Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The 8th Confession by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


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As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home.

As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year. (From Amazon)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser.Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:


  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

The first thing Ryan found was a hand with part of an arm. He guessed it was the left hand, but it was hard to tell. He spotted the right foot on the other side of the kitchen, on the floor, next to the high chair.

This teaser comes from Intent to Kill: A Novel of Suspense by James Grippando. What's YOUR teaser?

Intent To Kill by James Grippando


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Grippando takes a break from the Jack Swyteck series—some readers would call it a much-needed break—and delivers a fine stand-alone thriller. Ryan James was an up-and-coming baseball player, a minor leaguer who seemed destined for the majors. Then a car accident took the life of his wife, Chelsea, and now, three years later, he cohosts a sports-themed talk radio show while raising his young daughter and trying not to fall into an alcoholic spiral. Out of nowhere, on the third anniversary of Chelsea’s death, an anonymous tipster claims not only that her death was no accident but also that he knows who killed her. Teaming up with Emma Carlisle, the prosecutor in charge of the hit-and-run case, Ryan uncovers a conspiracy that puts his own life at risk. This is an excellent thriller, the kind of novel Grippando was turning out on a regular basis before he began devoting his time to the increasingly formulaic Swyteck series. It’s a return to the character-driven storytelling that made his earlier novels, including Found Money (1999), The Abduction (1998), and The Informant (1996), so successful. Ryan is a strong, sympathetic lead, and the supporting cast, including Emma Carlisle and Babes, Chelsea’s autistic brother, is uniformly excellent. The story is convoluted but not excessively so and has a satisfying resolution. Grippando readers who know him mostly from the Swyteck series may find themselves thinking: wow, this guy is really good (From Amazon)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Guest Post ~ Karen White



AUTHOR BIO



They had her at hello. From her first moments in Charleston and Savannah, and on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen While was in love. Was it the history, the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.

Known for award winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the recently announced Southern Independent Bookseller Association’s 2009 Book of the Year Award nomination for The House on Tradd Street, and for the highly praised The Memory of Water, Karen has already shared the coastal Lowcountry and Charleston with readers. Spanning eighty years, Karen’s new book, THE LOST HOURS, now takes them to Savannah and its environs. There a shared scrapbook and a necklace of charms unleash buried memories, opening the door to the secret lives of three women, their experiences, and the friendships that remain entwined even beyond the grave, and whose grandchildren are determined to solve the mysteries of their past.

Karen, so often inspired in her writing by architecture and history, has set much of THE LOST HOURS at Asphodel Meadows, a home and property inspired by the English Regency styled house at Hermitage Plantation along the Savannah River, and at her protagonist’s “Savannah gray brick” home in Monterey Square, one of the twenty-one squares that still exist in the city.
Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has lived in many different places. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”

Always, Karen credits her maternal grandmother Grace Bianca, to whom she’s dedicated THE LOST HOURS, with inspiring and teaching her through the stories she shared for so many years. Karen also notes the amount of time she spent listening as adults visited in her grandmother’s Mississippi kitchen, telling stories and gossiping while she played under the table. She says it started her on the road to telling her own tales. The deal was sealed in the seventh grade when she skipped school and read Gone With The Wind. She knew—just knew—she was destined to grow up to be either Scarlet O’Hara or a writer.

Karen’s work has appeared on the South East Independent Booksellers best sellers list. Her novel The Memory of Water, was WXIA-TV’s Atlanta & Company Book Club Selection. Her work has been reviewed in Southern Living, Atlanta Magazine and by Fresh Fiction, among many others, and has been adopted by numerous independent booksellers for book club recommendations and as featured titles in their stores. This past year her 2007 novel Learning to Breathe received several honors, notably the National Readers’ Choice Award.
In addition to THE LOST HOURS, Karen White’s books include The House on Tradd Street, The Memory of Water, Learning to Breathe, Pieces of the Heart and The Color of Light. She lives in the Atlanta metro area with her family where she is putting the finishing touches on her next novel The Girl on Legare Street.


You can visit Karen White's website at http://www.karen-white.com/.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1929 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace’s charms tell the story of three friends during the 1920s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.

GUEST POST

How I Got Published
(And Other Mysteries of the Universe)

I hate waiting in line. I haven’t always. In fact, I grew up in a big city and was sort of accustomed to having to wait in line for just about everything. And then I grew up. Got married. Had kids. Started writing. Sold a few books. My life is a lot more complicated than it used to be which means I have a lot less time (and patience) for waiting in lines. My husband laughs because I’m the person who will drive three miles out of her way to avoid sitting in a line of traffic. Of course, he’s not the one who’s trying to get kids to two opposite ends of town for various activities, make it home to put dinner in the oven, throw another load of laundry in the dryer AND meet a book deadline. He can laugh all he wants right after I shove this steering wheel down his throat.



But I digress. What does any of this have to do with getting published? If you will bear with me, allow me to explain.



When I was younger (and stupider) I sat down one day at my computer and started to type my first novel. I didn’t know anything about ‘rules’ or genres or even the names of any editors or publishing houses. I just wrote, thinking in my foolishly ignorant way that, ‘if I write it, it will sell.’ Oh, for cryin’ out loud! Sure, that happens in the movies, but this is Real Life and it would take all the planets, the moon, the sun, and all the blades of grass in your lawn to be aligned correctly for that to happen.



Think about it. You write the book. Then you have to send it to an agent and/or an editor. That agent/editor probably gets about 500 of identically double-spaced-1-inch-margin-Times New Roman-fonted manuscripts per week. Since it’s not an agented manuscript (well, duh, you’re thinking—that sounds a bit Catch-22 and you’re right—it is!) it gets shoved in the dreaded Slush Pile where they also throw all the submissions from the local prison and insane asylum. The odds of somebody actually rescuing your baby from that pile are somewhere between Michael Vick becoming a spokesperson for PETA and me winning the Nobel Prize for Physics.



Your manuscript is, essentially, in line, waiting to be noticed. Well, good luck with that.
“So”, you ask, your bright shiny nubile faces turned up to me like daisies in the sun, “How does a wannabe author jump that line?”
“It’s easy, grasshopper,” I reply. You go to conferences and meet with agents and/or editors so that you can put that stamp on your envelope that says REQUESTED MATERIAL that bumps your submission to the top of the pile on the editor’s desk and is the equivalent of PASS GO AND COLLECT $200. But conferences can be expensive, plus you have to wear pantyhose and heels. Which is why I recommend a second way to head to the top of the agent/editor’s desk: CONTESTS!



There are tons of writing contests out there—you just need to know where to look. Every writing group (Christian, sci fi, romance etc.) has their own monthly magazine with lists of regional contests. A lot of then have agents and editors as finalist judges. All you need to do is to make it to the final round to have your manuscript read by an agent or editor. It’s sort of like owning hotels on Park Place and having your brother land on it each time he goes around the Monopoly board.



I know you’re thinking that this sort of thing only happens in the movies. But it really did happen. To me. I submitted my very first manuscript to a contest. The first round judges were authors (which is what I was really after since I figured they’d know better than most if I should keep my day job—assuming I had one) and was really surprised to find out that my manuscript had finaled and that it and two other finalist manuscripts were being read by a top New York agent (who also happened to have once been Nora Roberts’ editor).



Lo and behold, that manuscript won and was sold to the second publishing house my newly acquired agent sent it to. Yes, miracles can and do happen. Sometimes.



I’d like to say that everyone lived happily ever after, but then I’d be lying. My career since the publication of my first book in 2000 has been fraught with ups and downs and more scar tissue than the back of Joan Rivers’ head.



But I’m in a good place now and I can honestly say that I don’t know if I’d be here right now if it hadn’t been for my naïve self saying, “Let’s enter a contest.”My tenth novel, a ‘grit lit’ Southern women’s fiction novel set in Savannah and entitled The Lost Hours—comes out this month (April 7th) and I’m contracted to write four more books. That’s pretty exciting stuff considering it’s coming from the same person whoonce sat down one day to write, not even sure she’d be able to write one page, much less an entire novel.



Sure, there are some writers who prefer to get published the old fashioned way of blindly submitting to agents and editors. They might actually enjoy waiting in line (I’m sure people like that must exist—how else to explain Disney World?). But I like to tell them that when I bump into them in the nursing home and they’re just getting back that first rejection from a manuscript they mailed way back in 2009, I can laugh atthem. And then they can laugh at me when my dentures fall out.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


Here's what I got ~

Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield (for review) ~ After tossing and turning all night, thirty-nine-year-old Lisa Barkley wakes up well before her alarm sounds. With two daughters about to start another year at their elite Upper East Side private school and her own career hitting a wall, the effort of trying to stay afloat in that privileged world of six-story town houses and European jaunts has become increasingly difficult, especially as Manhattan descends into an economic freefall. As Lisa looks over at her sleeping husband, Sam, she can't help but feel that their fifteen-year marriage is in a funk that she isn't able to place. She tries to shake it off and tells herself that the strain must be due to their mounting financial pressures. But later that morning, as her family eats breakfast in the next room, Lisa finds herself checking Sam's voicemail and hears a whispered phone call from a woman he is to meet that night. Is he having an affair? When Lisa shares her suspicions with her best friend, Deirdre, at their weekly breakfast, Deirdre claims it can't be true. But how can Lisa fully trust her opinion when Deirdre is still single and mired in an obsessive affair with a glamorous photographer even as it hovers on the edge of danger? When Deirdre's former college flame, Jack, comes to town and the two couples meet to cele-brate his fortieth birthday, the stage is set for an explosiveT series of discoveries with devastating consequences. Filled with suspense and provocative ques-tions about the relationships we value most, Best Intentions is a tightly woven drama of love, friendship and betrayal.


Little Lamb Lost by Margaret Fenton (for review) ~ Social worker Clare Conover honestly believed she could make a difference in the world until she gets the phone call she's dreaded her entire career. One of her young clients, Michael, has been found dead and his mother, Ashley, has been arrested for his murder. And who made the decision to return Micha3l to Ashley? Claire Conover.Ashley had seemingly done everything right-gotten clean, found a place to live, worked two jobs, and earned back custody of her son. Devastated but determined to discover where her instincts failed her, Claire vows to find the truth about what really happened to Michael.What Claire finds is no shortage of suspects. Ashley's boyfriend made no secret that he didn't want children. And Ashley's stepfather, an alcoholic and chronic gambler, has a shady past. And what about Michael's mysterious father and his family? Or Ashley herself? Was she really using again? Amidst a heap of unanswered questions, one thing is for certain: Claire Conover is about to uncover secrets that could ruin lives-or end her own.


Deadlock by Iris Johansen ~ An especially far-fetched plot and unconvincing dialogue mar this romantic thriller, set primarily in Afghanistan and Russia, from bestseller Johansen (Dark Summer). Emily Hudson, a U.N. artifacts expert, is trying to track down a vicious criminal who may have stolen Zelov's hammer. Hidden inside the old mallet is a treasure map to the long-lost riches of Russia's assassinated Romanov family. Helping Hudson is a rough-and-ready CIA tracker, whose physical charms prove irresistible to the usually proud and independent Hudson. As is Johansen's wont, the romance competes head-to-head with the chase, with annoying effect. Love scenes and hokey romantic dialogue closely follow or precede those of perilous action. On one page, Hudson will be steely and adept, then, on the next, fragile and feeble. By the time the plot hits the homestretch, many readers will have a hard time taking it seriously



Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (for review)~ Kim , a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.



THE EXECUTION of JUSTICE by MICHAEL PHELPS ~ A depiction of a detective, who’s professional like expands while his personal life suffers, Mike Walsh is a patrol cop with a stable marriage and a so far unfulfilled desire to have children. He is good at this job, dedicated to preserving the peace and well respected by his peers. When his mentor Jack needs a new partner, Mike is offered the position of detective within the department. Considering it an enormous opportunity, Mike accepts and this is the story of his daily challenges.Although Mike and Jack are on the trail of a brutal serial killer of women and an increasingly violent gang of thieves, there is no buildup to a climatic end. While the police are meticulous in gathering evidence against the serial killer, unlike other stories, there is no corresponding meticulous buildup of tension. Therefore, it is inaccurate to describe this as a thriller, while there is action; it is not of the form where the tension is slowly ratcheted up.Mike discovers that his new position puts a good deal of strain on him and his marriage, for now he feels personally responsible for the capture of the villains. In order to gather the evidence, it is now necessary for him to attend autopsies and examine the murder victims in great detail. This creates mental baggage that he brings home; he often works late and comes home mentally and physically exhausted.Despite the lack of a buildup to a climax, this is still a book that will keep your attention if you enjoy stories about the daily routine of being a robbery/homicide detective. The cover announces that this is the debut novel of a “Detective Mike Walsh” series of novels. Given this good start, I believe it will be a successful one.


I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (for review) ~ From failure to fusilli, this deliciously hilarious read tells the story of Giulia Melucci's fizzled romances and the mouth-watering recipes she used to seduce her men, smooth over the lumps, and console herself when the relationships flamed out. From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all. She suffers each disappointment with resolute cheer (after a few tears) and a bowl of pastina (recipe included) and has lived to tell the tale so that other women may go out, hopefully with greater success, and if that's not possible, at least have something good to eat. Peppered throughout Giulia's delightful and often poignant remembrances are fond recollections of her mother's cooking, the recipes she learned from her, and many she invented on her own inspired by the men in her life. Readers will howl at Giulia's boyfriend-littered past and swoon over her irresistable culinary creations.







Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fill Ins


And here we go......


1. Apparently there's some sort of miracle happening today.

2. Finally a sunny day.

3. 2009 hasn't been that bad so far.

4. And that was it.

5. For too long I've been sad .

6. I am not obsessed with Steve Madden, Louis Vuitton, Prada, books; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to maybe seeing my new niece, tomorrow my plans include seeing my new niece if I don't tonight, reading and chillin' and Sunday, I want to relax, read and sleep!

Book Giveaway - Sudden Death by Allison Brennan - ARC

Sudden Death: A Novel of Suspense by Allison Brennan (ARC) ~



When a homeless veteran is found dead in a squalid Sacramento alley, FBI special agent Megan Elliott vows to find the murdered hero’s killer. Her investigation gets complicated fast, for the victim, a former Delta Force soldier, is just one link in a nationwide spree of torture and murder.Straight off a job rescuing medical missionaries, soldier-for-hire Jack Kincaid returns to his home base in the Texas border town of Hidalgo only to receive the news that one of his closest colleagues–also ex-military–has been brutally murdered. Faced with an inept local police force, Jack takes matters into his own hands.Now, as part of a national task force to stop the sadistic killings, by-the-book Megan and burn-the-book Jack form a tense alliance, sparked with conflict and temptation. But they struggle against more than passion, for a vicious pair of killers has only just begun a rampage of evil . . . and the primary target is much closer than Megan suspects.

Now on to the RULES ~~
  1. Open to residents of the US only.
  2. Post a comment here. You MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACTIVE BLOG ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Any comment that DOES NOT INCLUDE this information WILL BE DELETED. I have to have a way to contact you if you win!!!!
  3. If you blog this contest and leave a link in your comment so I can check it out, you will receive an extra entry to the contest.

Contest open through May 1st. The winner will be announced on May 2nd.

Book Giveaway -- Pushing Up Bluebonnets -- WINNER!

Congratulations

Miranda

I've sent Miranda and email requesting her address. If I don no hear back from her in 48 hrs, I'll choose another winner. Thank you to those that have entered :)

The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair


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Set in Old Salem around the Halloween season, this charming romantic comedy features a wacky, if good-hearted, self-proclaimed witch and her upstairs neighbor, a reformed bad boy trying to be a responsible father to his adorable four-year-old son, Shane. Needing a reliable baby sitter, Logan Kilgarven agrees to an exchange: he will find a job for Melody at the local TV station, where he is a producer, and she will be on call to baby sit Shane as needed. Melody, however, spurns his offer of a secretarial position, countering with a bid for a cooking show. The catch? Melody can't cook. At all. But with a combination of sex appeal and well-developed marketing skills, she sells the station owner on the concept, and several spicy encounters in elevators and on counters and desktops are the inevitable result. With both of them fighting their feelings, and several matchmakers as well as one marplot stirring the cauldron, Blair has crafted a fun and sexy romp (From Amazon)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Lamb Lost by Margaret Fenton


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Social worker Clare Conover honestly believed she could make a difference in the world until she gets the phone call she's dreaded her entire career. One of her young clients, Michael, has been found dead and his mother, Ashley, has been arrested for his murder. And who made the decision to return Michael to Ashley? Claire Conover. Ashley had seemingly done everything right-gotten clean, found a place to live, worked two jobs, and earned back custody of her son. Devastated but determined to discover where her instincts failed her, Claire vows to find the truth about what really happened to Michael.What Claire finds is no shortage of suspects. Ashley's boyfriend made no secret that he didn't want children. And Ashley's stepfather, an alcoholic and chronic gambler, has a shady past. And what about Michael's mysterious father and his family? Or Ashley herself? Was she really using again? Amidst a heap of unanswered questions, one thing is for certain: Claire Conover is about to uncover secrets that could ruin lives-or end her own. (From Amazon)

While she doesn't have the easiest job in the world, Claire Conover loves what she does. Being a social worker isn't easy ~ especially when it comes to removing children from their homes. But she is determined to do what is best for the child. Whether it's permanently removing the child from the parents care or temporarily while she works with the mother (and/or father) to turn their lives around and regain custody. This is exactly what she thought she had done with Ashley & two year old Michael. After removing Michael from the home for Ashley's drug use, she helped not only get her clean, but found her a place to live, a job and daycare for Michael.

But then Clair gets the call that every social worker dreads. Michael is dead. She rushes over to Ashley's house knowing deep in her heart that Ashley had nothing to do with Michael's death. She had changed, she wasn't doing drugs anymore. Unfortunately, after finding out that he died from an overdose in the orange juice Ashley gave him, Clair finds she is the only one to believe in her innocent. And that's not an easy thing to do after Ashley pleads guilty.

Devastated by the loss of her client, her doubts in herself and the job she is doing, and her conviction of Ashley's innocence, Clair refuses to give up on finding out what happened to Michael. Ashley and her boyfriend refuse to help, stopping at nothing short of threatening Clair. But with a shady cast of characters where does Clair begin? With Michael's mysterious father and his family? The drunken slob who is married to Ashley's mother who happens to have a few secrets of his own? The new boyfriend who makes it known he doesn't want children? The ex-boyfriend who can't seem to let go? Or have we known the truth all along, that Ashley is actually guilty.

With lives on the line and secrets to be told, Clair will stop at nothing to find out the truth. An intense, heart wrenching story of one woman's desire to find justice for a two year old gone too soon. A profound tale that left this reader with a greater respect for the job that social workers do. A story of a woman trying to right a wrong - at the same time finding something she wasn't really looking for ~ love. Margaret Fenton is a shining new voice in the mystery genre and I eagerly look forward to her next book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Swimsuit by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (ARC)


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Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.

LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.

A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors (From Amazon)

While doing a photo shoot in Hawaii for swimsuits, stunning model Kim McDaniels goes missing. In the middle of the night her parents get a sinister phone call from the person who has her. He lets them know in a cold, detached voice that their daughter "has fallen into bad hands". Her parents quickly head to Hawaii to search for their daughter. Hoping with all they have that they will find her in time. Only to be completely frustrated by the lack of help they are receiving from the local police (they have "office hours" posted on the door).

Ben Hawkins is a now a reporter for the L.A. Times and semi-famous author of mystery books. He also used to be a detective. His editor sends him to Hawaii to cover the Kim McDaniels story. While his primary reason for going is to cover the story, Ben hopes to get a "story" out of it for his next book. Befriending Kim's parents, Ben realizes that not only must he write the story of his career he must also do whatever he can to find Kim and hopefully bring her home safely. But does Ben just write the story or become a part of it?

Henri Benoit is insane! Not only is he a master of names and disguises, he's also a cold blooded killer. He takes pleasure in his kills. But he doesn't kill just for pleasure - he kills for money too. Henri has been hired by a group called the "Alliance" headed by a man named Horst. A collection of sick and twisted people who take great pleasure in watching the videos Henri has made of his killings.

Once again James Patterson has created a masterful tale of cat and mouse. The book has a unique twist as it is written as a book (with a forward and afterward from author Ben Hawkins). The reader won't waste time trying to figure out "who done it" since we're told that from the attention grabbing first page. What we need to figure out is why Henri kills the way he does, will he be caught, and just who are these people that make up the Alliance??? And let's not forget Ben. He's presented with an opportunity, one he really can't decline, that is no different that making a deal with the devil. Will his accepting of the deal prevent more deaths? Or will he do the "right" thing? A pulse pounding, exhilarating story that travels from Hawaii to LA to Paris and Sweden. A tale of a man determined to do whatever it takes to keep his loved ones safe while trying to end the killing spree of a mad man and the desire of those that like to watch.

Author Louise Shaffer & PBS

On Saturday I had the pleasure of hosting author Louise Shaffer combined with a PBS get together. Louise is the author of several books, incuding her newest Serendipity: A Novel, which we all loved. You can find my review here.

Louise came to visit us (in MA) from NY. She took the train down just to spend a few hours talking and visiting with us.

Louise is very familiar with the theme of Serendipity, as she was an actress herself. Her greatest accomplishment being the Emmy she won for her role on Ryan's Hope. Shortly thereafter she was let go from the soap. First turning to writing for the soaps, to writing on her own. Her first book The Three Miss Margarets: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) was quickly followed by The Ladies of Garrison Gardens: A Novel and Family Acts: A Novel.

Louise is charming, engaging, graceful, funny and it was my (our) pleasure to have her speak with us. She engrossed us with her stories, especially the one about the night she won her Emmy. She engaged us in an interesting discussion of whether or not something that happened in the book (don't want to give away any spoilers here) is a generational thing or something that spans time. After Louise left, we all talked about how much we loved having her visit us, and most importantly, how we could have listened to her talk for hours! It was an honor to have her in my home!













Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser.Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:
  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

We navigated our way around those landmines, stepping on a few, staying together because what we had was so much better that what we'd come from and we knew too well what it was like to be alone, both of us struggling with being in love.

This teaser comes from The Dead Man by Joel Goldman. What's YOUR teaser?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here's what I got ~

Last Gasp (Romantic Suspense) by Carla Cassidy (For Review) ~ Ever since she found her mother and siblings murdered, Allison Clemmins has hated her father, Hank, who is imprisoned for the crimes. Then Seth Walker arrives in town, a lawyer determined to exonerate Hank, to unearth the secrets that should have been revealed long ago. He also offers Allison the one thing missing from her life—the ability to trust a man.But as fate finds them in each other’s arms, a psychotic killer— either the original or a copycat—makes himself known...



Take Me Two Times (Signet Eclipse) by Karen Kendall (For Review) ~ New to the art recovery world, agent Gwen Davies takes on her very first “repo” assignment: restoring a solid gold, bejeweled Venetian mask to its rightful owner. But she’s mortified to find that she’s stolen back a fake and worse yet, the client is her ex, Quinn Lawson. Both are forced to team up in order to find the real mask, leading them to the twisting canals of old Venice—and also in harm’s way because of a centuries-old curse. Someone seems to want this mask even more than they do, and the growing danger forces them closer together than they ever expected to be—again.




Smart Girls Think Twice (Berkley Sensation) by Cathie Linz (For Reveiw) ~ Sociologist Emma, sister of Sue Ellen and plus-sized model Leena (Big Girls Don’t Cry, 2007), has always been the “smart sister,” considered plainer and more reserved than her pretty, personable siblings. Sue Ellen and Leena are both getting married, and while Emma’s in Rock Creek for the weddings, she figures she can do an academic study on the town’s revitalization. When Emma approaches one of Rock Creek’s newcomers, hunky bartender Jake Slayter, to interview him, she wishes for once that she weren’t the ordinary-looking sister. Jake doesn’t want to be interviewed for Emma’s study: his reasons for coming to Rock Creek are secret. But when he watches the mousy sociologist deck one of the more obnoxious bar customers, Jake begins to view her in a different light. Readers will be captivated as they watch the introverted academic get in touch with her inner warrior and realize her true potential. Funny and poignant by turns, Linz’s latest is sure to charm.


Four Wives by Wendy Walker (For Review) ~ A klatch of wealthy suburban women become deeply entangled in one another's lives while planning a public health clinic benefit in Walker's uninspired first novel. Housewife Janie is having a heated affair she can't give up; lawyer Marie is trying to balance her law practice, family obligations and loafing husband when a hot summer intern arrives; heiress Gayle has turned to pills to numb her to the treatment of her abusive husband; and Love, a doctor's wife, receives a letter from her estranged father that dredges up a painful past. As the women's personal struggles invade their other, pedestrian pursuits, Love's struggle with the demands of motherhood and family forces Marie, Janie and Gayle to get more involved in the lives of their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, Walker doesn't do much to bring life to her typecast characters, and the narrative wobbles wildly as the subplots barrel toward a big revelation. The ending is mostly happy, which will please some, but the novel's phoned-in feeling prevents readers from connecting with the characters.


Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow (For Review) ~ When Jane Shea’s boyfriend, Jimmy, invites her to spend a week at a swanky resort in Maui, she’s thrilled—of course—but nervous, too. She worries about missing their flight. She worries about losing her luggage. It never even occurs to her that she might misplace Jimmy.But paradise has a way of attracting trouble, and Jane hasn’t even managed to learn the hula or paddle under a waterfall before Jimmy disappears. When the police suggest that Jimmy has drowned, Jane thinks things can’t get any worse—but her troubles have just begun. This is one vacation the guidebooks never prepared her for.


A Flickering Light (Portraits of the Heart, Book 1) by Jane Kirkpatrick (For Review) ~ Historical novelist Kirkpatrick (A Tendering in the Storm) is exceptionally authentic in her use of early 20th-century history. Virtually all the characters are real figures; protagonist Jessie Ann Gaebele is inspired in this biographical fiction by the writer's own grandmother. Jessie Ann loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful.


Killer Keepsakes (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries) by Jane K. Cleland ~ One of the mainstays of Prescott’s Antiques and Appraisals has always been the cheerful and helpful assistant, Gretchen, who turned up unexpectedly just as Josie was setting up shop in New Hampshire. Gretchen has always been so dependable that it seems odd when she doesn’t show up for work one day. Surprise soon turns to alarm when a dead body is found in Gretchen’s house, with Gretchen the prime suspect. How much does Josie know about Gretchen, anyway? Enough to believe she isn’t capable of murder, so Josie, with a crack team of antiques appraisers at her side, sets out to find the real killer and bring Gretchen home safely, no matter the cost.



Miss Julia Delivers the Goods: A Novel by Ann B. Ross ~ An unplanned pregnancy, a destructive break-in and a nasty gazpacho incident are just a few of the problems facing Julia Murdoch in Ross's diverting 10th cozy to feature the North Carolina matron (after 2008's Miss Julia Paints the Town). When naïve Hazel Marie, the former mistress of Miss Julia's first husband, learns that her flulike symptoms have another cause, it's up to the enterprising Miss Julia to patch things up between Hazel Marie and her estranged PI boyfriend, J.D. Pickens. Meanwhile, a burglary at the house of lawyer Sam Murdoch, Miss Julia's second husband, means trouble. The disappearance of Sam's meticulous files on local court cases suggests there are parties who don't want information on Abbot County's philandering judge and corrupt sheriff to see the light of day. Those who prefer a leisurely pace, a touch of screwball comedy and gentle puzzles in their mysteries will enjoy this paean to smalltown nosiness and steadfast loyalties.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline ~ Ellen Gleeson was balancing life as a single mother and a feature reporter as well as could be expected. She had taken on single parenthood voluntarily, having fallen in love with her adopted son, Will, now three, when he was a very sick infant. A have-you-seen-this-child postcard featuring a child who could be Will’s twin catches Ellen’s attention, and while she should be pursuing her assigned story about the emotional effect of Philadelphia’s high teenage murder rate, she instead becomes obsessed with the missing child and with pursuing more details about Will’s background. Her questions multiply when she learns that, just three weeks after she adopted Will, the attorney who handled the proceedings killed herself. Where is the birth mother, and why doesn’t her family seem to know that she was pregnant? The answer only leads to danger, but Ellen, her reporter’s instincts on high alert, is hell-bent on finding the truth, no matter the cost. In a departure from her wildly popular Rosato & Associates series, Scottoline still sticks to what she knows in this taut stand-alone: female drama, family ties, legal intrigue, and fast-paced action.










































Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Dead Man by Joel Goldman


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Careful What You Dream. Milo Harper wants former FBI agent Jack Davis' help. People in Harper's study of the human brain are starting to die - and dying exactly in the very ways they have dreamed...Harper wants Jack to get to the truth and counter lawsuits aimed at the foundation. But when Jack investigates, the truth explodes: a serial killer is lurking inside one of the most advanced research facilities in the world. For Jack, the case will shatter illusions, raise ghosts, and take him onto both sides of the law - and into the path of a murderer's terrifying rage. (From Amazon)

At the Institute started by Milo Harper, dedicated to the study of the human brain and dreams, something is not right. Two people who are involved in a dream study have died ~ in the exact manner that they dreamed they would. While the police don't believe either death was suspicious, Milo isn't so sure and hires former FBI agent Jack Davis (first seen in Shakedown (Pinnacle Books Fiction) ) as head of security to get to the bottom of it. After another person ends up dead, exactly as he dreamed it, there is no denying the connection to the Institute.

In the meantime both Jack and Milo are fighting their own personal demons. Milo has early onset Alzheimer's and is struggling to stay in charge of his multi-billion dollar empire. Jack has a movement disorder that causes him to jerk uncontrollably. It led to his early retirement from the FBI. He's also still dealing with the death of his daughter Wendy 10 months early and the issues surrounding her death. Namely the missing five million dollars the FBI is sure she stole and that Jack now has.

So when a third murder victim is found, clutching an empty envelope that Wendy sent to Jack before she died, they are convinced Jack more than ever that Jack has the money. No matter what Jack tells them. Now Jack must not only find out who is killing people at the institute, he must also clear his name.

Mr. Goldman has created a fascinating cast of characters. From Jack's new "roommate" Lucy - a former cop and inmate to the psychopathic killer who will stop at nothing to reach their ultimate goal. The book is fast paced with enough twists and turns with enough red herrings . While I was fairly confident I figured out who the murderer was (which is not something I can normally do with his books), I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride. This was a fantastic read where you'll find that not everything is as it seems.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline


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Starred Review. Bestseller Scottoline (Lady Killer) scores another bull's-eye with this terrifying thriller about an adoptive parent's worst fear—the threat of an undisclosed illegality overturning an adoption. The age-progressed picture of an abducted Florida boy, Timothy Braverman, on a have you seen this child? flyer looks alarmingly like Philadelphia journalist Ellen Gleeson's three-year-old son, Will, whom she adopted after working on a feature about a pediatric cardiac care unit. Ellen, who jeopardizes her newspaper job by secretly researching the Braverman case, becomes suspicious when she discovers the lawyer who handled her adoption of Will has committed suicide. Meanwhile, Will's supposed birth mother, Amy Martin, dies of a heroin overdose, and Amy's old boyfriend turns out to look like the man who kidnapped Timothy. Scottoline expertly ratchets up the tension as the desperate Ellen flies to Miami to get DNA samples from Timothy's biological parents. More shocks await her back home. (From Amazon).

What would you do if when you picked up your mail one day you saw your child's face staring back at you from a "have you seen this child" flyer? This is exactly the situation reporter Ellen Gleeson finds herself in. Two years earlier she adopted Will after finding him sick and alone in the CICU while doing a story at the local hospital. But the more she looks at the flyer, the more she is haunted by the fact that her son just may be Timothy Braverman, who was abducted from Florida not much earlier than when Ellen adopted Will. Putting her job in jeopardy, Ellen uses her reporter skills to find out the truth. But does she really want to know? What will she do if it turns out that Will is Timmy? Can she just give up the child she loves with all her heart? Stop being the only mother he knows? Or does she keep the information to herself and allow another mother to feel the immense pain of losing her child? Soon Ellen finds out that the lawyer who handled her adoption has committed suicide, the woman listed as Will's birth mother actually not be, and no one has heard of the so called father. To try and settle things once and for all, Ellen decides to covertly collect DNA samples from Timmy's parents. But as more people start dying, Ellen realizes she has touched a nerve with someone, someone who just may want her dead. At the same time, in the dog eat dog world of reporting, her nemesis at the paper starts to put the pieces together and takes matters into her own hands. Forcing Ellen into a situation she may not have wanted.

While this is not the typical legally charged thriller that Ms. Scottoline is known for, it was an amazing story of what a mother will do for her child. How she is willing to forget about her career and potentiallly lose her child in order to do what is right for him. While I think there were too many one on one scenes with Ellen and her son, they were beautifully written and clearly expressed the love she has for him. This is a fast-paced thrillers that will have the reader realizing, not unlike Ellen herself, that nothing is exactly the way it seems. All the way up to the stunning conclusion!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday


"Waiting on Wednesday" (hosted by Jill @ http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/).
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Intent to Kill: A Novel of Suspense by James Grippando


A fallen baseball star must use his new skills as Boston's king of sports radio to outwit a dangerous caller and prove—live and on the air—that the hit-and-run that killed his wife was no accident.

Ryan James once had it all. With a beautiful wife and a two-year-old daughter, he was just one minor-league baseball game away from realizing his lifelong dream of playing in the majors when the unthinkable happened: his wife, Chelsea, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while driving to Ryan's last game of the season.

Years later, Ryan is a popular "shock jock" at Boston's top-rated sports radio show, doing his best to raise his daughter alone. But his love for Chelsea endures, his insomnia persists, and the fact that the police never found the drunk who ran her off the road makes closure impossible. Then, on the third anniversary of Chelsea's death, chilling words from an anonymous tipster turn the accident into a homicide: "I know who did it."

As the police scramble, Ryan makes a stunning discovery. The tip—a strangely coded message—may have come from Chelsea's own brother, a young man affectionately known as "Babes," who has an autism-related disorder. But why would Babes have withheld this information for three years? And what finally made him come forward anonymously?

The demand for answers sends Babes on the run. Through a series of shocking on-air conversations with Babes, Ryan and Emma Carlisle, the dedicated prosecutor on the case, unravel a cover-up that reaches back to the night of Chelsea's death and that may implicate one of New England's most powerful families. It's a search that will forever change the lives of Ryan, Babes, and Emma—if they live to tell about it.

I am a HUGE fan of James Grippando. This book has actually already been published for a book club (And I've been offered it several times through PBS). However, this edition is a new release with changes made to the story ~ so this is the version I want to read. I can't wait to get it! If you haven't read anything else by Mr. Grippando, I suggest you pick up one of his earlier books ~ you won't be disappointed!

Book Giveaway - Pusing Up Blue Bonnets (Autographed)


Pushing Up Bluebonnets (Yellow Rose Mysteries) by Leann Sweeney (Autographed) ~

When asked to help identify a young woman who may not survive an attempted murder, Abby discovers a possible connection between the girl and a prominent Houston family-the questions about her past are getting stickier than pecan pie. Abby's about to learn the hard way that when she crawls out on a limb, she'd better be certain there's not someone behind her with a saw and a mean spirit...

Now on to the RULES ~~


  1. Open to residents of the US only.

  2. Post a comment here. You MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACTIVE BLOG ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Any comment that DOES NOT INCLUDE this information WILL BE DELETED. I have to have a way to contact you if you win!!!!

  3. If you blog this contest and leave a link in your comment so I can check it out, you will receive an extra entry to the contest.

Contest open through April 23rd. The winner will be announced on April 24th.

Book Giveaway -- The Neighbor -- WINNER!

Congratulations

Janea

I've sent Jane an email requesting her address. If I do not hear form her within 48 hours I will pick another winner. Thank you to those that entered :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Fiction Class by Susan Breen


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With a name that conjures up windswept romance novels, you would expect Arabella Hicks' life to be as enchanted as that of a happily-after-heroine. Instead she's a middle-aged writer, teaching a fiction writing class, flirting with one of her students, and taking care of her ailing mother, Vera. As the semester wears on, Arabella and her students slowly reveal more of their private lives to one another, while Vera admits that she has written a story. Unfortunately, she can't think of the perfect ending and wants Arabella and her students to help her. But how can Arabella when she can't even think of an ending for her own unfinished story? Peppered with literary references and Arabella's class assignments, Breen's novel is surprisingly touching. Although Arabella's students resemble stock characters—the wacky old lady, the beautiful girl hiding a terrible secret—this is a poignant yet amusing tale of family relationships rendered even more satisfying by Breen's dispensing of Strunk & White–like advice. (From Amazon).

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser.
Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:


  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

So the other night I'm lying in bed and I think, why not? She's gone, and it's all mine now right? So I just went through her stuff. These were all I found, of course.

This teaser comes from Nice to Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers. What's YOUR teaser?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


Here's what I got ~


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by Jamie Ford (For Review) ~ Ford's strained debut concerns Henry Lee, a Chinese-American in Seattle who, in 1986, has just lost his wife to cancer. After Henry hears that the belongings of Japanese immigrants interned during WWII have been found in the basement of the Panama Hotel, the narrative shuttles between 1986 and the 1940s in a predictable story that chronicles the losses of old age and the bewilderment of youth. Henry recalls the difficulties of life in America during WWII, when he and his Japanese-American school friend, Keiko, wandered through wartime Seattle. Keiko and her family are later interned in a camp, and Henry, horrified by America's anti-Japanese hysteria, is further conflicted because of his Chinese father's anti-Japanese sentiment. Henry's adult life in 1986 is rather mechanically rendered, and Ford clumsily contrasts Henry's difficulty in communicating with his college-age son, Marty, with Henry's own alienation from his father, who was determined to Americanize him. The wartime persecution of Japanese immigrants is presented well, but the flatness of the narrative and Ford's reliance on numerous cultural cliches make for a disappointing read.

Mother's Day Murder (Lucy Stone Mysteries) by Leslie Meier ~ In Meier's fizzy 15th holiday-themed cozy (after 2008's St. Patrick's Day Murder), reporter Lucy Stone, of Tinker's Cove, Maine, knows that the victim of a shooting murder, Tina Nowak, was feuding with Barbara "Bar" Hume over the popularity of their respective 16-year-old daughters, Heather and Ashley. Tinker's Cove is still reeling from the disappearance 10 months earlier of a teen youth counselor, and Bar's arrest is almost as shocking. In digging for answers regarding the alleged "killer mom," Lucy uncovers some icky revelations about Bart Hume, Bar's philandering cardiac surgeon husband. Meier's mix of family concerns and mystery turns darker than usual after Bart's mistress is killed in a suspicious car accident, and Lucy and Sara, Lucy's high school freshman daughter, are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Along the way, Lucy must also deal with fears about Sara's first prom date and the sleepless nights all moms must face.



Just Take My Heart: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark ~ Natalie Raines, one of Broadway's brightest stars, accidentally discovers who killed her former roommate and sets in motion a series of shocking events that puts more than one life in extreme peril. While Natalie and her roommate, Jamie Evans, were both struggling young actresses, Jamie had been involved with a mysterious married man to whom she referred only by nickname. Natalie comes face to face with him years later and inadvertently addresses him by the nickname Jamie had used. A few days later, Natalie is found in her home in Closter, New Jersey, dying from a gunshot wound. Immediately the police suspect Natalie's theatrical agent and soon-to-be-ex-husband, Gregg Aldrich. He had long been a "person of interest" and was known to have stalked Natalie to find out if she was seeing another man. But no charges are brought against him until two years later, when Jimmy Easton, a career criminal, suddenly comes forward to claim that Aldrich had tried to hire him to kill his wife. Easton knows details about the Aldrich home that only someone who had been there -- to plan a murder, for instance -- could possibly know. The case is a plum assignment for Emily Wallace, an attractive thirty-two-year-old assistant prosecutor. As she spends increasingly long hours preparing for the trial, a seemingly well-meaning neighbor offers to take care of her dog in her absence. Unaware of his violent past, she gives him a key to her home... As Aldrich's trial is making headlines, her boss warns Emily that this high-profile case will reveal personal matters about her, such as the fact that she had a heart transplant. And, during the trial, Emily experiences sentiments that defy all reason and continue after Gregg Aldrich's fate is decided by the jury. In the meantime, she does not realize that her own life is now at risk.

Nice to Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers ~ Though she's methodically navigated 36 years by making lists and plans, D.C. resident Prudence Whistler's carefully constructed life is about to get shaken up. She's let go from the nonprofit job that never did much to fulfill her in the first place. Then Rudy—who she's finally decided will suffice as The One—condescendingly dumps her. But before she has too much time to stew, her loved ones rally 'round: catty, coupled college friends; her younger sister, Patsy, the unmarried mother of a two-year-old; and John Owen, the in-divorce-proceedings diner owner Pru first encounters while schlepping Rudy's television out to the curb. This crew's the catalyst for a series of adventures and lifestyle shakeups that has retail-addict Pru wondering whether her love for fashion could deliver more than the latest Marc Jacobs dress. And then there's the ongoing coffee klatch at John's diner that inspires the big question: is Pru in the market for getting-each-other-through-a-bad-time-love with John, or is it time to stick her neck out for real-love love? Readers may find Pru's early bad luck streak contrived, but as her lovable friends and neighbors spring into action, the well-written story rounds out and rolls toward a satisfying finish.


Scoop! (A Vicki Hill Mystery) by Hannah Dennison ~ Obit writer Vicky Hill suspects foul play when she learns of a suspicious death: a champion hedge cutter, electrocuted after accidentally slicing through a power cable. Yeah, right. To get the real story Vicky’s willing to suffer through bad dates and mortal danger.

Murder of a Royal Pain: A Scumble River Mystery (Scumble River Mysteries) by Denise Swanson ~ When school psychologist Skye Denison stumbles over the body of pushy “Promfest” chairperson Annette Paine during a Halloween fundraiser, it looks like a clear-cut case of promicide. Annette was not the only prom mom desperate to see her daughter crowned queen. But she was also wearing the same witch costume as Skye, so which witch was the intended victim?



The Dead Man by Joel Goldman ~ Careful What You Dream. Milo Harper wants former FBI agent Jack Davis' help. People in Harper's study of the human brain are starting to die - and dying exactly in the very ways they have dreamed...Harper wants Jack to get to the truth and counter lawsuits aimed at the foundation. But when Jack investigates, the truth explodes: a serial killer is lurking inside one of the most advanced research facilities in the world. For Jack, the case will shatter illusions, raise ghosts, and take him onto both sides of the law - and into the path of a murderer's terrifying rage.

Notoriously Neat: A Grime Solvers Mystery (Grime Solvers Mysteries) by Suzanne Price ~ Professional cleaner Sky Taylor and her potential new beau— the town’s police chief—are on their first dinner date when they’re interrupted by a stampede of household pets running through the restaurant. Someone’s murdered Dr. Gail Pilsner, Pigeon Cove’s hugely popular veterinarian, releasing all the critters boarded at her clinic.Then when one of the singers in a vocal group, the La Dee Das, is murdered, Sky must uncover the link between the veterinarian and the songbirds—before a killer finishes cleaning house.


A Night at the Operation (A Double Feature Mystery) by Jeffrey Cohen ~ It’s hard for Elliot Freed to focus on his Comedy Tonight theatre with his ex-wife missing and accused of murdering her patient. With plenty of wanted— and unwanted—help, he embarks on a frantic search. Because murder is no laughing matter.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers


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Though she's methodically navigated 36 years by making lists and plans, D.C. resident Prudence Whistler's carefully constructed life is about to get shaken up. She's let go from the nonprofit job that never did much to fulfill her in the first place. Then Rudy—who she's finally decided will suffice as The One—condescendingly dumps her. But before she has too much time to stew, her loved ones rally 'round: catty, coupled college friends; her younger sister, Patsy, the unmarried mother of a two-year-old; and John Owen, the in-divorce-proceedings diner owner Pru first encounters while schlepping Rudy's television out to the curb. This crew's the catalyst for a series of adventures and lifestyle shakeups that has retail-addict Pru wondering whether her love for fashion could deliver more than the latest Marc Jacobs dress. And then there's the ongoing coffee klatch at John's diner that inspires the big question: is Pru in the market for getting-each-other-through-a-bad-time-love with John, or is it time to stick her neck out for real-love love? Readers may find Pru's early bad luck streak contrived, but as her lovable friends and neighbors spring into action, the well-written story rounds out and rolls toward a satisfying finish. (From Amazon)