Thursday, June 4, 2009

Apologize, Apologize!-Elizabeth Kelly

What can you truly say about the life of Collie Flanagan? Mindboggling comes to mind...

Collie was born into a very affluent family living in Martha's Vinyard. His grandfather, Peregrin Lowell (aka "The Falcon"), is a widowed newspaper mogul with a very stern hand and a ritualistic life style, which his household servants have had to "endure" to say the least.

His mother and father live in a smaller home on the same property as the grandfather. Essentric is not the word for this brood. Collie's father married his mother, Peregrine's daughter, as a way of escaping any means of financial responsibility. Living with them is his mother's brother, Uncle Tom, who also doesn't work and has an uncanny way of condescending to Collie because of his own inadequecies. Collie also has a brother named Bingo, who is the family favorite. The mother has an obsession with dogs and that is how the boys got their names.

Collie's mom lives in a world of delusion, contradicting everything she says by her actions. She likes to think of herself as a righteous liberal fighting for "the causes."

His father and Uncle Tom drown their inadequecies in a literal "drunk fest" most of the time, but still maintain a degree of superiority and deliberate degredation.

Collie's story is complicated to say the least. Lost in the shadows of his brother, he can't seem to get solid footing and no encouragement from his family.

There is a surprising twist in the middle of this book that seriously puts the "A" in angst for Collie.

Elizabeth Kelly's debut novel might possibly be the best book I've read in the last five years. Her use of the English language is stunning and superb. I read in a review of this book that is made "Holden Caulfiedl look like he was a kindergartener." Nothing could be more true. This is an absolutely brililant novel that I will never forget and I thank Elizabeth for writing it. There is much to be learned from what I hope will become a "masterpiece."

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be-David Cristofano

Jonathan Bovaro has been watching Melody Grace McCartney for the last 20 years.

Melody was six when she, along with her parents, witnessed Jonathan's dad, Tony, commit a murder in the early morning at an Italian restaurant.

After her parents testified against Tony, they were all put into the Witness Protection Program. Melody could never adjust to this program and after her parents were killed became increasingly bitter about it.

When her cover is threatened to be blown yet on more time, she is wisked off to the east coast. There she comes in contact with a man who knows her true identity and everything about her. She is very intrigued by this stranger and eventually finds out that it is Jonathan. They start to develop quite a relationship.

This is a very intriguing nove. David Cristofano does a beautiful job of narrating in the character of Melody. With high hopes for this couple to make it together, there are circumstances beyond their control. In the end, Jonathan Bovaro ultimately shows how much he love Melody. Very nice read.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wicked Game-Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush

Jessie Brentwood has been missing for 20 years. She attended private school at St. Elizabeth's. She always was restless and preoccupied, so it came as no surprise to her high school friends that she had disappeared. Infact, they assumed she just "took off."

But now, human bones have been discovered on the grounds of St. Elizabeth and her friends are wondering if they are Jessie's.

Sam McNally, the detective on the case, never believed she just "ran away" and has always considered her friends as suspects. So, he reopens the case "full-tilt" and starts to question them again, as he waits for confirmation on the remains.

The group of friends start conferring with each other even though they have gone their separate ways over the years. Becca and Hudson even renew an old romance, considering he was once Jessie's boyfriend.

But, something evil lurkes around them and then starts striking out and one by one these individuals start to fall prey to this preditor. Becca and Hudson try to stay one step ahead of this demon as he slowly starts killing of their friends.

Will detective McNally find the assassin? Will Becca and Hudson find and answer before it is to late?

Chillingly suspenseful, these two sisters (Lisa and Nancy) bring us a book that is irresistably haunting. The end leaves you hanging just a little, so one can only hope there is a future sequel.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grayrider by Bruce Skye

About the Author:

A former technical writer, detail is important to Bruce Skye. His research for the Deathsong Chronicles included medieval armor and fortresses, as well as Celtic names and magic. "If you create a world, it must be consistent. And that's what I strive for Grayrider's world to be. I've built a database of material for each of the Deathsong Chronicles. Those databases aid me in keeping the world the same from book to book.

"When I wrote Grayrider, I followed the advice of Stephen King. I did not write the book following any sort of outline. I have no more idea than my readers do when I write a novel what will happen in the midst of the story. It makes it more exciting for both the readers and myself."

You can visit his website at


This is a story set in medieval times about a young prince named Gabriel. Years ago, his parents were killed in the castle that they lived in, in the country of Boadhagh. They were poisoned along with some of their friends while eating there evening meal. Gabriel remember the sword "Deathsong" and retrieved it from his father's chambers. Deathsong had magical powers and he headed downstairs with it to the dining room while the enemies were still there. Who he didn't kill with the sword he made them eat the same food his parents ate and they also died.

Now it was time for more revenge. He grabbed his gray cloak, Deathsong, and his horse Windfire and headed to see King Airell, his father's friend. There he finds out that the citizens of Ansgar are fighting their way through the countryside to take over this King's country.

Gabriel, now called Grayrider, becomes the King's number one warrior. Along with the King's daughter, Deirdre, they try to stop the armies that keep approaching.

Deirdre is a sorceress with intense magical power and the enemy they are fighting is led by the Morrigan, the woman who took Deirdre under her wing as her apprentice.

This is a very intense novel full of fantasy and magic. There is also love, loyalty, betrayal, and redemption sprinkled throughout this book. The end is equally non-predictable and sobering. If you like this genre of books you will definitely love this one.

About the Book:

Gabriel, the exiled king of Rivalin, comes before King Airell to warn him the Ansgarian army will invade his kingdom before the night is over. Airell tells him he has no one to send. Gabriel wants revenge for the murder of his family by the Ansgarians. He decides to fight the incursion without help.

As this takes place, Deirdre (Airell’s daughter), flees the kingdom of Cynyr north of Boadhagh. She knows now her mentor, Morrigan, created the Ansgarian army her father has fought for years. She goes south to warn him of her. Because Deirdre does not believe in herself, the young sorceress has difficulty in performing magic.

Once she is reunited with her father, she tells both he and Grayrider about Morrigan. Her power is growing; only Gabriel’s magical sword may yet destroy her. He must go to Cynyr to fight her. He agrees if Deirdre attends him, seeking her counsel. On that journey they fall in love and foil many efforts by Morrigan to kill Gabriel by both armies and sorcerers.

Grayrider fights Morrigan and sees his beloved slain by the sorceress before he is finally able to kill her. He returns to Rivalin brokenhearted. The ending is a complete surprise the reader will not expect at all.

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Blood Harvest-Brant Randall

Set in the 1920's, this is a haunting story of a family that is torn apart. The McKay's (who are of Irish decent), are appalled when their youngest daughter, Mary, runs off to marry an Italian immigrant. Mary and her husband, Nick, live just beyond the river, across the county line, but they never again have anything to do with the McKay's.

This is during Prohibition and the McKay's make their living (for the most part), making the best moonshine in three counties.

At a church social in the late summer, two cousins (who have never met each other), have a sexual encounter. They get caught by another cousin and one of them gets beaten very badly. The other one is caught and a trial ensues.

For me, to try to explain what happens next would be an insult to this author. But, there is a lynching which is VERY disturbing and at the end there are two dead bodies.

This is a very compellig book that is very easy to read. The trauma these two families face is very intense. I would highly recomment this engaging book to anyone whi is looking for some intrigue.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Run for your Life by James Patterson

About the Book:

A calculating killer who calls himself The Teacher is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York's elite, it is a call to terror.

Only one man can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Mike Bennett. The pressure is enough for anyone, but Mike also has to care for his 10 children-all of whom have come down with virulent flu at once!

Discovering a secret pattern in The Teacher's lessons, Detective Bennett realizes he has just hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history.

From the #1 bestselling author comes BE AFRAID, the continuation of his newest, electrifying series.


Mike Bennett, a homicide detective with the NYPD, is in for a very unique challenge.

What appears to be a random act of murders, in reality is not. A seemingly very rich businessman, with a metrosexual taste in fashion, has unleashed himself in a series of murders throughout New York City. And, random it is not! Carefully calculating every single victim's demise is definitely thoughtful to say the least. He has to have the victim's learn something that only "The Teacher" can deliver, which he does. But, the murders seem to have at first no rhyme or reason or a pattern, and the teacher is moving through his victims with lightening speed. The NYPD can barely keep up with him.

Mike certainly has his hands full, not only with his job, but at home as well. He is the widowed father of ten adopted children. Recently, all ten children have come down with the flu. Mike is certainly grateful that he has a nanny to help him.

Piece by piece, this story starts to unfold as we learn more about the teacher. Patterson has a way of just giving you a little bit of information at a time for you to digest. This is a book that defies gravity because it is almost impossible to put down.

When Patterson picks up a pen, his readers become Pavlov's dogs!! Brilliant!

About the Author:

James Patterson published his first thriller in 1976 and since then has become one of the best-known and bestselling writers of all time, with more than 140 million copies of his books sold worldwide. He is the author of the two most popular detective series of the past decade, featuring Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club, and he has written numerous other #1 bestsellers. He has won an Edgar Award--the mystery world's highest honor--and his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were made into feature films starring Morgan Freeman. His charity, the James Patterson PageTurner Awards, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to individuals and groups that promote the excitement of books and reading. He lives in Florida.

Michael Ledwidge is the author of The Narrowback, Bad Connection, and most recently,the coauthor, with James Patterson, of The Quickie and Step on a Crack.

Thanks to Miriam Parker at Hachette Book Group for the opportunity to review this fantastic book!

****I will be giving away a copy of this book. To enter, please leave a comment and make sure to have a valid email. I will draw a winner on February 8th. Thanks!

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Katie & Kimble-A Ghost Story by Linda Thieman

About the Book:

For ages 7-10. Lexile(R) measure: 280L. Nine-year-old Katie Russell and her family LOOK like a normal family. But the Russells don't know they are living with Kimble, the ghost of a ten-year-old girl. That is, until Katie discovers Kimble and the two of them set off on a quest to find out what happened to Kimble's mother. -- Katie and Kimble: A Ghost Story is a chapter book at RL3 (reading level 3), and is the first in a series. The Katie and Kimble books are funny, engaging and exciting, but are not fear-based.


This is a book that is geared for children between the ages of 7 and 10. It's about a nine year old girl, named Katie, who has recently moved to a different city because her mother has been offered a new job. They move in the early summer and she hasn't had a chance to meet any new friends yet. She does have her constant companion, though, a dog named Twinkle.

She starts to here giggling in their new home that nobody else seems to here. Eventually, she also sees an image of a young girl about her age. Eventually, this image reveals herself to Katie. She is a ghost named Kimble. The two become fast friends and start to spend alot of time together. Kimble eventually asks Katie to help her find out what happened to her mother. Katie starts persuing this investigation with the help of Kimble to find out how Kimble's mother died.

This book is a mystery that will help children who read it to engage in a small offering of thinking a little like a detective. And even though Kimble is a ghost, this is not one bit scary for kids. It shows a strong bond between two friends trying to help each other.

Thanks to Tracee of Pump Up Your Book Promotion for allowing me to be part of Linda's tour.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas

About the Book:

Eve is eight months pregnant and in the middle of a Thanksgiving celebration when she discovers that her husband Jonathan has developed an intimate relationship with a woman over the past year. Jonathon asserts his innocence (an affair involves physical intimacy, and he didn't have any), while Eve feels deeply betrayed by the emotional connection he shared with someone else. What Jon has done seems so terrifyingly out of character that Eve finds herself questioning her entire reality. Did she ever really know Jon at all? Was their happiness together a lie? Is emotional intimacy more forgivable than sexual intimacy? And can their marriage survive?


This is a story about Jon and Eve, a couple who have been married for ten years. On Thanksgiving, Eve, who is eight months pregnant with their second child, finds out that her husband has been having an emotional affair with a woman named Laney for the past year. He condones his behavior with the fact that he and Laney have not had sex. They correspond through e-mails and have met on a couple of occasions. But Eve, none the less, is devastated and asks Jon to leave their home.

What follows is an interesting account of these two individuals finding out who they really are and what their marriage is based on. They both go through alot of soul-searching. At first, they only see "their" side of the story, but eventually they start to see each other's side as well.

This author takes a comprehensive approach to two people re-analyzing themselves and what brought them together in the first place. It helps the reader to also break down his or her own defenses and look at things from another angle. This is a very engaging book that is well written and definitely worth the effort to read.

About the Author:

My first novel, Five Things I Can’t Live Without, was a lighthearted look at the neurotic art of self-sabotage. The central premise was that my character, Nora, was looking for problems where there really weren’t any; she was thinking herself right out of happiness. For my second book, Love and Other Natural Disasters, I decided the main character might still have a whiff of the neurotic but I’d really give her something to worry about.

When I first sat down for the as-yet untitled Book #2, I didn’t know what Eve would find out (I didn’t actually know her name was Eve), but I knew it would happen on Thanksgiving. An affair seemed obvious (too obvious) until I realized it was an emotional affair rather than a physical one. The reason I’m using language like “find out” and “realized” is because for me, the process of writing novels is like that. There’s nothing better than that moment when your character surprises you.

As a practicing marriage and family therapist, the issues of emotional intimacy and fidelity are close to my heart. I’m convinced that one of the toughest things in the world is remaining emotionally connected to another person for the long haul, and it’s a subject that I love exploring in my writing, in my practice, and in my life. It’s a subject I’ll be exploring on my site, too, in both the “FAQ” and “Musings” sections.

If you’d like me to attend your book club, please contact me directly here. For press materials, review copies, and any other publicity-related requests, please contact my publicist at Grand Central Publishing, Elly Weisenberg, at Thanks so much for visiting.

For more information you can visit the author at

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Win Sunday at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Who wouldn’t love the chance to win this awesome book? How about 5 chances? That’s right, thanks to Valerie Russo and Hachette Book Group, I will be giving away 5 copies of this book. Here are the details:

This contest will end January 19.
It is open to the US and Canada only (sorry everyone).
To enter, all you need to do is comment on this post - I will use to draw the winner.
PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you use a valid email address when you comment.

Here is some more info about the book:

As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother, the powerful head of a Broadway theater company, has no time for her. She does have one friend-a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael-but only she can see him.

Years later, Jane is in her thirties and just as alone as ever. Then she meets Michael again-as handsome, smart and perfect as she remembers him to be. But not even Michael knows the reason they’ve really been reunited.

SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S is a love story with an irresistible twist, a novel about the child inside all of us-and the boundary-crossing power of love.

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