Posts Tagged ‘50 in 2011’
Be prepared to be creeped out from the very beginning of this whirlwind novel! CJ Lyons gives us a fast-moving, thrill-filled tale in Snake Skin.
Lucille Teresa Guardino, Pittsburgh’s defender of children, struggles to balance her life. Between her career keeping children safe from predators that seemingly lurk everywhere and being a mom to a pre-teen daughter and being a wife to a doting psychologist husband, it isn’t an easy task.
In Snake Skin, Guardino rushes to find a young girl. Did Ashley run away? Or was she kidnapped? Guardino grows frustrated as the arguments grow supporting both questions. Testing Guardino’s resolve even further, is a sick daughter whose diagnosis might be one every parent fears: cancer.
CJ Lyons keeps the action moving. Guardino is a character a mother can relate to. The bad guy is almost sympathetic. And I think I’ve developed a snake phobia.
Check this one out!
This is the kind of book I was raised on! My cousin Cindy–who is a few years older–would pass these wonderful books along to me after she read them. They had titles like Cats, Rats, Dogs. She introduced me to Dean Koontz and VC Andrews. I can’t wait to tell her about Michael Robb!
I bought The Butcher’s Boy after reading an excerpt I saw on Twitter. It was great and made me want to keep reading.
A newly-divorced woman moves into an old fixer-upper with her 11-year old son and their Rottweiler, Lucy(fur). Immediately, young Michael realizes the house is haunted. Along with his babysitter, he begins researching the house and ways to contact it’s spiritual inhabitants.
The seller of the house failed to mention that it had been the scene of a grizzly murder decades before. The home’s former owner was called The Butcher after he murdered his entire family. He eventually died in the gas chamber.
Robb writes like a story teller. I felt he was sitting next to me, telling me about something that really happened. He’s smooth and delicious at building up the suspense and letting the story unfold easily.
The beauty of this story is that the ghost story is told in such a realistic way. It is part of the story; it is not the whole story. It’s presented in such a matter-of-fact manner that I found myself convinced that ghosts exist!
As usual, I don’t want to give too much away! Do yourself a favor and get this book! I’m adding Michael Robb to my list of people to be stranded with on a deserted island!
When I heard about this book I was so excited! Cat Bordhi was teaching this method at a local yarn store and I didn’t want to wait for the class. Instead, I rushed to my even more local yarn store and bought the book. I stopped at a gallery next door and raved about the possibilities of this book.
Imagine, knitting a sock tailored exactly to your foot! Short or long, wide or narrow…your socks would fit so well!
I barely made it in the door before I whipped open the book. I searched for a piece of cardboard to make my own (albeit rather strangely shaped) personal footprint! Then I really started reading.
When I discovered that the first sock was knit only for one needle size and one gauge and was pretty useless except it gave you your reference points for future socks, I was disappointed. I am not a patient knitter. If I’m going to knit a sock, it had better fit me when I am done.
This book clearly isn’t for me. I don’t want to spend time knitting sample socks. I want to spend time knitting a wearable sock. But give it a try if you’re new to socks. There’s a lot of information on sock making that you will find helpful!
When Laurel Osterkamp approached me about reviewing her book, Starring in the Movie of My Life, for the Blog Tour de Troops this weekend, she told me it didn’t fit my preferred genres of mystery or thriller. I am so glad she decided to ask me any way because this is an excellent book.
Chapters alternate between the stories of Melody, a high school senior, and Samantha, a 35 year old newly wed. At first it’s difficult to determine why these two stories are being told, but it soon becomes clear. It is also clear that there’s no way these stories are going to end pleasantly.
This book has it all: problems with mothers, problems with the opposite sex, marital problems, crushes, surrogate pregnancy, to name some. But this doesn’t mean this book is all over the place. It’s tight and concise and you find yourself cheering for both women.
I don’t like to cry, but this book made me sob like a baby. And I didn’t mind. There were some button-pushing themes here. I wonder how much of these Laurel has experienced herself because she captured the angst and difficulty with such clarity.
Do yourself a favor and pick up Starring in the Movie of My Life. It’s a fast read because you want to keep going to find out what happens. Actually, because you need to find out what’s happening!
Laurel is making it super easy for you to read this book. Anyone who comments below will be sent a code to receive the book for free from Smashwords and will earn a book for the troops!
Chris and Pamela Cross suffer the loss of their restaurant when it burns down. They purchase an old house, deciding that it will be perfect for their 40s-themed restaurant and bar where the wait staff look like famous 40 movie stars and the band plays 40s music. It’s the perfect venue for Chris’ own startling resemblance to Humphrey Bogart. It isn’t long after renovations start that the first body appears under a slab of cement in the basement. A second is discovered in the yard.
Relatives of the first victim contact Chris and Pamela and ask them to help figure out who was the murderer. Chris is able to work his Bogey persona while dealing with the remaining suspects and characters who were around when the house was a boarding house in the 1940s.
I was pleasantly irritated by the Bogey references because I don’t know enough about Humphrey Bogart! I’m planning on watching some of his movies so I understand them in the next book! I was also stunned by the ending! I never saw it coming! And it wasn’t one of those endings where a complete stranger ends up being the murdered without ever having been mentioned previously.
The ending is brilliance and I loved it!
Give Marja McGraw’s Bogey Nights a whirl.
On Goodreads, Mary Higgins Clark has been described as “low key” and comforting “like a warm blanket or favorite sweater.” That’s why I keep reading her year after year…because she is predictable. Clark has found her formula and works it quite well.
In I’ll Walk Alone, interior designer, Zan Moreland is living the nightmare of having her son abducted. Zan goes to a meeting, leaving her son, Matthew, in the care of a teenager babysitter. The child is abducted in broad daylight after the sitter falls asleep in the park. On the second anniversary of the tragedy, events conspire to make Zan–and all those around her–question her sanity, as well as her part in the horrific crime. An irate ex-husband and a now-older former babysitter, who’s tired of being the scapegoat, conspire to bring the story back into the limelight. Pictures surfacing of Zan taking the child herself make everyone re-think her innocence in the crime. Using the very current, very real crime of identity theft to round out the plot, Clark pens the story of Zan’s life going into a tailspin.
Clark offers many different suspects. I’ll Walk Alone isn’t as easy to guess as other Clark novels.
If you’re looking for a light summer beach read, this book is perfect.
I’ve reviewed James Patterson before. I’ve been a long-time fan. But I don’t think I would have voluntarily read this book if the library hadn’t had this on hold. But, I’m glad I did read it!
I am not a big fan of science fiction. Blood and guts? No problem. A story set in the future? Forget it.
I’m glad I worked past it and read Toys.
Hays Baker is a futuristic James Bond-like character. After a horrific accident, his entire life is thrown into a tailspin when he discovered a secret that destroys his life. He isn’t a member of the new Elite race. Instead, he is a human…a “skunk” as they are known in the future.
Written with Patterson’s typical fast-paced style, the story speeds by as Hays comes to term with his change of status and his new-found need to save the human race. It ends with a nice twist, making me believe there is more to come of this story.
Once I got past the idea that this was a novel set in the future, I sat back and enjoyed the ride. I’m not sorry that I did!
I am a big fan of Annie and Max Darling, the main characters in Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series. Dead by Midnight is another romp I’m pleased to have shared with the Golden Couple.
Annie, proprietress of the murder mystery shop Death on Demand, hires the former secretary of a prestigious law firm to work for her. She is surprised when she ends up dead. But while the police claim her death is a suicide, Annie is certain they are wrong. Together Annie and Max wander about their South Carolina island paradise, and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Carolyn Hart does a nice job of weaving the tale, making you suspect so many different people! Because of the Death on Demand novels and her creation of the perfect island landscape, I feel a need to find a similar place to visit and maybe live!
Definitely check this one out. You don’t need to start at the beginning of the series, but it wouldn’t hurt. It would be time well spent with some pleasant people in a gorgeous setting!
If you’re hungry, don’t read a Diane Mott Davidson novel, hoping to forget about food! Her main character, caterer Goldy Schulz, cooks her way around solving a crime. Crunch Time is no different and left me craving Cuban food and homemade cream of mushroom soup!
This time around, Goldy’s good friend Yolanda becomes a suspect in the murder of her recent benefactor, Ernest. Yolanda and her great aunt Ferdinanda had moved in with Ernest when their previous house burned down. Now Yolanda and Ferdinanda are living with Goldy’s family—including the chief investigator into Ernest’s murder, Tom, her police detective husband.
Between cooking and snooping, Goldy discovers a thick plot involving domestic abuse, stalking, marijuana, and puppy mills.
A lot is going on in this book. But it works.
I’ve been a fan of the Goldy Schulz series from the beginning. If you’re a little OCD like me, start from the beginning and work you way through the books. You won’t be sorry. But you might be hungry…
George Pappas’ Monogamy Sucks is a sad and hilarious romp through the swinging scene. The protagonist, Jake, decides he wants casual, non-relationship sex. He sets off to find it through ads, swinging parties, the Internet, and other means. He is desperate to avoid monogamy—and the boring sex that comes with it–at all costs!
I’ve seen this described as erotica. To me, erotica is sensual and pleasant. Monogamy Sucks is sex-filled, but the sex doesn’t seem to be enjoyed by poor Jake. He comes across as desperate and cruel much of the time. He doesn’t seem to have much “good sex,” instead going from one awkward and nasty sexual encounter to another.
Fortunately, Jake is still lovable. I spent most of the novel wanting to pat him on the back and tell him everything would be alright! He doesn’t take well to the swinging scene, which makes him likeable. I think I would have found the book much less enjoyable if he dove right into the swinging lifestyle with a successful whoop. I like that he struggles and flounders.
This book is made up of some raunchy sex scenes. So don’t read it if that sort of thing bothers or offends you. But if you’re curious, you won’t be disappointed.