Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thin Ice / Irene Hannon / 394 pages

Set in suburban St. Louis, Thin Ice resonates in our own backyard.  A former Olympic hopeful ice skater has fallen prey to a deranged immigrant.  He claims he has kidnapped her sister and he wants her.  If she wishes to see her sister alive she is not to contact the authorities.  Enter a brand new FBI agent, with a family of ranger and Delta force brothers, to take the case.  This edge-of-your-seat hometown thriller is a must read.

The Infinite Sea / Richard Yancey / 421 pages

This second book in the Fifth Wave series is riveting as it examines what it means to be human.  After the apocalyptic five waves of tragedy vastly reduced earth's populations; young children were turned into robotic soldiers; and certain individuals were inhabited by the alien force, a ragtag group of survivors heroically fight to reclaim their civilization.  Cassie Sullivan and her companions face seemingly insurmountable odds.  Children are implanted with bombs activated by a human's carbon dioxide exhalations.  Evan Walker must be eliminated.  Can Cassie and her friends succeed in this ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, and love and hate?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air/Paul Kalanithi/228 pgs

This book is not a feel good story - it is the story of a young neurosurgeon, who at the age of 36, is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.  The first half of the book is about his search for what live is all about and his decision to be a neurosurgeon.  The second half is about his fight to find how what is important when you have been told that you may not be here for much longer.  His wife writes the epilogue to the book and it is very moving.  Some of the medical language may be hard to get thru but it is worth it

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Food: A Love Story / Jim Gaffigan / 340 pgs

I have loved Jim Gaffigan ever since I was introduced to him in college about five years ago. I watched him joke about Hot Pockets, Cinnabon, bacon, and cheese and could not stop laughing. I will admit that I have yet to read Dad is Fat but when I realized I needed to read a food memoir for the #ReadHarder challenge I've been doing, I went straight for this book.

I don’t know much about grammar, but I think kale salad is what they call a “double negative.”

Gaffigan does not miss a thing. He wrote a book that touches on every single food item you can think of, and a lot you probably did not. His scope goes from talking about food from different areas of the country (yes, he does talk about St. Louis style pizza and toasted ravioli) to all the different food categories out there (fruit, vegetables, seafood, breakfast foods, fast food, even crackers). Even when you don't agree with him - how can anyone hate seafood? - you still can't help but crack up.

Golden Son / Pierce Brown / 446 pgs

I just finished the second book in the Red Rising trilogy. If you have yet to read the first book, be warned that there may be spoilers in this post.

I mean it - total spoilerage

I warned you!

Ok, so I was warned beforehand that unlike its predecessor, Golden Son was much lighter on the action and far too political. My friend said that people lie to the main character, Darrow, right and left, which made the book far too annoying and much less enjoyable than Red Rising.

After having read the book, I disagree. To make it as succinct as possible, Golden Son is Game of Thrones in space. Like Game of Thrones, noble families are categorized in houses. People change allegiances, hopping from one powerful family to another. There are political intrigues, assassinations, wealthy daughters being given away in marriage to create new alliances, and there are even battles. In space!!! After having won the military academy tournament in the last book, Darrow takes the fight all the way up to the supreme ruler of the solar system, while having to maintain an alliance with the man who had his wife killed. I loved it and can't wait for Morningstar.

Red Rising / Pierce Brown / 382 pgs

Two years ago, when I was in the middle of a huge YA period in my life, I read Red Rising and enjoyed it immensely. Science Fiction! Dystopia! Mars! Hundreds of years into the future! Social stratification! Action! Seriously, what's not to love? I reread it this month so I could finally read the second book in the trilogy, Golden Son, and be ready for the final book, Morningstar, coming out today! It will be a few days before I can get my hands on that last book, but I cannot wait!

Red Rising is about Darrow, a young man living in the lowest caste of society. He, along with all the other Reds, have been told that they are the pioneers of Mars, mining for the element needed to terraform the planet for the rest of humanity. Earth won't be able to sustain life for much longer. His sacrifice will help future generations. Then Darrow finds out the awful truth about the totalitarian society in which he has been raised. This discovery leads to the infiltration of the elite military academy of the Golds. Golds are humans, just like Darrow, but with their superhuman strength and stamina, they might as well be a completely different lifeform.

Pretty Baby/Mary Kubica/380 pgs.

It all begins when Heidi Wood sees a teenage girl, with a baby, standing on the platform of the "L" train in Chicago. Is the girl homeless? Does she need help? These questions plague Heidi until she makes contact with the girl, Willow, and baby Ruby. Heidi brings Willow and Ruby home to her condo where her husband, Chris, and young teen daughter, Zoe, are anything but thrilled. After all, what do they really know about this young girl, Willow? The book develops in chapters told from Heidi, Willow, and Chris's perspectives. It's an intriguing book--some parts are somewhat predictable, but on the whole, it's a hard book to put down. Highly recommended!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stars of Fortune/Nora Roberts/314 pgs.

Six strangers are drawn to the Greek island of Corfu--and to each other. By the powers that be, they are brought together to find the first of three stars: the fire star. They need to find it before Narezza, the Mother of Darkness, finds and recovers it. With it, and the other two stars, Narezza, Mother of Darkness, would be able to rule the world. It is up to Sasha Riggs, Bran Killian, Riley Gwin, Sawyer King, Annika Waters, and Doyle McCleary to find the fire star, and put a kink in Narezza's plans. Each of them brings a different power to the table, and untold secrets. This is the first installment in the "The Guardians Trilogy," and is similar to other Nora Robert "fantasy" trilogies.

Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas/ Alison Weir/ 536pages

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas written by Alison Weir is a biography of Lady Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII and contender for the English and Scottish thrones.  Weir traces Margaret's life through detailed written documentation including poetry and letters.  Included in the book are maps, photos, and family trees.  Margaret was the daughter of Henry VIII's youngest sister.  Aware of her place in the royal family tree Margaret spends most of her life manipulating marriage contracts for both herself and her children to her advantage.  This activity lands her in the Tower of London on more than one occasion.  Unfortunately, Margaret does not live long enough to see her grandson, King James VI of Scotland elevated to James I of England.  The books includes experts of letters and poems to support the author's take on Margaret's life.  It does not deal in depth with the daily life of Elizabethan England.  On the whole it was an enjoyable read about a less known Tudor even though some area's bog down with documentation.  For more info click here to visit the SCCCLD website.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Long Way Home/ Louise Penny/ 385 pages

The Long Way Home is number 10 in the Inspector Gamache series written by Louise Penny.  Gamache is now living in Three Pines with his wife.  He has retired from the Surte and enjoying the quite life.  After working up her courage, Clara Morrow asks Gamache to help her track down her husband Peter.  After a falling out, Clara has asked Peter to go away for a year to evaluate what is wrong with their marriage.  The year is up, but now a month later, Peter has not returned.  Gamache enlists the help of Beauvoir in tracking Peter.  Their search takes them, and Clara,  across Canada, interacting with people who have seen Peter during the past year, including his college art teachers.  Inspector Gamache fans will enjoy this novel as it moves along the personal stories of the recurring characters.  For more information check out the SCCCLD website.

Beautiful Mystery/ Louise Penny/ 384 pages

The Beautiful Mystery written by Louise Penny is the eight novel in the Inspector Gamache series.  In this offering, when on of the monks is murdered, Gamache and Beauvoir are the only outsiders allowed into the Monastery of  Saint Gilbert Entre-Les-Loups.  In this isolated setting, one of the monks has murdered the choir master.  Will Gamache and Beauvoir be able to solve the mystery before irreparable damage is done to their friendship?  The unique setting and characters make for an interesting read. The book describes monk-hood in an appealing way that will fascinate the reader.  For more information and read-a-likes, click here to visit the SCCCLD website.

Devil's Bones/ Steve Barry/ 30 pages

Devil's Bones written by Steve Barry is a short story that pits Cotton Malone against Gray Pierce, a character created by James Rollins.  Cotton and Gray are on an Amazon River boat.  Each has been sent by their handlers to get possession of a potent neurotoxin.  Can they do it before the cruise ends and the toxin is sold.  This was a very quick read written to demonstrate what would happen if these characters where to meet on a mission.  It was a fun read that fans of either author would enjoy.  For more information see the SCCCLD website.

SCCCLD December, January and February Challenge

Important update!
Bonus points for this challenge can only be earned during:

DecemberJanuary and February 

We are changing the format of our challenges to give you more time to get in those bonus points!  That could be helpful for this challenge.

December, January and February Challenge

Find a book title that contains the letters to spell the words red and green.  

Sounds easy doesn't it?  
It took me awhile to find one:
Evil Breeding: A Dog Lover's Mystery, 
by Susan Conant.

It cannot be the actual word, red or green, in the title.  You can only use each letter once.

Have fun, you have three months to complete this challenge.

To help tally bonus points, please label your challenge books with  SCCCLD Challenge Winter

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse / Joseph Marshall III / 143 pages

     In this children's fiction, the author tells biographical information about Crazy Horse in story form within a framework of a story about a boy on the Rosebud Reservation.  Jimmy is a Native American who, like many today, has light colored hair and fair complexion.  He is bullied for not looking "Indian enough" which is an actual problem not only for Native Americans, but for any minority of mixed blood who doesn't "look dark enough". 
     Jimmy doesn't want to fight with the two bullies and it has made school practically unbearable.  His grandfather takes him on a journey in the summer to many spots on the trail of Crazy Horse.  Crazy Horse was also a lighter Indian although his heritage other than Native American is not known.  There are also no actual photos of Crazy Horse.  He was, however, a great warrior known for innovative tactics which is how he defeated the army including Col. Custer at Greasy Grassy.  The story also tells of how Crazy Horse was murdered.
     The frame for the story was pretty basic since the purpose was to follow the travel of Crazy Horse like a history travel trip.  There is a map included so it would be a great trip to take and a really good book to read with kids so they can learn about real history that is missed in school.  Recommended.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Invention of Wings/Sue Monk Kidd/373 pgs.

Sarah Grimke is the different one in her family. Born into a wealthy, South Carolina family in the 1880s, Sarah has a thirst for knowledge, and an aversion to the institution of slavery. Author Kidd takes the reader on the journey of Sarah's life, and that of Hetty "Handful" Grimke--one of the slaves in the Grimke household. Told in the voices of Sarah and Hetty through alternating chapters, Kidd brings life in the South to the reader in all its ramifications--mistreatment of slaves, inequality of the races, lack of women's rights, etc. It's an engrossing read, based loosely on the lives of Sarah Grimke and her sister, Angelina Grimke--activists in the women's movement. Highly recommended!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies / Seth Grahame-Smith / 319 pgs.

I picked up the audiobook for my #ReadHarder challenge to read a horror book. Horror is not usually my genre, although I find I really like books about zombies (World War Z, Rot and Ruin, Warm Bodies). Who would ever think? You have no idea how much I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I highly recommend it! The narrator does all the voices so very well with her highly posh 19th century British accent.

The movie is coming out in just a few days and I definitely plan to see it. If you haven't seen a trailer yet, or figured from the title alone, the author took Jane Austen's classic and added about 30% more content, all related to zombies and the training to kill them. All of the Bennet sisters have been trained in the best dojos in China on the art of killing and the preservation of honor. Those much more wealthy than the Bennets (like Mr. Darcy) have received their training in Japan. Together, in Hertfordshire, they battle the undead, as well as try to figure out love and romance, in Edwardian England.

Under the Banner of Heaven / Jon Krakauer / 372 pgs.

I picked this book because I needed a book on religion for Book Riot's #ReadHarder challenge. After reading The Bishop's Wife around Christmas, I was curious to read more about Mormonism. Granted, Krakauer's book is a bit one-sided in his commentary, but I have since researched and found a lot of the historical facts he presented were correct. I've liked a few of his other books, like Into Thin Air and Into the Wild and consider his writing to be pretty trustworthy. However, although Krakauer does present a history of the beginnings of the Mormon church, a lot of the current information he presents is on a breakaway sect of the Mormon church known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose leader was in the news a few years ago and is currently in prison. Most mainstream Mormons would disavow that polygamous sect. My chief complaints are that although the book was informative, it was difficult to finish. It was plodding and Krakauer's penchant for going back and forth from present day to the 19th century and back again was a bit too much this time around.

Winter's Bone / Daniel Woodrell / 193 pgs.

At only 193 pages, this book was read in less than two days. I read it as part of the #ReadHarder challenge to read a book and watch the movie. I have the DVD placed on reserve, so I can't compare the two yet, but I loved this book. Unbeknownst to me, there is a new genre called country noir, coined by none other than the author of Winter's Bone, Daniel Woodrell.  Country noir books are placed in rural settings, often in the Ozarks or Appalachia and tend to have characters with little education, but often with a whole lot of common sense and survival know-how. Politics are of the family variety and there's often a lot of meth involved.

In Winter's Bone, sixteen-year old Ree Daisy must look for her dad when it seems he's skipped out on a court date or else risk losing what little her mom, her two younger brothers, and Ree owns. Her extended family provides little help, if not a whole lot of interference. If I have any complaints, it may be only that the language used is so foreign to a suburbanite, it hardly feels like this story could take place in the same state.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In the Unlikely Event/Judy Blume/402 pgs.

Thirty-five years ago, in the early 1950s, several airplane accidents happen in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Based on actual occurrences, Judy Blume gives a fictionalized account of these events. Miri Ammerman,one of the main characters in the story, is 15 years-old, and living in Elizabeth, New Jersey during the crashes. Blume takes the reader through the events in the past, up to the present--1987--when Miri is returning to Elizabeth for the 35 year commemoration of the tragedies. Blume does a wonderful job portraying the landscape of the time, and the impact such tragedy has on the families who lose loved ones in accidents, and the loss to the entire community. Highly recommended!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wytches (vol. 1) / Scott Synder / 200 pgs.

This graphic novel is everything you are looking for in a Horror comic.  It's bloody, cryptic, creepily atmospheric, and leaving the read with a sense that something really bad is going to occur at any

The story is about a family that had some untold past tragedy and are moving to a remote, little town in order to start over.  Of course, this pleasantville-esque town holds secrets and a sordid past.  There is something in the woods, and it needs to be fed....

Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell / 328 pgs

Eleanor comes from the "wrong side of the tracks", with an alcoholic & abusive step-father, a submissive/passive mother, and three younger siblings who she has to protect and look out for.  Park on the other hand, comes from a stable & loving middle class family who emphasize maintaining good grades and appearances.   The two form an unlikely, but ultimately a strong friendship through the course of the school year.

What I loved about the book is that even though Eleanor's situation was desperate and sad to read about; it seemed realistic (not over the top) and gives readers a chance to experience what a rough childhood could look like.  I also just loved Park, he is just a nice guy in this story.  He is able to put up with Eleanor's crazy life and emotional swings, and he tries to understand her.  A great lesson for Teens on what real love and friendship looks like.

YA Gateway Award Nominee 2015-2016

Millennium Snow (vol.1) / Bisco Hatori / 204 pgs

Chiyuki Matsuoka is a seventeen year old girl who has a fatal heart condition and can die any moment.  She has spent her life going in and out of hospitals and her doctors fear she is near the end.

 However, on one fateful day Chiyuki meets a mysterious teenage Vampire named Toya, who claims to hate humans, yet keeps showing up to spend time with Chiyuki.  Even though Toya is at times rude and pushes Chiyuki away so as not to get to close; Chiyuki is persistent (read: Stalkerish) in sticking around and being friends.  This gets to the crazy-sauce point when Toya yells at Chiyuki to "Leave me Alone", and Chiyuki with a very large smile responds, "I won't, I'll never leave you alone."

Oh yeah, and by the end of the book another handsome Teenage boy, who happens to be a werewolf, takes an interest in Chiyuki just to stir things up.  Typical Shojo fare, we'll see if this series can dig itself out of the usual paranormal romance genre stereotypes.  But I am not holding my breath.

Star Wars: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy / Alexandra Bracken / 317 pgs

A great retelling of "Star Wars: A New Hope" adapted for children.  It was even more exciting to listen to the audio recording as there were added sounds for the special effects.  Alexandra Bracken stayed very close to the source material, but gives insight into what the characters are thinking, which cannot be conveyed on screen.

Highly recommended to get your kiddo ready for the next Star Wars movie.  Or, if they are already a fan of Star Wars this easy read would be a great way to introduce them to novels.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend / Katarina Bivald / 394 pgs.

I just finished my ARC of this, and I do not see anyone else asking for it. Please let me know and I will be happy to send it your way. This was a cute story. It was one of those nice books that you want to read when you just need a happy ending. Swedish twenty-something Sara arrives in the tiny town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. She plans on staying with her pen pal, Amy, for two months only to find that Amy passed away from a long illness. Stranded and a stranger, Sara finds herself welcomed by the townspeople and realizes that the best way she can thank them is to start a bookstore in Amy's honor, sharing their mutual love of reading to the rest of the residents of Broken Wheel.

Yes, Please / Amy Poehler / 329 pgs.

I listened to Amy Poehler's Yes, Please while commuting to and from work the past week and loved it. Poehler talks about dealing with hating how you look in the mirror, childbirth, her start in show business, and trying to get rid of her Boston accent. She's hilarious. Along for the ride are other famous celebrities like Seth Meyers, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and Carol Burnett. I highly recommend listening to the audio book rather than reading the book, as there are some extra goodies that the print book just does not have. Besides, the audiobook won an Audie when it came out a couple of years ago. **WARNING** Frank discussion of drug use occurs sparingly throughout but a whole chapter devoted to it occurs on the 6th disc.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Brave Enough/Cheryl Strayed/135 pgs.

To be honest, I had never heard of this author. My daughter requested this book as a Christmas gift, so when I bought it, I decided to read it! It's basically a book of inspirational quotes, and how they apply to life--some quotes more inspirational than others! I enjoyed it, and see it as "gift book worthy"--though there is some language that some readers might find offensive.

In a Dark, Dark Wood/Ruth Ware/310 pgs.

Leonora Shaw (Lee, to some--Nora, to others) hasn't been in touch with her one time best friend, Clare, in ten years. It comes as a surprise, then, when Nora receives an e-vite for Clare's "hen" party, given by Clare's maid-of-honor, Flo--especially since Nora doesn't know that Clare is engaged, and isn't invited to the wedding. Nora has some unfinished business with Clare, so she decides to attend the bachelorette weekend, going with her friend, Nina. The weekend takes place at Flo's aunt's house--a glass structure deep in the woods. Told in Nora's voice, the story unfolds from scenes from the past to the present. Parts of the story are predictable, but it's a fast, suspenseful read--it's hard to put the book down! Recommended!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dance of the Bones / J. A. Jance / 355 pages

I almost felt as if I were reading a C. J. Box book with this one.  Set in the Old West town of Tuscon, in modern times, we have retired lawmen trying to solve a cold case homicide against the Tuscon Festival of Books backdrop.  An evil, scheming woman has turned partners against each other...and that's just the beginning of her laundry list of lousy deeds.  "Dance of the Bones combines native American lore and modern suspense."

Beach Town / Mary Kay Andrews / 434 pages

Greer Hennessey is a movie location scout whose career is in jeopardy.  She must find a picture perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big budget movie.  After her plane sets down in Panama City, the reader is treated to a brief, nostalgic trip along highways 98 and 30, as she rejects Panama City, Destin, Seaside, Mexico Beach...and settles on Cypress Key.  The town is perfect!  The script calls for an explosion in an iconic building and the town has a building that fits the bill.  Unfortunately, the town mayor/city engineer is opposed to its demolition.  As Greer wrestles to do her job, she falls for the mayor...and he for her.  Greer rediscovers her father whom she hasn't seen for thirty years, and realizes that family trumps career.  Although the resolution is a might too smooth, it is abundantly satisfying, and reference to the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazard is certainly timely.

Random Violence / Jassy Mackenzie / 288 pages

Jade de Jong has returned to Johannesburg, South Africa after a ten year hiatus.  She has returned to murder a murderer soon to be released from prison.  Two wealthy farm brothers brutally murdered several of their hired help and Jade's father had amassed a file of evidence against them.  Unfortunately, the brothers' money is able to buy corruption; her father is killed in a suspicious accident; and his briefcase disappears.  When a dirty cop, who was in the car in which her father died, attempts to kill Jade, she kills him is self defense.  She believes the Viljoen brothers to be the driving force.  Upon her return, she is drawn into a suspicious death investigation and a former romance.  The death segues to multiple murders and corruption, and the romance to a flickering flame.

Spirits of the Ghan / Judy Nunn / 381 pages

I bought this book in Australia when my Nook was fried.  It is set in Australia and recounts the surveying and construction of the Great Ghan Railroad that traversed the wilds of the Australian Outback.  Miss Nunn has done an outstanding job of portraying the beauty, the history, the traditions, and the native people of this vast land.  The past impacts the present, and it takes the melding of two cultures to right an ancient wrong.

Sisters / Raina Teigemeier / 202 pages

This graphic novel deals with a lot of familial issues in a fun format.  Through contrasting colored pages, we are given flashbacks filling us in on past incidents in the family's history that impact the current crisis - a road trip to a family reunion.  The father arrives separately.  At the end, we find out why.

Miracle at Augusta / James Patterson / 203 pages

Travis McKinley is a most unlikely hero.  As an unknown amateur, he won the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach.  He is excellent at reading a course, thanks to his grandfather's tutelage.  Unfortunately, he is suspended from the game because of a fist fight with another golfer, and the suspension is extended do to uncaddylike behavior.  A teenage Romanian refugee is his ticket to redemption.  The ending is extraordinarily well done and will warm the cockles of your heart.

The Liar / Nora Roberts / 501 pages

When Shelby Foxworth fell in love, she fell hard.  When she married wealthy Richard Foxworth and had his baby, she thought they were set for life and would live happily ever after...and in luxury.  When Richard's boat capsizes in a storm and his body is not recovered, he is presumed dead.  As Shelby goes through his papers, she discovers that he is a liar...and worse.  She struggles to pay his many debts and moves back home with her daughter, Callie, to continue the debt payoff, finding work in her grandmother's salon and singing in a local night spot...and finding Griffin Lott, a successful contractor who is a transplanted Yankee.  Sparks fly...and not just the romantic type.  Spicy, interesting characters make this romantic thriller a most exciting read.

"Cold contempt can be a sharper blade than hot temper."

Garden of Lies / Amanda Quick / 359 pages

Ursula Kern is a widow who runs a secretarial service.  When one of her employees and friend is found dead and police declare it a suicide, Ursula is convinced it is murder.  When she asks for time off from her own current assignment, cataloguing the collection of one Mr. Slater Roxton, he declines.  A most unusual wealthy man, he was an illegitimate son with an actress mother.  He was thought to be buried alive and spent a year alone on Fever Island.  Upon his miraculous return to civilization, He inherited his father's wealth and started his own business, hiring many of his mother's actor friends.  He is quite determined to aid Ursula in her quest.  He wants her...and not just as a secretary.  Together they uncover a drug manufacturing and distribution and a rather unlikely murderer.

All He Saw Was the Girl / Peter Leonard / 250 pages / Action Adventure Set Outside the U.S. Challenge

"McCabe was in Italy on an academic scholarship, 35 grand worth of tuition, room and board.  He'd lose it if he was involved in a disciplinary situation."  Chip Tallenger, a wealthy U.S. senator's son who likes to walk on the wild side, steals a taxi in Rome, landing them both in Rebibbia, a prison.  Chip's dad secures their release, but not before McCabe aggravates several of the inmates.  When McCabe comes to the rescue of an Italian girl whose purse is snatched by a drive by motorcyclist, he becomes the victim of a kidnapping.  The girl was a plant.  The motorcyclist a fortuitous stroke of luck.  The kidnappers mistook McCabe for Chip.  The senator paid the ransom, believing it was his son who was kidnapped.  McCabe's chances do not look good!

Whiskey Rebellion / Liliana Hart / 198 pages

Addison Holmes is a high school teacher.  In an attempt to save money for a down payment on a home, she takes a temporary job as a stripper in a local nightclub.  Needless to say, this is not where her talents lie, and she is fired the first day.  As she is leaving the establishment, she quite literally stumbles over the dead body of her high school principal.  When her best friend learns of Addison's job, she offers her a part-time job with her detective agency.  Addison loves the job, but doesn't to be especially adept at this one either.  Sparks fly as detective Nick Dempsey arrives on the scene, adding spice and humor to murder, mayhem, and infidelity.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

STILETTO / Daniel O’Malley / 592 pages / MO Book Challenge Wildcard: NOT born in Missouri

(Note: Received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher)

Fantasy and series fans will rejoice at the opportunity to re-visit this extraordinary world of bizarre covert operations and enjoy speculating about unresolved threads left behind that can lead to further adventures!

What do you do when negotiations between deadly rivals falter due to vicious terrorist attacks? O’Malley’s popular debut fantasy, THE ROOK, concerned amnesia and conspiracies among The Checquy, a paranormal version of Britain’s MI5. That novel ended with a startling proposal from the seemingly immortal leader of the Grafters, the agency’s oldest enemy.

In STILETTO, Rook Myfanwy Thomas, still suffering from amnesia, is sponsoring a merger with their old adversary, peaceful dialogue threatened by a fiendish, unknown enemy. She pairs up two young women who despise everything the other stands for, assigning one to act as bodyguard for the other. There exists a bitter and long-standing enmity between Checquy personnel and members of the Grafters’ organization. Can they overcome centuries of inbred fear and hated to avoid an all-out supernatural war?

Witty banter, otherworldly paranoia, and fragile diplomacy have never been so much fun!  

TWITTERSTILETTO by O’Malley - ROOK Thomas’ dilemma: stop attacks on merger talks or supernatural war erupts! 

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Princess Bride/ Cary Elwes/ 259 pages

As you wish : inconceivable tales from the making of The princess bride /As You Wish, written by Cary Elwes, takes the reader behind the scenes of the Princess Bride.  From screenplay to the 25 Anniversary of the movie' release, Cary, aka the 'Dread Pirate Roberts, aka Westley, shares information on how the project was started, stalled and finally brought to life by Rob Reiner.  Along the way the reader learns how much work went into the 'greatest sword fight in modern times' and how performed with a broken toe.  Cary tells the story through his experience and members of the cast and crew relate their impressions.  Who played the ROUSes?  Which actor had a fear of heights?  What is 'the American'?  If you liked the Princess Bride, now some what of a cult film, you will enjoy this book.  For more information check out the SCCCLD website.