Finders Keepers Losers Die (humorous romantic mystery)
Cat Sinclair is a former actress (not a very good one) now working as the office manager at her father’s former business Knight Investigations. Cat’s biggest problem right now is she is bored, bored, bored! There is only so much filing, paying bills and answering phones a person can do before you’re ready to scream. Cat has been after Will to allow her to become an investigator, but since she barely does her job, he sees no future in her becoming an investigator.

When Roberta Scarletti walks into the office Cat informs her of the company policy about not doing spousal surveillance. Roberta says it’s not surveillance she needs, she wants them to find out where her soon to be ex husband hid her family’s jewelry. Cat decides to take the case on, even though she isn’t actually an investigator and the company doesn’t do domestic disputes.

When the husband turns up dead and Cat is being followed and threatened, things start to heat up. Someone is out to get her she just can’t figure out who. Trying to keep Will from finding out she is using company time to try and solve her case and using her mom’s computer skills to help her figure out how to bug people’s places are just a few of the humorous spots Cat gets herself into. Throw in a sudden office romance with her boss and things just keep heating up.

When Cat gets kidnapped by one of the very few people she really trusts, she finally realizes how much danger she is in. She needs to think fast and try to talk her way out of this mess before its to late!

A perfect easy, humorous read when you are laying on the beach, or relaxing on the couch. A great mixture of humor, sex, action, good guys and bad guys. A believable mystery with a couple of twists to keep you hooked.

Johnny's Ripple

Johnny Twigum is in many ways your typical 11 year old boy. He has a couple of very good friends and does well at school. He has an older sister Jenny and a younger brother Josh. His parents, Margaret and Jonathon, love all 3 of their children very much. Jonathon’s job takes him out of the country and away from his family a lot, although they have all learned to deal with it. There is one thing that is different about Johnny, he always seems to know what other people feel and think. He doesn’t know if it is instinct or something different but he knows other people don’t share that ability.

When news arrives that Jonathon was killed while working overseas, it devastates the family. Johnny’s uncle Robert shows up at Johnny’s birthday party but says he is leaving and he doesn’t know if he will see them again. Johnny knows something is wrong, but he has never been able to read his uncle Robert, not like he does other people.

After an evil wraith materializes when Johnny is upset and then a friendly gnome arrives shortly afterward, Johnny knows his life is about to get much, much stranger. Forced by circumstances to leave their home, Johnny and his family take off, telling no one where they are going. With the strange little gnome and a new friend named Claude to help them the family is on their way. Where they are going and what will happen to them is all up in the air.

This book was difficult for me to really get into. With so many of the characters having names that start with J (there are 2 Jennifers, Johnny, Johnathan, and Jarvis) and 2 Garys it was hard to keep all the characters straight. And while the story was well written, I couldn’t figure out if it was a book for the YA crowd or if it was an underwritten (not really sure how to say that correctly) adult story. Also I am the least technological person you would possibly ever meet and I had a tough time with the long scientific explanations.

I am giving this novel 2 stars simply because it was well written and I really appreciate the work that went into this book.

I received my copy through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

 

The Keeper of Dawn

The Keeper of the Dawn by J.B. Hickman Review

When Jacob Hawthorne is sent to Wellington Academy it was absolutely not what he wanted. Jacob feels he was sent away so he could not spend as much time with his grandfather whom his parents blame for Jacob’s older brother leaving. Wellington started with the campus at Eastbridge but it is no longer there and instead they are stuck on Raker Island, apart from everyone and everything. The only access for most is by ferry, unless you happen to be Governor Forsythe who travels by helicopter.

On Jacob’s first day, disappointed yet again by his father, he wanders away from the opening day ceremonies. Wandering off to the clock tower, part of the original hotel that is now the academy, he comes across Governor Forsythe’s trouble making son Chris, and his buddy Roland Van Belle the third, disrupting all by ringing the bell 27 times. Although Jacob was only an onlooker to the bell ringing, he was punished as well.

Soon Jacob, Chris, Roland and Derek Mayhew, another young man sent to Wellington Academy by his parents, are known around the school as the Headliners. None of the boys feel they measure up to what their parents want and expect from them and all resent being sent away to boarding school.

As the school year progresses, the boys become involved in doing what they can to disrupt the smooth flow of the school. When a presidential debate involving Chris’ father is scheduled to take place at the school, the other boys know Chris is going to do something to disrupt the proceedings, they are just not sure what.

When Jacob suffers a crisis, his friends are the only ones who can help. They all understand that if they help, they will probably be sent off to other schools but they will not desert Jacob in his time of need.

I found this book at first difficult to get into. It seemed to move slowly and rather predictably. After a few chapters the story picked up and moved along at a much better pace. The characters were well formed and interesting, the setting  had history and style and the story was well written and had a few unexpected surprises. An interesting addition to the coming of age books available.

 

END ePIRACY!

March 31, 2013

I must admit that I didn’t really think much about ePiracy until I read a blog post by my author friend Emily Guido. http://emilyguido.com/

I haven’t thought much about ePiracy because it just isn’t something that I would consider doing. I wouldn’t go into a bookstore grab a book I want and then walk out without paying because I want it. That’s theft! So going onto a site on my computer and taking a download of an eBook without paying for it is the same thing, its theft! Now there are times when I receive a free eBook in exchange for reviewing the book. But it is with the understanding that the book is for my eyes only and not for me to share with everyone I know. Also if you rent from an online library, that’s okay as the author has received some payment for making their book available for the library.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be an author. Specially an author just starting out who say doesn’t have a big publishing company behind them. When first starting they are responsible for writing, editing, rewriting, reediting, all things to do with copy writing, finding a publisher or self publishing and the list goes on. And on. And on…They should be compensated for all the time and effort they put into their work, just as you and I would want to be compensated for any work we did.

So why is it that some people think they deserve a copy of an eBook because they think it is too expensive, or because it takes too long to become available where they live.  What is with that? Are you going to hold up a theater house because the movie you want to see won’t be coming to your town for a few more weeks? And just how cheap should an eBook be?

Come on people, start acting responsibly! If you can’t afford to buy the book, get a library card…its cheap and free! Want to show your appreciation to an author? Pay for their books don’t just take them!

My hat is off to all authors out there who try to make the world a brighter place by sharing their stories and imagination with all of us. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

March 30, 2013

Well put post on ePiracy…check it out!

Naebody's Hero

Rob Hamilton was a normal 10 year old boy in 1980’s Bellshill. Along with his twin sister Cara he had the usual childhood experiences including some very strange dreams. He did though feel somewhat disconnected from other people but had learned to hide it well. Aside from his sister, Rob really only connected with his best friend Tom. It had hurt much more than he let on when Tom had to move away from Bellshill. Even worse though was waking up one morning to discover his parents had abandoned both he and his sister. So starts the long journey of Rob Hamiliton’s adolescence and the discoveries of what can and what is possible in his life.

Arif Ali was born in Westminster West London Hospital to loving parents Mimi and Azam Ali. Arif’s mother is a doctor at the same hospital where he was born and his father owns and runs a little shop in Battersea. Azam goes through life with rose colored glasses on and a serene disposition. Nothing seems to faze him. Arif wishes he could be more like his father but as he grows up he starts to feel that his father is wrong and that there are times when you must fight for what yu believe in. He begs his parents to allow him to go to Pakistan to live with family for a short time so he can get to know all his relatives. What his parents don’t know is that he has begun to listen more and more to more extreme religious doctrine and that that is his true interest. Will family love or extreme religious doctrine rule Arif’s life?

Kim Baker is a hunter of terrorists for the Counter Terrorist Agency (CTA). In 1974 Kim’s husband Dave and their infant son Scott were lost when a terrorist bomb went off and destroyed the plane and all the people who were on the flight. When you lose the 2 people you love beyond all others to a terrorist’s bomb, it is easy to push everything else aside. Its been 10 years since the bombing but catching terrorists consumes her every waking moment and invades every one of her dreams. She no longer has any interest or time in anything or anybody that doesn’t have to do with her job.

When the paths of these three very diverse people cross it will change all their lives and the course of history.

Set over several years, the author weaves together three divergent stories into one cohesive climax. With some surprising situations, hair raising twists ,unexpected turns and a sprinkle of unusual powers there is a little bit of everything for everyone. At times I found that the storylines bounced a little too much and was at times a bit confusing. A solid novel if you are looking for an ordinary boy facing extraordinary choices and discovering superhero powers. Also great for all who enjoy comics and graphic novels.

I received my copy of Naebody’s Hero from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Diva (Frank Renzi, #2)

Diva (Frank Renzi #2) by Susan Fleet Review

‘Any day without a murder was a good day in New Orleans’ were words to live by for Frank Renzi, a homicide detective stationed out of the Eighth District homicide office. Always short on supplies and detectives unfortunately there seemed to be an unending supply of crimes and bad guys. Four years ago Frank Renzi left the Boston police force and relocated to New Orleans. Most put the move down to his wife divorcing him but it was so much more than that. Not many know of the young girl who died because Renzi couldn’t save her. He meets a fellow officer, Kelly O’Neil, and is instantly attracted to her and it would seem the feeling is mutual.He’s trying to build a life in New Orleans and is finally thinking that maybe happiness can be his.

Then two back to back cases have him racing the clock to save a young girl and worrying about a stalker.

Brenda Scully, wonderful flute soloist whose career is starting to rise quickly, doesn’t believe there is really a problem. Her manager/friend, Jake Ziegler believes someone tried to kill her on the anniversary of her parents’ accidental death. As Renzi is talking with them both he realizes that they are both hiding something, Renzi’s just not sure what it is. Before he gets any further the phone rings…a cop’s down!

Telling them he will contact them in the morning, Renzi heads out to the site of the cop shooting. An off duty policeman went into a convenience store for cigarettes and interrupted an attempted robbery. Using a female customer as a shield the two robbers shot the cop and took off with the woman customer and a stolen car.

After arriving at the scene of the officer shooting incident, Renzi runs down a young girl fleeing from the scene. He knows from witness reports that she wasn’t inside the store but his cop instinct is telling him she is definitely involved and very, very scared. Renzi is determined not to lose another young girl, not on his watch!

As Renzi’s time is taken up with his new lady friend, running down leads and generating new ones for both his cases, everything soon starts spiraling out of control. Now with the death toll rising in both of his cases, Renzi must use all of his training and instincts to solve both these crimes.

I found this to be an intriguing look into Frank Renzi’s life as a homicide detective. With well developed characters, interesting plots (the 2 different crimes)and subplots (the interactions of the groups of detectives,and the groups of bad guys) and wonderful descriptions of the sights and sounds of a post-Katrina landscape and reality that the people of New Orleans are now having to face and deal with. I did find there was a little too much description of roads and directions to every place that Renzi went to and it didn’t add anything, for me it actually took away because I felt myself losing interest in the reason Renzi was on his way somewhere but that is just one minor thing. I have not read Absolution (Frank Renzi #1) but will definitely be looking for it.

Great stand alone novel, I can see this becoming a wonderful detective series.

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