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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: PEACE COTTAGE by Lisa Kent

Adorable, enchanting, poetically imaged--a sheer delight and glory to read. Couched in concentric circles of mysteries, readers will yearn to unfold the characters, each one a delight in her or his own right. Even the setting--quaint, homey, very-small-town East Winsett, Maine--is a Character not to be missed.

Race to read PEACE COTTAGE; then anticipate with joy the author's next.

Review: BONE DUST WHITE by Karen Salvalaggio

Gritty, uncompromising, and terribly real, BONE DUST WHITE, a debut novel, is a mystery.that refuses to look away or turn its head. No hiding one's eyes here: instead, one is glued to page after page of unrelenting enhancement, puzzling out mysteries piled upon covert plots upon illegal, immoral conspiracies. Don't miss it, don't dim the lights, don't answer the phone, nor the door--you never know just whom it might be.


An adorable and engaging story that fits well into the age brackets of  upper elementary readers and middle grade readers; the young girl who owns and trains two beautiful horses is entering fifth grade.

It will also be quite suitable in The category of chapter books, read a chapter at a time as positive and encouraging bedtime reading? I quite enjoyed it and will look for others in this series.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: THE GUIDE by Milt Mays

I HIGHLY recommend THE GUIDE, for any reader of suspense, mystery, thriller, and literary fiction. This is a very DIFFERENT kind of thriller, a mystery that is  character-driven rather than plot-driven.  Make no mistake--plot is here and it's excellent, very unexpected and twisty, all in a way that makes perfect sense: in the context of CHARACTER.

Read ONCE for pure enjoyment; read TWICE to savour the author's excellence.


I truly think this novel is like nothing I've read before, and I found it very, very good. There is so much of horror here, of Supernatural and Paranormal, of history and contemporary life, of greed and selfishness, of dedication, honor, loyalty, and friendship. The horror (screaming horror) is approached in such a low-key manner, that like a silent jungle predator, it is on us before we realize--and then it's too late for retrieval.

I also enjoyed the background, first prehistory, then 12th century, then moving forward. This is a definite candidate for re-trade!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: O'SHAE THE OCTOPUS by Brandee Buble

A really cute and enterprising children's book (but adults can use the reminder too!) about capitalizing on our differences and uniqueness, and how these can be strengths to turn the tide of bullying. O'Shae and pal Shelton are adorable.


An author with many different types of work and life experience who can combine all into a thriller/mystery, write it well, and make the reader friends with the protagonist, vicariously "living" the story, is a gem to be treasured. Witness author David Freed. FANGS OUT is #2 in the CORDELL LOGAN MYSTERY series.

Review: VOODOO RIDGE by David Freed (A Cordell Logan Mystery. #3)

Exciting yet romantically-inclined, rip-roaring adventure combined with rip-roaring emotional entanglements, deep issues of privacy, secrecy, disclosure: this is a thriller/mystery (and a series) not to be overlooked. This is the third in the series-can be read as a stand-alone, but readers will want to seek out the earlier books.


Some novels are so powerful as to render me awe-struck; here is one of the best of those! A 36-star book, here is history and magick, poetic imagery and realistic suspension of disbelief, literate composition; Elszbet Bathory, Dr. John Dee, Edward Kelley; and a host of like able contemporary characters. I could read this book a thousand times.

Review: THE FALLING WOMAN by Pat Murphy

Early on our protagonist Elizabeth Butler, speaking of the long-ago Mayan populace and the centuries of history intervening, states that "Christianity sits very lightly on the land." As her story unfolds, archaeologist Elizabeth -- a woman who once abandoned her marriage and family for the pursuit of her career --discovers that modernity also-- indeed, contemporary woman's grasp on consensus reality--also lies "only lightly" on this historic, nay, prehistoric, locale.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: WOLF by Jim Ringel

Despair, hopelessness, depression: complete loss of faith or hope in a potentially different future. Life is only survival, only going through the motions, if at all. THIS is what every Dystopian novel needs to convey, and WOLF brings it on in spades. 

Our protagonist Johnny Wolf is a loser. Aging, obese, smoking, divorced, a failed salesman--but his saving grace is his love for Dogs, especially Sindra, his childhood companion, who lived 20 years before her disappearance (or death), at the time all the dogs went away (or were killed by the police). In fact, Johnny Wolf has internalized his dog:  he injects a little bit of Sindra's heart or liver, every day. 

Johnny is/was a salesman. He knows all the sales lessons by heart; and somewhat self-analytical (intermittently) he recognizes where he falls short. 

Johnny may be an anti-hero, held in contempt by ex-wife and colleagues; but in the End, Johnny Wolf proves his mettle.