Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Still Life by Joy Fielding

Still Life by Joy FieldingImagine being hit by a car, almost every bone in your body broken, bleeding in the brain, you are in a coma. Now imagine that you awake but nobody knows it. You are trapped inside your own body, you can’t see, move, feel or even catch a scent; but you can hear. Oh yes you can hear everything said around you. Imagine not knowing if what you are hearing is real or your dreams. You hear the Dr’s making their rounds, you hear your friends, your loved ones, the police, your enemies and your husband or wife talking about you as if you weren’t there. You are aware of it all and there is not a single thing you can do about it. Chilling, horrifying, terrifying. Now imagine that one of these people had deliberately done this to you. This is exactly what happens to Casey Marshall, a happily married, wealthy, successful business woman. One day as she is leaving lunch she had just shared with her friends she is run over while walking to her car. While In a coma she finds out that not all is as it seems. Locked inside her own brain she begins to have doubts about everyone around her and she even has doubts about her own sanity.As Casey starts getting better, she realizes that her days are numbered. The would-be killer also knows that she is slowly recovering and the killer’s time is swiftly running out.Ms Fielding writes this so vividly and expertly that I have to wonder how she did her research. Through Ms Fielding’s expert writing and vivid descriptions, I physically felt Casey’s panic at being transferred out of the safety of the hospital and into the hands of the assassin. The author’s ability to keep the tension going right through to the exciting conclusion was brilliant. Thank you Ms Fielding. I’ve never read anything by you until Still Life, but believe me when I say I’ll be stocking up on some of your other books now!If you know anything about the late Martha “Sunny” von Bulow, this will be right up your alley; and fans of the classic movie Gaslight will enjoy this too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

I may not have chosen this book had I known that it was an Inspirational styled novel, but in for a penny - in for a pound.

PJ Sugar has been in an out of some sort of trouble seemingly all her life. Her answer ten years ago was to run as far and as fast away as she possibly could. Over the years, she has gained knowledge in all sorts of things. She's been a zoo keeper, a stunt woman, a makeup artist among other things. Now she has come back to her hometown at her Mothers and sisters bequest and trouble seems to find her once again. This time it's murder that she stumbles upon. Plus then there is trouble in the shape of Boone her ex-boyfriend and fellow youthful trouble maker.

This is a very cute novel that appears to be a first in a series of other books soon to follow. My fellow readers may have thought that the Christian message was subtle but I think that it (toward the end at least) it was a tad too preachy for me. But don't forget, I'm not the person who would have necessarily bought this in the first place! I will say that I most likely will buy the next one, because I'd like to see PJ grow through her belief in herself. Well that, and I want to see which hottie she may pick in the end! LOL!

If I have anything bad to say about this book it's that I was very surprised to find out that this was a first in a series. The way it was written I felt that I had missed a previous book or two somewhere along the line. A lot of it, the emotional stuff was scattered and felt as if it was just thrown in later on for the heck of it and the plotting style was somewhat jerky and left so many things left unexplained. Some first time readers may find that a problem. Some things since they weren't ever explained just seems so out of left field like really - just why did Connie leave her son with a sister she hadn't seen in ten years? And why leave that same trouble causing sister with the in-laws that couldn't speak English? These are some simple things that should have been made clearer, at least in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Flipped Over This Fantastic Find! Seriously!!!

Flipping Out by Marshall Karp
I have to say that this book just flat out really did it for me. I have found a new obsession in Mr. Karps writing! I love mysteries, and this is a police procedural too…then to add the cherry onto the cake it is also laugh out loud funny. Mr. Karp better be sitting in front of his word processor right this minute cranking out the next book in this series that’s all I have to say. I read this the third in the series first and as soon as I was done, I immediately went back and ordered the first two on this series - The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty. There really is no need to read the first books in order since each can stand on it’s own quite nicely, but it may help clarify some minor points and “in“ jokes..
Okay now down to the nitty gritty - this series stars two of LAPD’s finest Detectives Mike Lomax, Terry Biggs (an aspiring stand up comic) and a whole slew of other equally hilarious secondary characters, including Mike‘s teamster father who loves to be a butinski, Mikes lady friend Diana and Terry‘s wife Marilyn. The first murder that happens, just happens to be another detective’s wife and then there is a second murder of a cop’s wife and then… well you get the idea! What do these murders have in common besides they are all cops wives? Well this group of women just all happen to belong to a club that flips houses for profit and this group includes Terry‘s wife Marilyn. This club is headed by famed mystery writer Nora Bannister who is writing a series of mystery books called The House to Die For Series. Each house in her series is an actual house newly renovated by the partners and as soon as the newest house in the series is ready to go on the market the wives start dying.
If you think you will be able to figure out who-dun-it quickly and neatly you have a big surprise coming to you. I thought I had it all wrapped up neatly too, but Mr. Karp manages to throw in one heck of a curve ball at the end.
Add to this some additional mayhem of Mike and Diana buying and renovating an older home and the humor never stops.
PS: I just finished the The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty and I highly recommend them also.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shannon K Butcher - Burning Alive:The Sentinel Wars (Release Date may 5th 2009)

Wonderful Speculative Fiction Debut, March 5, 2009 Burning Alive: The Sentinel Wars by Shannon K Butcher With Burning Alive: the Sentinel Wars, Shannon Butcher (wife of author Jim Butcher) makes her paranormal debut. And let me tell you she had me by the throat with the very first sentence: "The man who was going to stand by and watch while Helen burned to death liked his coffee black." This is a wonderfully fast paced paranormal romance novel and a very fast read that will leave you wanting more. It is very different than the usual paranormal romance, possibly because of Ms Butcher's experience with writing romantic suspense and mystery. This book is filled with good guys, bad guys, steamy sensual scenes between Helen and Drake, there are things that would curl your hair and make you look under the bed before getting in and characters that you aren't sure just which side of the war they are fighting on. With this first book we get to meet some of the factions that are on both sides of the War. We get to meet Drake the Theronai warrior and part of the Sentinels born to fight the Synestryn, we also meet Logan who is a Sanguinar, a healer and called the `leech' since he seems to be a vampire, who has the ability to help heal the warriors, and who seems to have his own agenda. Helen Day the human (or is she?) who believes that Drake will be standing by to watch while a vision of hers comes true and who finds herself fighting the Synestryn by Drakes side. The characters are all flawed to some degree and that makes them seem more real to me. Ms Butcher also pulls no punches, this is no typical "romance" people die, even ones you like and they carry secrets. Many secrets. Enough so that you know that this will be a series worth reading. I'm not going to get bogged down in explaining what is going on or even give any other details. The book synopsis and description do a wonderfu job of that. I'm just letting you know that I couldn't finish this book fast enough so I could get the word out that this is one you definitely need to read. It's fresh, it's fast paced, it has mystery,it's hot and it is a book that has something for everyone.