Month: July 2015

“The Jewel Box” by C. Michelle McCarty

“The Jewel Box” by C. Michelle McCarty

I absolutely loved this story! “The Jewel Box” by C. Michelle McCarty recounts the life of fictional character Cherie O’Quinn. We first meet her as she’s desperately looking for a job to support herself and her young daughter. Cherie heads to the big city of Houston where she finds a job at a topless bar. While working there she meets the love of her life. The rest of the book traces their relationship and its ups and downs from the 1970’s to the new century. I loved all the cultural references in the story that trace historic happenings in the country interwoven with the drama that is Cherie and Gabriel’s life. The author has done a wonderful job of giving us an inside view on these two and also how those around them affect the choices they make for themselves. This is a beautiful, though at times heartbreaking, story of the power of love and how sometimes it’s impossible to let go. This book goes to the top of my favorites list.

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Happy Reading!

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“The Murderer’s Daughter” by Jonathan Kellerman

“The Murderer’s Daughter” by Jonathan Kellerman

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for allowing me to read a pre-publication copy of this book.

An absolutely riveting story! You cannot miss out on reading this book!

Dr. Grace Blades is a psychologist and a loner. She treats people that have suffered severe trauma, and she’s good at it. But Grace has suffered her own traumas and the past is about to come back and haunt her. Soon Grace’s life is in danger and she must put all the clues together quickly if she wants to come out alive.

This book drew me in immediately and kept me hooked. The pace was very comfortable and made for quick reading. The story is told in an alternating pattern, changing from the action in the present to the events in Grace’s childhood that set up the events of the present. The two perspectives are interwoven perfectly. The author gives you a glimpse of the past at just the right moments in the present story. Dr. Blades is a complicated character but she is beautifully drawn out in this book.

It’s very rare that I feel privileged to have been able to read a book, but reading this one has definitely been a privilege. This book is scheduled to be released on August 18, 2015 and I highly recommend it to everybody.

Happy Reading!

“The Wicked Wives” by Gus Pelagatti

“The Wicked Wives” by Gus Pelagatti

“The Wicked Wives” is an intriguing work of fiction based on actual events that took place in Philadelphia in the late 1930’s. A man named Giorgio Disipio is running an insurance fraud scheme that involves assisting wives in killing their husbands in order to collect on their life insurance policies. This book takes the reader through several of the murders and the District Attorney’s investigation and efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The author has done a great job of bringing the story to life. The main characters are well developed and you can just feel the tension between the conspirators as the circle of wives grows and the law starts to get closer. There is some sexual content so it may not be suitable for younger readers but if you’re like me and enjoy the lesser known bits of history I think you will really enjoy this book. This one get a 4 out of 4 star rating from me.

Happy Reading!

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“Night On Fire” by Ronald Kidd

“Night On Fire” by Ronald Kidd

The Freedom Riders were a group of black and white students, who in the 1960’s decided they wanted to end segregation on buses by riding together through Alabama. In the small town of Anniston, Alabama, their bus was attacked by local residents who set the bus on fire and beat the Freedom Riders as they tried to escape. About a week later, in Birmingham, Alabama, there was a rally at the black First Baptist Church where a mob tried to burn down the building with over 1.000 people inside, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

This book takes the facts of these events and weaves a story around them. The story is told by Billie Sims, a 13 year old white girl who lives in Anniston. Billie has enjoyed a lovely childhood with her parents, younger brother, and the maid Lavender. Lavender is black. Billie has never thought much about the differences between the white folks and the black folks who live in separate parts of town in Anniston. Then one day she is at the local white people’s grocery store when a young black boy walks in. Suddenly all eyes are on him and the owner of the store refuses to serve his “kind”. This incident starts the wheels turning in Billie’s mind and she begins to have questions about prejudice and discrimination. She happens to meet Lavender’s daughter one day at a spelling bee; she didn’t even know Lavender had a daughter. Jarmaine tells Billie about the Freedom Riders who will be coming through Anniston in a few days. Billie is there when the bus is burned and she is horrified by the actions of people she has known all her life. People swinging bats and chains at the young people on the bus; police just standing by and watching it happen; her father watching it all from a distance. On the day of the scheduled rally, Billie and Jarmaine sneak out of their houses and board a bus for Birmingham. Billie likes Jarmaine and during their journey she gets a taste of what it’s like to be the minority in the crowd.

I found this book to be hard to put down. I so wanted to know how things were going to turn out for Billie and Jarmaine. They learn some valuable lessons as they journey together and Billie begins to dream of a world where black and white can be friends. Ronald Kidd has done a wonderful job telling this story. I was really able to feel like I was there with these girls as they witnessed how cruel people can be to each other and how scared the two groups were of each other. It is awe-inspiring to me to see the kind of courage it took for these young people to put their lives on the line in order to bring about change.

The book is intended for a young adult audience but I think anybody of any age would enjoy this story. The author has tried to stay true to the facts while creating his fictional characters and has done a wonderful job in that regard. The Freedom Riders were a group that we don’t often hear about in talks about the Civil Rights movement, but their spirit she live in hearts no matter what color we are. I would highly recommend this book and I’m giving it 4 out of 4 stars.

Happy Reading!

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Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this pre-release copy of the book.

Reviews Published

Professional Reader

“Nica of Los Angeles” by Sue Perry

“Nica of Los Angeles” by Sue Perry

A unique and engaging story! In “Nica of Los Angeles”, Sue Perry has created a reality filled with Frames. The Frames are linked together by Connectors and there are Travelers who move between the Frames. Some Frames are free and some are neutral, and the whole thing is overseen by the Framekeeps.

Nica has spent her life drifting from one husband to another and from job to job. She finds herself having inherited the lease on an office and decides to be a private detective. Her first day she gets 3 clients, 1 of them will change her life. Anya and Anwyl travel through the Frames and find themselves in need of help from a Neutral in order to defeat the Warty Sebaceous Cysts who have plotted genocide against the people of the Halcyon Frame. They recruit Nica and the whirlwind adventure begins.

I enjoyed the concept of the Frames which is new to me. The author’s imagination with this concept seem to have no limits. There are buildings that are sentient and can talk and move around in some Frames. There are Gumby like humanoids and earthworms that are Healers. Ms. Perry gets kudos for creativity here. Her main characters are well developed. The story did seem to get bogged down with descriptions at times and this was a little frustrating. Overall, I enjoyed the story because the plot line was complex and interesting. I’m giving this book 3 out of 4 stars.

Happy Reading!

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“The Cat in the Window” edited by Callie Smith Grant

“The Cat in the Window” edited by Callie Smith Grant

This is a delightful collection of short stories about cats. Each story is carefully told and reveals the many ways in which cats enrich our lives. So curl up in the hammock with your favorite cat and enjoy each one of these engaging, feel-good stories.

Happy 4th of July!!

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