as a young woman, carefree and just a little wild. Willing to push those around her enough to make them squirm, but not enough to hurt anyone.
However, I relate more to Ms. Duncan as a mother. Living through the horror of having a child violently taken from you, with no reasons or explanations available.
If you are a true-crime fan like I am, I recommend reading Who Killed My Daughter. Better than a television program, Ms. Duncan captures the mood and angst of her family as a search for the truth is conducted.
Ms. Duncan takes us through the moment the news about Kait’s shooting is learned through the investigation up to Kait’s 21st birthday. Reading about the contact with the police, mediums, and private detectives gives a sense of how desperate Kait’s family was for answers and an arrest.
This book was published in 1992, but the emotions and actions still apply in 2013. If you read this, let me know what you think.
I don’t know why I don’t read more straight romance novels. I always enjoy them so much. And Francis Ray is the queen of romance writers in my book. Her latest novel, All I Ever Wanted, had me hooked from the first word and crying tears of joy at the last.
In this latest installment in her Grayson Friends series:
Naomi Reese has built a solid, successful life after fleeing her abusive first husband. She and her adorable daughter, Kayla, have settled in Santa Fe. Naomi is a mother, teacher, and volunteer. She has surrounded herself with loving people who only want the best for her. One of them is Dr. Richard Youngblood, a dedicated veterinarian who has taken Naomi and Kayla under his wing. He understands Naomi isn’t ready for a relationship, but he remains a rock in her life. Naomi doesn’t feel she’s worthy of a man like Dr. Richard. Her ex-husband let her know repeatedly that she was less than a normal woman, and Naomi knows he must be right.
Slowly things begin to change and Naomi lets Dr. Richard closer and closer, until she has no choice but to admit his important role in beginning the life she always wanted.
The characters in this novel are so nice and sweet. There is suspense will Naomi’s ex-husband show up again to destroy the wonderful life she has built for her and Kayla? Will he destroy her relationship with Dr. Richard and all the rest of her supportive friends?
I think I’ll start reading this series from the beginning. You know how I love a good series. I think you should join me!
is the latest novel in the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman. The subject this time around in bones…
Bones are discovered in the newly acquired property of a young pregnant woman. She’s exploring her yard, planning landscaping, when she comes upon a metal box housing a set of bones. It is determined that these bones have been buried in the yard for over 50 years. Nothing indicates violence or murder, so Delaware and Lieutenant Milo Sturgis know this won’t be at the top of anyone’s to-be-solved list.
That is, until another set of infant bones are discovered in a park within throwing distance of a wealthy and connected neighborhood. Oddly, a young woman’s body is discovered on the other side of the same park on the same day. But connecting them proves to be difficult.
This isn’t my favorite Jonathan Kellerman novel. There was too much speculation that deviated so far off the course of the case that it made me dizzy. When the two friends were throwing around voodoo as an explanation for the newer bones, I was bored.
Of course both sets of bones end up being identified. But I still wanted reasons for the newer ones. I wanted the accused murderer to give some idea why he did what he did. Being arrested in such a macabre set-up needed more tidying up than what was done.
I’m not giving up on Alex Delaware. If I have some time I might start working my way through the series from the beginning. Because I remember when the novels affected me deeply rather than bored me.
Energy flows where our attention goes. Therefore, no matter what age we are, we must continue to have big dreams, and actively pursue them. To that end, develop your own template for imagination, a format in which envisioning can easily take place. What works best for me is to mentally transport myself to somewhere I’ve actually been and felt a strong connection with, which of late are the ruins of the Temple of Alexander at Olympia in Greece. A small circular structure with only three remaining exterior columns, it is the perfect place to see myself envisioning my dreams, what I would will to be. Your special place may be closer to home or anywhere, from a lounge chair in your own backyard to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s inspiring, of course, to physically be in your power spot when you envision but that is not necessary. Any place, whether you have ever been there in person or not can be just as potent, as long as it has significance for you. Its potency lies in the power that you imbue in it. Once in your sacred space, anything is possible to imagine, just as it is when we sleep. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do this and, on a regular basis!
For most people, being as definitive as possible is highly desirable. By that I mean make a plan, every morning, for what you would like to accomplish that day, even if it contains only one or two action items. This, too, helps us anchor our reality in the NOW. As I recall how my parents and grandparents dealt with their so-called older age, it was to go blithely forward, remaining as engaged as possible in their daily activities. Nowadays, of course, we have so many more options. However, do not forget the joy that may be gained from even the most mundane of chores, all of which can be used as moving meditations. When you’re washing a dish, for example, look to the Zen of that, the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something to maintain your environment and therefore a sense of well-being. And, each little dash contributes to making a greater splash. After all, a lot of full-fledged shticks are nothing more than a series of flourishes!
Going for Excelsior Blog Tour Information:
About the author
Wayne Hatford, B.A. in French and Spanish, M.A. in International Administration, is a teacher, writer, editor and author dedicated to bridging the gap between the physical and non-physical worlds. To that end, he channeled a friend, Janice Horn ~ Letters from Janice: Correspondence with the Astral Plane and, more recently, the spirit essence of Rudolph Valentino ~ Valentino Speaks: The Wisdom of Rudolph Valentino and Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood, all of which are available via Amazon.com. Each of these works explores the “Other Side” while offering insight and practical suggestions on how best to make the most of this one.
A life-long student of metaphysics and transformation, Wayne has both taught in public school and been a personal property appraiser. Wayne Hatford now resides in Santa Rosa, California where he and the Valentino essence continue their collaboration.
His latest book is Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood.
About The Book
What if you were as savvy as you could possibly be in matters of aging and, therefore, really soar, breeze through the final chapters of your life with flying colors? The ’senior’ experience, through only the most constructive and creative of lenses! Going for Excelsior” offers practical suggestions for successfully negotiating Seniorhood, a blueprint for active living ~ how to embrace where you’re at in your life, find hidden gems, turn up the voltage. Thriving in Seniorhood is about going beyond what’s expected or being directed at you by the host society and this book provides the reader with the tools and understandings to accomplish that goal. Conundrums solved. The sting removed from such phenomena as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Myths about Seniors debunked. These are only a few of the benefits that can be derived from reading this book which, hopefully, will serve to stretch your consciousness, something that’s rather elastic to begin with ~ in every stage of life.
‘Seniorhood’ ~ Where people often like to perceive us, once we have attained a certain age. Also, where we can choose to thrive, with clarity of purpose ~ and by design!
“Like all those who currently inhabit a body, you, too, are getting ready for Excelsior. Especially allow the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond of your ages to be magical in this regard, for you to be way-showers, preparing yourselves mentally, physically and spiritually for the next phase. There always is a next phase, by the way, and we are always getting ready for it. You are part of a grand design as am I. There is no other option!” ~ Rudolph Valentino
Now, let’s return to the more common definition of Excelsior, the loose packing material that is most associated with the shipping of fine art or antiques. It can come from many sources and, as a result, may have lots of different ‘looks.’ Metaphysically-speaking, however, Excelsior is a container for the soul and, being somewhat porous, allows for entry and exit, not only of the soul itself, but also of vibrations, both ours and those of other people. It might be easier to think of Excelsior as skin, that living, breathing, largest organ of the body whose properties model those of the Veil. Yes, once again our skin is a version of the Veil, that curtain of energy that separates the dimensions and whose function also is, under certain circumstances, to allow energy to pass through it. Our skin shields us from danger, yet it also allows us to shine our Light. Have you ever heard someone say that so and so’s skin was translucent? All of our skins are translucent. We shine, projecting the inner spark that is soul to the outer world while, at the same time, receiving Light from others, those we encounter in our daily lives. This is how we determine who to interact with, by what our impressions are of their Light. If, for example, we feel inundated or limited by their presence, it’s a sign that we ought to move on. So it’s about the quality of Light of each soul, which is the determining factor. This does not mean, however, that some souls have inferior Light. Rather, it simply signals that their frequencies are very different from ours and, as a consequence, are experienced as jarring. The converse could also be true ~ that we, too, might upset the applecart because our vibrations are not all that harmonious with theirs.
The following is perhaps a heady idea but, I think, very apropos. In lots of new age books, individual souls have often been referred to as Light workers. Indeed, that is exactly what we are, always putting on a show for our fellow travelers, those who happen to be in the body at the same moment as we. The skin, or Excelsior, monitors this so-called Light show, mostly on auto-pilot, but sometimes with the greatest of attention on our parts. What is it that throws the switch or adjusts the rheostat? A combination of factors, including, but not limited to, our own free will, emotional state of being and current degree of alignment. If we’re in sync with ourselves and our environment ~ in the flow, of course we glow. The soul is electric, like a dynamo or atom, independently functioning forever, and one of its modalities is to shed Light. That’s right, a soul cannot die, what we all know inside. It’s only the body that is capable of carrying out that task.
If you will, take a moment to focus on the porous nature of the skin. Not only does the soul make one definitive entrance and exit per physical body, but also countless others that are far more casual, such as each time we fall asleep or wake up. Yes, our soul or consciousness goes off to play in the Astral, in the so-called dream world when we sleep while remaining tethered to the physical body. It’s only when we die that the connection is broken and the soul can no longer re-enter the body. Some of you are more aware of the phenomenon of constantly leaving the body to dream than others. In the state we call half-sleep, people often sense their consciousness either floating close to the body or re-entering it with a thud when they suddenly awake. The skin, or Excelsior, breathes too, though in a more subtle way, in and out, mimicking the work of the lungs. Interesting that it’s the lungs, heart and skin that are the last bastions of movement before the body becomes inert, what we label as dead. At the very instant the first two stop working, the skin is poised to exhale the soul, ready to perform its final function.
Think of the skin that covers our bodies as millions of tiny mirrors, fractals with dampers that can be opened and closed at will. Yes, that is what we do when we emit Light, reflect it through the pores of our skin, and they are also the pathway for the Light of others to reach us. We are like solar panels then, forever in the process of reflecting and absorbing. What an exquisite landscape we wear! Who knew that packing material had such beauty, form, and function?
Going for Excelsior Tour Page
Gregory G. Allen maintains his spot on my list of authors I want to be stranded with. He earned that honor with Patchwork of Me (which I reviewed), and he keeps it with Cool Side Of The Pillow.
What’s stay-at-home dad Zachary Kleinmann to do when his son goes to pre-school and his services aren’t needed as much? Especially when he lives in an elite Connecticut community where not many understand his stay-at-home status. His wife, her parents, even some of his friends don’t understand how a professional man could throw it all away to stay at home.
But things change when Zachary meets Ginger Charman, leader of a local story-telling group. She’s older and uninhibited. She’s eccentric and Zachary loves the charge she’s bringing to his life.
Not sure what he really wants to be when he grows up, he spends more and more time with Ginger, helping her modernize and transform her entertainment business. When he experiences upheaval in his life, he turns to her and other new friends to get him through.
On the other end he understands life a little better, finds love, and realizes how he wants to spend his life.
Gregory G. Allen writes books about people I end up caring for. I was Zachary’s biggest cheerleader. I fell in love with Ginger and all her problems. As always, I want to know what happens to all these people next. Does the next stage of Zachary’s life make up for the previous one? Does he live happily ever after?
Consider me a giant fan of Gregory G. Allen. I’ll be waiting for his next novel. I hope it comes soon!
About the Author:
A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today she writes novels in a variety of genres, often laced with romance and intrigue. In addition to her Christian suspense/thriller, THE UNSPEAKABLE, she’s the author of the political intrigue/romance, THE UNFORGIVABLE, a fable, LOVE AND LULL, and the upcoming inspirational fantasy romance, WIND’S ARIA, with more in the works.
Visit the Author:
About the Book:
When a furtive conflict is pitted between violent leftist guerrillas and a rightwing paramilitary group in Colombia, a North American woman mistakenly gets caught in the middle.
“I spent four months, one week and two days in a clandestine prison referred to as The Water Cave. Every day I stared hell in the face, and each day I wanted to die. I don’t want to share too much too quickly. To understand fully, you must join hands with me, fasten your heart to mine, and course through my book. Stumble over the incomprehensible human rights journey with me. I’ve pondered it to the brink of questionable sanity, and it is the only way. It’s the only way to explain. I suppose I should consider myself lucky I survived at all—for many did not—yet, perplexingly so, that’s not the premise of this narrative.
He altered my life, marked me forever.
But it’s not how you might imagine.
This is a story involving Horacio Botello, my torturer known as Puma.”
Purchase your copy:
Tessa will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC, one autographed copy of her book, The Unspeakable, and one autographed copy of her other book, The Unforgivable!