Month: September 2015

Book Review: “Words to Die By” by Jeanne Lamb-Carlin

Book Review: “Words to Die By” by Jeanne Lamb-Carlin

“Words to Die By” is a delightful cozy mystery! There is a story within a story which is expertly presented by the author. Lizzie is written a fictional account of the hunt for a serial killer, but then murders start occurring in her quiet little town which appear to have been copied from the book. Only a few of Lizzie’s friends have read the book, is one of them the murderer? Lizzie and her best friend Ally decide they need to investigate. The problem is, Ally’s boyfriend is the copy assigned to the case and he doesn’t want her anywhere near the investigation. What happens next? You’ll have to read the book for yourself if you want to find out. The characters in this story are likeable and endearing, and the story will keep you guessing till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely read more from this author. NOTE: This is book 2 in a series but also stands on its own.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Drachen” by Brendan le Grange

Book Review: “Drachen” by Brendan le Grange

A treasure hunt filled with danger, adventure, and mysterious places!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is just non-stop action and adventure. Brett is searching for a lost treasure somewhere on the European coast. But she not the only one following the clues. Chapter 1 drops you into the middle of a foot chase with Brett as the one being chased. After she escapes she teams up with her friend Patrick, who helps her to locate the clues and provides protection. Then she encounters Sam, who steals the keys and the book that contains the clues. Sam is working with Roman and before you know it all 4 of them are being hunted by a Finnish mercenary and his team.

The action literally never stops in this story and if you like books that keep you on the edge of your seat, you will definitely love this one. I really enjoyed the main characters and the way they worked together. The locations are fabulous and the clues are particularly inventive. This is way more complex than just find the location of the red “X”. Make sure you buckle your seatbelt before diving in to this one, but definitely dive in!!

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Tuna Life” by Erik Hamre

Book Review: “Tuna Life” by Erik Hamre

This is a great mystery/thriller which incorporates the latest in mobile apps into its twisted plotline. The setting is the Gold Coast of Australia and the players in this drama are just ordinary people trying to create the “next big thing” in mobile app technology. There are two simultaneous plotlines taking place as we follow Andrew, the burnt-out accountant, and Scott, a seasoned crime reporter. Andrew rises from obscurity to worldwide fame on the heels of the Tuna Life app. Meanwhile, Scott has been demoted to the business desk and he starts investigating the new tech companies, while at the same time mentoring his replacement, Mark, when he gets a lead on a possible serial killer. I give kudos to Erik Hamre for the creativity of the plotline and the depth he brings to his characters. I also really enjoyed the way he incorporated the setting of the Gold Coast and made me feel as if I knew the place without actually being there. This would be a great book for anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “When Water Flows Uphill” by Beryl Shaw

Book Review: “When Water Flows Uphill” by Beryl Shaw

A unique and educational story! Beryl Shaw has taken a hotbed issue, water rights and drought, and turned it into a thoroughly engaging story.

Dr. Armand Croft suffers from an amnesia syndrome in which he repeatedly wakes up as a different person who has no memory of his past. His only connection to the past are notes that he keeps in his wallet to remind his future self of key characteristics of his life, such as the existence of his daughter. Dr. Croft is in charge of a project to bring water from a valley in northern Nevada to the city of Las Vegas. The locals are opposed and some of them are prepared to fight to the end. From the start, Dr. Croft receives threatening e-mails and packages containing dead animals. His personal life is on the upswing as he renews his relationship with his daughter and finds new love in a co-worker.

This story is complex and twisty with great characters. Personally, I’ve never heard of the type of amnesia described in this story, but I found it to be a fascinating part of the plot. There is plenty of scientific material related to water throughout the book, but the author has done a great job of incorporating it into the storyline and dialogue without being boring. There are also elements of a thriller to keep you on your toes. I think many readers will find good stuff here.

Happy Reading!

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And Now For A Bit Of Humor

I was recently challenged to either try stand-up comedy or write down my stories. So, I’ve decided to go with option 2. I hope that you will at least chuckle a bit and I would appreciate (?!?) feedback.

“The Beginning of Every Phone Call”

A little background: my Mom is in her seventies now and the brain just ain’t what it used to be.

My phone rings. I pick it up, see that the call is from my mother, and push the Answer button.

Me: Hello!

Mom (in a surprised tone): Oh! Jenny! It is you!

Me: Yes Mom, it’s me.

My brain speaking to itself: Who the heck did you think it was going to be when you dialed my number?

“The Wedding Reception Conversation”

Background information: I serve lunch every day at my son’s high school so I know all the kids in his class. My son is 15.

Me: So Saturday is going to be a pretty busy day. My plan is to take you to computer class and then let you hang out for a while and play games. We’ll pick you up about 4, get some food, and then go to Sam’s wedding.

Son: Aeyana was telling everybody she got a new dress for the wedding, and she and Carly are both going to the party and there will be dancing.

Me: I’m not sure we’re going to the reception.

Son: Mom, I have to go to the reception. Someday I might have a wedding of my own and I need to know how you do a wedding.

Me: Hmmm… I think you just want to go to the reception so you can dance with Carly.

Son (with a face now 15 shades of red): Mom, don’t say that. I haven’t even talked to Carly yet this year.

“The Sword and the Dragon” by M. R. Mathias

This is an absolutely wonderful fantasy novel! I haven’t read fantasy books for years and I’m thrilled to have read this one. I was completely enthralled from the first page to the last. This story has everything a fantasy world needs: elves and giants, humans and dragons, demons and fairies, and lots and lots of magic. The storyline is complex but not overwhelming and none of it feels forced. I found the main characters to be well developed individuals. Hyden and Mikahl especially impressed me with their commitment to their destinies and to their friends.

This is the first book in a trilogy. While it leaves you wanting more, it is complete in itself. Anyone who enjoys fantasy or adventure will enjoy this book. The writing is excellent and the author’s style is very approachable. In addition, the book has been edited extremely well. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Happy Reading!

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http://amzn.to/1KaZunt

“Experiencing God: Volume V” by Clare Mc Neill

“Experiencing God: Volume V” by Clare Mc Neill

This is a book of inspirational poetry. The poems have been written by the author during times of prayer and studying the Bible. The author states that the poems have been inspired by both the Old and New testaments and speak of God’s desire to bless His people.

I did not find the poems to be particularly inspiring, but that is probably because I’m not especially fond of poetry. I found that the poems definitely referenced many portions of the Bible and I did not find anything in them that was theologically incorrect (always something I look for in a book that claims to be inspired by God). I think that lovers of poetry and lovers of God could find a lot of hope and comfort in these poems. None of them are particularly long so even if you only have a minute you can easily finish a poem. I would recommend reading them one at a time and taking time to ponder and let them sink in.

Happy Reading!

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http://amzn.to/1iF8XMJ

“The Cries of the Butterfly” by Rajeev Roy

“The Cries of the Butterfly” by Rajeev Roy

An unusual but engaging read! This is a love story, but one that is laced with tragedy. The Butcher family boasts of a President, a moviestar, and the world’s richest man among its ranks. Wolf is the moviestar and the favorite of the family. The deaths of five other family members, including his favorite niece, sends him into a crippling depression. When he meets little Robin, an orphan, and then Savannah, his true love, he finds a new reason to live. Wolf and Savannah long to be married and adopt Robin but one tragic circumstance after another gets in the way of their plans.

This story is original and complex. While each tragedy felt like a stab in the heart, I, nevertheless, wanted to keep reading to know what the ultimate outcome would be. That outcome was impossible to guess in advance. The main characters are thoroughly developed and very likable. This book is appropriate for adults but because of some graphic sex and language I would not recommend it for teens.

Happy Reading!

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