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Handknits for Kids
Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1570763100 $23.00 1-800-423-4525 www.traflgarsquarebooks.com
Over twenty original hand-knitted designs for kids ages 2-5 offers a range of styles for all seasons
and pairs fun cartoons with bright color photos of finished products in HANDKNITS FOR KIDS:
25 ORIGINAL DESIGNS. Yarn, needle and gauge details accompany step-by step instructions
knitters will easily follow.
Collins/Trafalgar Square, Dist.
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
0007193602 $24.99 1-800-423-4525 www.traflgarsquarebooks.com
Six stories of Mog the cat will make perfect read-aloud choices for parents seeking warm tales to
involve the kids at bedtime. MOG TIME: 6 STORIES ABOUT MOG presents a cat which has
whimsical for thirty years: six of the most popular tales are included here, celebrating the cat's
popularity for new generations and including plenty of Mog color drawings on every page.
The New First Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy
E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
222 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116
0618408533 $15.00 www.hmco.com
All the facts kids in grades 1-6 should have at their fingertips - and their parents, to help them out
are packed into THE NEW FIRST DICTIONARY OF CULTURAL LITERACY: WHAT
CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW. Parents typically find themselves less than helpful when asked to
a child with common denominators or world history questions: here are 3,000 definitions, with
entries organized by subject area and an index and organization which lends to parent/child
interactions. An excellent reference encouraging answers to common school questions and
Time & Eternity
Templeton Foundation Press
81 Maple Avenue South, Westport, CT 06880
1932031898 $29.95 1-800-621-8476 www.templetonpress.org
You might think a book titled TIME AND ETERNITY belongs in the science review section, but
the subtitle, THE QUESTION OF TIME IN CHURCH, SCIENCE, AND THEOLOGY, isn't a
tip-off otherwise, the chapters covering links between knowledge of time and religious
certain supports its feature here. Scholar Antje Jackelen blends science, religion and philosophy to
consider modern understandings of time, eternity, and more, using texts of church hymns in
Swedish and German to consider relationships between God, time, and mankind. From
between time and the Trinity to Christian understandings of death to overall Biblical references to
time and its nature, TIME AND ETERNITY is a stimulating read.
Contemporary Asian Pools And Gardens
Karina Zabihi and Chami Jotisalikorn
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
07894601766 $30.00 www.tuttlepublishing.com
Homeowners interested in landscape architecture ideas from Asia will want to watch for
CONTEMPORARY ASIAN POOLS AND GARDENS, a survey of modern design options in
Asian gardens, from paths and sculptures to water features. Gorgeous, bright color photos of
modern garden designs explore different home layouts, materials options, and what helps create
atmosphere of an Asian garden setting.
PO Box 7628, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
Three outstanding new titles offer not just design options, but historical backgrounds on their
developments and contemporary interpretations of classics. Charles Randall and Melanie
DREAM WALLS (1890379077, $19.95) is the second title in the 'Dream' series, covering all
of wall coverings from wallpaper and paint to stone and paneling. Over 700 color images
a fine historical background of wall choices and design, and a source guide offering homeowners
ideas on where to locate specialty items - including handy websites for more extensive browsing
manufacturer. Kathleen Stoehr's DREAM FLOORS: HUNDREDS OF DESIGN IDEAS FOR
EVERY KIND OF FLOOR (1890379085, $19.95) examines flooring for both home and
pairing color photos with explanations of pros and cons of each type of floor choice. Add details
maintenance and actual style numbers for specifying flooring choices and you have a handy
source catalog as well as a designer's manual of tips. Charles T. Randall's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
WINDOW FASHIONS: 1000 DECORATING IDEAS FOR WINDOWS, BEDDING AND
ACCESSORIES (1890379034, $19.95) completes the extensive references in covering all kinds
coverings, from draperies and blinds to shutters, toppers, and bedspread and pillow matches.
historic treatments to modern options and cost-saving styles, all kinds of treatments for all budget
levels offers a satisfying catalog of choices.
Six Secrets of Successful Bettors
Frank R. Scatoni & Peter Thomas Fornatale
Daily Racing Forum Press
100 Broadway, 7th Fl., NY, NY 10005
1932910964 $24.95 www.drf.com
If you play the horses and want to win, you can't be without SIX SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL
BETTORS: WINNING INSIGHTS INTO PLAYING THE HORSES. This isn't just a single
strategy, but a discussion of who consistently wins at a racetrack - and what their secrets are for
successful gambling. Research and interviews have identified the winners through two dozen pro
player insights - and the traits they share. Using business analysis with traditional handicapping
methods and lessons from these pros, a model has been developed to assure wins. Read it and use
46-35 - 54th Rd., Maspeth, NY 11378
Two excellent 'Eating In' titles in the "Insight Guides" series to local big-city restaurants, bars,
and pubs are highly recommended destination-oriented take-along totes: their slim size lends to
pockets, their clear descriptions of neighborhoods and local offerings provide plenty of history
background beyond a mere establishment listing, and each establishment listing includes hours,
affordability ratings, websites and descriptions. With all this offered you'd think the content would
be well-packed and dull - but there's a host of color photos to enliven the books even further. So
you're heading for New York City be sure to bring EATING IN NEW YORK (9814120-812,
$10.95), and if it's Paris, don't forget to pack EATING IN PARIS (9814120790, $10.95): the
abundance of detail - including color maps - is extraordinarily handy.
Demos Medical Publishing
386 Park Avenue South #201, New York NY 10016
1932603093 $19.95 www.demosmedpub.com
From wheelchairs to walkers, there's a host of accessible travel options available to travelers, and
second updated edition of BARRIER-FREE TRAVEL: A NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE FOR
WHEELERS AND SLOW WALKERS covers all aspects of such travel; from maneuvering a
wheelchair through new airport security systems to locating the right travel agent and
disability laws and rights. Both domestic and overseas travel are covered, cruises and land travel
alike, and information is based on logistics and changing environments as much as common sense.
No other book delves into the needs of mobility impaired travelers, from special oxygen
requirements to challenges in hotel rooms. An essential reference.
Used Book Lover's Guides
Book Hunter Press
PO Box 193, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Travelers who are also book hounds will find there's one particular guide which is a 'must' to back
on any browsing vacation, and that's one of Book Hunter's USED BOOK LOVER'S GUIDE
You can get a print book to take along of either of these latest for $19.95 each- or you can obtain
subscription to their online service and get the print version of the same guide for $25.00. THE
USED BOOK LOVER'S GUIDE TO CANADA (1891379003) packs in over 800 used book
dealers by location, offers a specialty index to narrow down the choices, and easy travel
Ditto for the second revised edition of USED BOOK LOVER'S GUIDE TO NEW ENGLAND
(1891379938), which includes the same format and packs in the maps and comments about shops.
From number of volumes in the collection to hours of operation, these books are much more than
mere listings - they're bibles of information.
In the Realm of Rivers
Sue Walker & Dennis Holt
PO Box 1588, Montgomery, AL 36102
1558381722 $39.95 1-334-834-3556 www.newsouthbooks.com
The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is part of Alabama's history, providing an ecosystem rich in animal and
plant species and, like most such systems, is currently threatened by urban development. Prose,
poetry and non-fiction narrative by Sue Walker blends research - interviews with scientists,
historians and preservationists as well as hunters - with Dennis Holt's stunning color photos of
animals and nature to provide a fitting tribute to the lasting importance of Alabama's
Garlic and Sapphires
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
1594200319 $24.95 1-800-847-5515 www.penguingroup.com
Ruth Reichl was a well known food critic for The New York Times: so well known that she
to suspect her restaurant appearances were being met with bias. So she went undercover as a
to get to the meat of the real restaurant experience, overcoming the barrier to anonymity by
disguises. It's hard to review a restaurant when your face as a food critic is well known by every
professional restaurateur in town: GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES takes a look at the real results of
dining, telling of her development of the 'double review' experience contrasting her meal as a
critic and again, the same service and food as an anonymous member of the public.
Barbara Greenman, Editor
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 West 19th St, New York NY 10011
1579124534 $19.95 1-800-722-7202 www.bdlev.com
Churches across the country submitted their best recipes for this collection: some fifty cookbooks
from across the country presented their 'perfect dish' for church socials, represented in wide
in CHURCH SUPPERS: 722 FAVORITE RECIPES FROM OUR CHURCH COMMUNITIES.
The lay-flat binding which is also hardbound with title on spine makes it easy to both locate and
the cookbook, the hardcover format makes it durable in contrast to the usual flimsy paper church
presentation, and the dishes, ranging from Pecan-Crusted Swordfish to Chicken Gumbo, are easy
make and tote. No color photos, but the easy format doesn't need them.
Harvard Common Press
535 Albany St., Boston, MA 02118
There are numerous sauce books on the market; but most focus on cream or Italian-based red
for pastas and don't hold nearly the variety nor applications of GET SAUCY: MAKE DINNER A
NEW WAY EVERY DAY WITH SIMPLE SAUCES, MARINADES, GLAZES, DRESSINGS,
PESTOS, PASTA SAUCES, SALSAS AND MORE by Grace Parisi (155832237X $17.95). An
addition plus is its international focus, which adds the zestiness of Thai chilies, the coolness of
Tandoori, or the Southwest influence of tomatoes and corn salsas to the mix. Another major plus:
GET SAUCY is arranged by type of cooking to be paired with the sauce, from Pan and Stir-fry
sauces to Marinades, making it easy to pick a sauce for an intended dish. And when the time
for dessert, don't leave out Lauren Chattman's ICEBOX DESSERTS (155832271X, $17.95),
packing in dozens of no-bake desserts which are a snap to prepare. The line-up includes puddings,
pops, cupcakes, truffles and even pies, presenting a wide diversity usually not seen in competing
bake' dessert guides. Many of the dishes are the author's own creations, furthering the unique
of ICEBOX DESSERTS.
4501 Forbes Blvd #200, Lanham, MD 20706
Three excellent cookbooks feature unusual themes and inviting dishes. Anne Lindsay Greer
McCann's THE LOW-FAT, LOW-CARB SOUTHWEST COOKBOOK (1589791789, $19.95)
appears in a new edition packed with recipes and tips for reducing fats and carbs. In case you're
wondering, the original book entitled ULTIMATE LOW-FAT MEXICAN BOOKBOOK has
completely revamped and revised to include McCann's own Southwest dishes. Try a low-fat Chili
Cheese Puffs, Black Bean Turkey Chili, or Tortilla Pizzas for maximum flavor impact, and learn
to reduce carbs and fats in the process. Dotty Griffith's THE CONTEMPORARY COWBOY
COOKBOOK: RECIPES FROM THE WILD WEST TO WALL STREET (1589791568,
isn't just for the campfire: Western cooking has evolved into urban fare and here both traditional
recipes and contemporary versions of Western foods. What sorts of dishes are Western? Try
Smoked Sirloin, Green Beans with Sweet Onions, or Buttermilk Pie with Blackberries: hearty trail
food adjusted for modern tastes and modern kitchens. Joseph Carey's CREOLE NOUVELLE:
CONTEMPORY CREOLE COOKERY (1589791304, $29.95) features recipes from a range of
New Orleans chefs who redefine traditional genre recipes with new additions and tastes. How?
Joseph Carey is himself a native New Orleans chef, so he's in the perfect position of authority to
demonstrate Shrimp Creole, Crayfish Ravioli, and more.
171 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016
Two lovely new additions to Hippocrene's cookbook specialties are recommended picks for cooks
seeking authentic - even unusual - fare. Jose Sanchez-H.'s MY MOTHER'S BOLIVIAN
RECIPES AND RECOLLECTIONS (0781810566, $24.95) is as much a memoir of the author's
Bolivian childhood as it is a recipe collection packing in his favorite dishes. From Fake Rabbit and
Tongue with Wine to a fava-bean infused Chuno Soup for potato fans, many of the dishes here
simply unavailable elsewhere. Brian Yarvin's FARMS AND FOODS OF THE GARDEN STATE:
NEW JERSEY COOKBOOK (0781810833, $18.95) provides an examination of New Jersey's
and recipes alike - but don't expect regional American alone; like most of the U.S., New Jersey's
dishes have been changed by the melting pot influence and thus an Indian Chicken Vindaloo,
Italian-Style Stewed Peppers, and Portuguese Kale Soup reflect the state's ethnic influences. No
color photos, but the easy recipes don't need 'em.
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373
Three excellent new computer titles focus on GIS statistical programs, one of the hottest newer
employment fields around, providing some basic and important keys to linking GIS functions and
programs with real-world mapping needs. The second updated edition of Tim Ormsby, Eileen
Napoleon, et.al.'s GETTING TO KNOW ARCGIS DESKROP: BASICS OF ARCVIEW,
ARCEDITOR AND ARCINFO (158948083X, $59.95) has been updated to include ArcGIS 9,
presents a technical workbook packed with insights on the three GIS products which make up
ArcGIS Desktop. Step-by-step exercises teach the basics from mapmaking and spatial analysis to
using the software features, while a fully functioning 180-day trial version of the latest software
CD-ROM makes it easy to learn first, buy later. For a narrower focus, choose Ian Masser's GIS
WORLDS: CREATING SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURES (1589481224, $49.95),
presenting a leading world authority's overview of SDI, from its evolution to its local, national
transnational developments. A technical discussion of spatial data systems in different countries
lends to a global understanding of different reports and concerns. David Arctur and Michael
DESIGNING GEODATABASES: CASE STUDIES IN GIS DATA MODELING (158948021X,
$39.95) both analyzes domain data models which represent commonly used GIS data sets, and
analyzes them for commonalities in practical GIS database designs. GIS professionals will
a technical survey of designs from real-world case studies, from river networks to federal lands
surveys, cartography and more. All are highly recommended choices for the professional and
800 East 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46240
Three weighty technical new Cisco guides provide overviews and solutions for systems managers
and administrators. Stefan Raab and Madhavi W. Chandra's MOBILE IP TCHNOLOGY AND
APPLICATIONS: REAL-WORLD SOLUTIONS FOR MOBILE IP CONFIGURATION AND
MANAGEMENT (158705132X) tells how the internet and wireless communications are
how people access information. The challenge is effectively moving data across different
and Mobile IP is reviewed as one solution to this problem, standardizing operations and
its practical applications. Lay readers will be able to access this and even more so, Jim Doherty
Neil Anderson'' HOME NETWORKING SIMPLIFIED: AN ILLUSTRATED HOME
NETWORKING HANDBOOK FOR THE EVERYDAY USER (1587201364, $24.99), which
explains how anyone can build a home networking system. From networking computers and
securing them against hackers and viruses to going wireless and understanding the latest home
networking options, HOME NETWORKING SIMPIFIED is written in simple enough language
all ages can easily understand how to get the most of the computer system. Technical network
managers involved in IP communications systems will want to keep Danelle Au, et.al.'s CISCO IP
COMMUNICATIONS EXPRESS: CALLMANAGER EXPRESS WITH CISCO UNITY
EXPRESS (158705180X, $70.00) close at hand. Not for the amateur, CISCO IP
COMMUNICATIONS EXPRESS packs in detailed technical information not available in other
resources, showing how to use product features more effectively, providing solid examples from
life to help in the configuration of the program, and aiding in common troubleshooting problems.
Any taking the CCIE Security written exam will want to use Henry Benjamin, CCIE's CCIE
SECURITY EXAM CERTIFICATION GUIDE, SECOND EDITION (1587201356, $79.95) as
their basic guide. CCIE as an important security certification - and is one of the most highly
networking certifications one could obtain. Here's an in-depth, detailed study tool for the 2.0
version, which has been updated and reviewed b past and present members of the CCIE Security
team at Cisco.
Yahoo! To the Max
c/o Information Today
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055
0910965692 $24.95 www.infotoday.com
Yahoo! Has a lot to offer these days, and if all you do is using it to occasionally surf web sites,
you're not taking full advantage of the latest options. Ron Hock's user-friendly guide to these
covers everything from communications and e-commerce to investment. Tips offer valuable
into how to most effectively use these tools, from understanding Yahoo Groups and how they
function and are moderated to selling items on auction sites. An essential guide geared to the
common Internet browser.
Secrets of the Game Business
Francois Dominic Laramee
Charles River Media
10 Downer Ave., Hingham, MA 02043
1584503998 $39.95 charlesriver.com
Game developers won't want to miss the second updated edition of SECRETS OF THE GAME
BUSINESS: a programmer's development guide which covers everything from changes in how
game business works to starting up your own game company. Middleware, licensing, working
producers, pros and cons of global or country deals, and more are all covered in an important
of how the industry as a whole operates.
1249 - 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
Two outstanding new titles shine above competitors in their approaches to popular topics, and are
highly recommended picks for discriminating library holdings, promising lasting lending value.
Cynthia L. baron and Daniel Peck's FILEMAKER PRO ADVANCED FOR WINDOWS &
MACINTOSH (0321199561, $29.99) is another fine Visual QuickPro Guide; this teaching how
use the Visual QuickPro approach to master the advanced facets of Filemaker Pro. From using
conditional scripts and importing data in batches to mingling FileMaker with other common
programs and creating relationships and subscripts, FILEMAKER PRO ADVANCED is simply a
'must' for any beyond the beginner stage. Cher Threinen-Pendarvis' THE PHOTOSHOP AND
PAINTER ARTIST TABLET BOOK: CREATIVE TECHNIQUES IN DIGITAL PAINTING
(0321168917, $44.99) will especially appeal to artists who use digital media and want to know
finer points of using the artist tablet with Photoshop. Projects are presented on a step-by-step
to enhance learning of drawing and composition through practice, and chapters cover basic
using this method to teach basic composition and conceptual processes in the digital world. Plenty
color photos drive home the points and add interest.
345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110
The 'Classroom in a Book' series is designed to offer training workbooks with as many visual
examples as the actual classroom would offer, and as much detail as a teacher would provide -
complete with QuickTime Movies on CD, tutorials from Photoshop itself, and tips by Julieanne
Kost. The result is a virtual home classroom in Russell Brown's ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS2
CLASSROOM IN A BOOK: THE OFFICIAL TRAINING WORKBOOK FROM ADOBE
SYSTEMS (0321321847 $49.99). From adding depth and vector drawing to a Photoshop image
even more advanced techniques such as setting slice options and liquifying a layer, any owner of
Adobe Photoshop's CS2 version will want this as their 'teacher': it's a virtual bible of basics. Don't
leave out Amy Standen's MAGGIE TAYLOR'S LANDSCAPE OF DREAMS (0321306147,
$40.00), either: Taylor's digital photo collages created through Photoshop offer a Surrealistic
on animals and people alike, using objects found on eBay and in flea markets, a scanner, and
Photoshop to produce unusual results. From idea to execution, MAGGIE TAYLOR'S
LANDSCAPE OF DREAMS shows how Photoshop users can accomplish similar results. As
an art display as a Photoshop book, this is also recommended for Surrealist art fans.
1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
Three new computer guides promise long-term reference importance. Dan Gookin and Robert
Birnbach's EBAY PHOTOS THAT SELL: TAKING GREAT PRODUCT SHOTS FOR EBAY
AND EBYOND (0782143814, $29.99) teaches home seller how to create high-quality photos
basic digital camera and some tricks of the photography trade. From taking initial good shots to
creating props from items found at home and knowing how to use a camera's features, EBAY
PHOTOS THAT SELL covers the many common problems beginners face, and how to overcome
them. Usders of the MAYA program will welcome George Maestri's MAYA AT A GLANCE
(0782144047, $24.99): unlike competing Maya tomes, it uses a color visual approach to pack
with graphics supplementing 'how to' descriptions. Pair these visuals with easy step-by-step
and you have not just a reference, but a workbook packed with examples by a director and
producer. For a more complex guide, turn to Alias Learning Tools' third edition of THE ART OF
MAYA (1894893824), which delves further into UV coordinates for maximum texturing, 3D
texture placement, tesselation, and more. From adding special effects to understanding their
properties, Maya users beyond the beginner's stage will welcome a guide to the finer art of
Adobe After Effects 6.5 Magic
James Rankin & Anna Ullrich
1249 - 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
0321267230 $39.99 www.newriders.com
Over twenty projects designed by motion graphics pros are designed to illustrate solutions and
of using Adobe After Effects 6.5, using real-life projects to illustrate more advanced techniques of
the program for those who already have the basics down. From using third-party effects and
animating layers to designing an animated collage and using dynamic text-animation sequences
pre-built presets, ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS 6.5 MAGIC: 22 UNIQUE PROJECTS 100S OF
TECHNIQUES takes users to the next level of expertise.
Jeff Gordon with Steve Eubanks
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743499778 $13.00 www.simonsays.com
Race car fans all know the name Jeff Gordon: here's his own memoir of his racing life, JEFF
GORDON: RACING BACK TO THE FRONT-MY MEMOIR. 16 pages of lovely color photos
display Gordon at different ages and phases of his racing career, while his memoir speaks of his
experience behind the wheel from the California junior circuit to his professional status today.
triumphs to failures and disappointments, Jeff reveals experience and feelings in a vivid
Larceny and Old Leather
363 West Erie Street, 7th Floor East, Chicago, IL 60610
0897335333 $25.00 1-800-248-7323 www.academychicago.com
Want a humorous review of baseball's less than finer moments? LARCENY AND OLD
THE MISCHIEVOUS LEGACY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL gathers some winners for
baseball fans to enjoy: snippets of history which range from incidences of spitballs, grease balls
corked bats to stealing and spying between competitors. Any interested in the bizarre, entertaining
side of baseball will consider LARCENY AND OLD LEATHER a real winner: engaging, fun,
packed with history.
Mark Hatmaker with Doug Werner
140 Brightwood Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910
1884654215 $12.95 startupsports.com
Any boxing would-be pro serious about learning the sport simply must obtain a copy of BOXING
MASTRY: ADVANCED TECHNIQUE, TACTICS AND STRATEGIES FROM THE SWEET
SCIENCE for supplemental reading. It illustrates and tells how to cut off the ring, fight off ropes,
cultivate various hooks, and combine single punches into a uniform strategy. Packed with 900
and white action photos, boxers receive clear visuals on how to hone strategy and refine routines.
Mark Hatmaker has produced numerous instructional videos and tapes as well as other fighting
books; his background lends to an important guide supplemented by co-author Doug Werner,
himself the co-author of two best-seller boxing guides.
Gunbarrel Tech Center
7077 Winchester Circle, Boulder,CO 80301
9781581604733 $20.00 1-800-392-2400 www.paladin-press.com
Wrestling fans have an excellent history in Mark Hewitt's CATCH WRESTLING: A WILD AND
WOOLY LOOK AT THE EARLY DAYS OF PRO WRESTLING IN AMERICA. Catch
appeared in North America in the late 19th century and quickly become one of the most popular
sports from Europe. The evolution of an elite group of catch wrestlers and their sometimes-brutal
achievements is covered in a fine survey which also explores promotion, gambling, audience
influence on the sport's evolution, and much more. Catch wrestling is now re-emerging as a
self-defense system, making Mark Hewitt's history more important than ever.
Sport Classic Books
21 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, Ontatio M4M 2R6, Canada
SportClassic specializes in vivid, memorable sports references but two stand out from any
competitors as particularly important and very highly recommended for any sports reference
collection. Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella's TOTAL BALLCLUBS: THE ULTIMATE
BOOK OF BASEBALL TEAMS (1894963377, $19.95) brings all 124 teams to life, including 6
long-gone leagues which were part of professional baseball's early years. Coverage from 1871 on
describes the evolution of baseball franchises, presents statistics as well as anecdotes of the sport,
and packs in 300 black and white photos of team history. Avid fans who already own TOTAL
BASEBALL: THE ULTIMATE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA will find this companion
fills many gaps and rounds out the reference information, making both together a virtual bible of
references. JANET GUTHRIE: A LIFE AT FULL THROTTLE (1894963318, $24.95) includes
Guthrie's autobiography plus an introduction by fellow female sports pro Billie Jean King. From
Guthrie's Florida roots and involvement in flying airplanes to the years she spent campaigning her
own sports cars at tracks around the country, finally to achieve many commendations as a winning
female racecar competitor, A LIFE AT FULL THROTTLE offers inspired, even passionate
and reflection on what it means to be a woman driver in the male-dominated racing circuit.
The Hitting Clinic
32 Morris Ave., Springfield NJ 07081
1580801315 $12.95 www.burfordbooks.com
Baseball players and coaches alike who want drills for better hitting will welcome John Stewart's
player's handbook THE HITTING CLINIC: SKILLS AND DRILLS FOR BETTER HITTING.
Here's a professional how-to course from a pro scout who knows what he's talking about:
everything from the right bat and grip to stance, swing types and more. Black and white drawings
throughout provide clear illustration in this 'coach in a book'.
420 Wando Park Boulevard, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If it's regional California history which is of interest, especially vintage black and white photos and
details on local areas seldom given much publicity coverage in more general California history
books, don't miss Arcadia's rapidly-expanding regional California collections comprising their
'Images of America' series. Each book is a virtual masterpiece of detail, with many appropriately
narrowing the focus to an area of larger cities such as San Francisco, which rarely enjoys closer
neighborhood inspection. Thus the latest additions of Robert W. Bowen's SAN FRANCISCO'S
PRESIDIO (0738529869, $19.99) and Robert F. Oaks' SAN FRANCISCO'S FILLMORE
DISTRICT (0738529885, $19.99) assembles fine images which serve as the foundation for telling
Presidio and Fillmore area history. From the Presidio's roots as home to the Ohlone natives to its
later use as a military base, and the Fillmore District's cosmopolitan beginnings and home to a
Jewish settlement, vivid vintage photos bring changing times to life. Travel outside the City to
nearby communities and Arcadia doesn't leave you hanging, either: choose from Sabine
Goerke-Shrode's FAIRFIELD (0738528889, $19.99), once home to the Patwin Suisuni Indians
whose Chief Solano was one of the few native landowners in California in the 1830s, the Dixon
Women's Improvement Club's DIXON (9738529729, $19.99), another Solano County
which details the community's change from a prosperous farming region to a quaint small town;
Dean L.McLeod's BAY POINT (0738529079, $19.99), telling of the nearby High 4 small area
which began from smaller neighborhood roots and changed its name to Port Chicago during the
depression, only then seeing the restoration process which it needed; and Daniel Kasser's
DOWNTOWN STOCKTON (0738529427, $19.99), telling of a gold rush town which became a
major city. You don't have to be a native or even a visitor to appreciate these lovely coverages,
which pack in not only vintage photos but insights into underlying influences to local change.
Arcadias extensive image histories are rapidly expanding throughout the state: go further from the
City and bring along Leroy Radanovich's MARIOPSA COUNTY (0738529494, $19.99), one of
original 27 counties of the state which is located in the Sierras and has a colorful history, from
mining to modern times. Author Randovich is a photographer and a longtime resident, so he's in
perfect position to not only gather the images, but tell the stories of his home city. Laura L.
SEAL BEACH (073852980X, $19.99) reveals a history of the Southern California beach town
which was originally begun as Bay City and changed to Seal Beach after mail to San Francisco,
'City by the Bay', was thwarted. Alioto is president of the Seal Beach Historical and Cultural
and provides a rich collection of images and stories. Norma H. Gurba's LANCASTER
(0738529818, $19.99) tells of a town created by a railroad's needs and a real estate developer
purchased the land from the railroad and oversaw its development. 200 historic images from the
of Lancaster Museum/Art Gallery's holdings are presented by author/curator Gurba and enlivened
with plenty of local color. Arcadia is developing and expanding their 'Images of America' theme
across the country: Yanni Tsipis' BOSTON'S BRIDGES (0738535710, $19.99) is only one
of an outstanding feature narrowing the Boston survey to it's remarkable bridges and spans. Tsipis
holds degrees in civil engineering and urban planning, and is in the perfect, unique position to
this aspect of Boston's bridge and engineering history.
The John Deere Story
Neil Dahlstrom and Jeremy Dahlstrom
Northern Illinois University Press
310 North Fifth Street, DeKalb, IL 60115
0875803369 $24.00 1-815-753-1826 www.niupress.niu.edu
The John Deere tractor is a foundation of American history and THE JOHN DEERE STORY: A
BIOGRAPHY OF PLOWMAKERS JOHN & CHARLES DEERE is an essential key to
understanding its evolution and importance. While modern lay readers immediately think of John
Deer as the inventor of the steel plow, in reality he began as an indebted blacksmith fleeing debt in
new England who set up shop on the Illinois frontier and designed a new plow which began his
involvement inventing a wide range of farm equipment. His vision of a supply company furthered
only his own inventions but the rise of the midwest farmer, providing reliable, affordable
which fostered the industry as a whole.
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465094058 $25.00 1-800-242-7737 www.basicbooks.com
John Ledyard dreamed of walking the world and in the mid 1700s set off with just an axe, a pipe
two dogs to survey the world. James Zug provides his story in AMERICAN TRAVELER: THE
LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF JOHN LEDYARD - THE MAN WHO DREAMED OF
WALKING THE WORLD. Ledyard's ability to relate to people of all classes despite his
Connecticut gentry roots and his ability to travel across half the globe by raising support from
various individuals and groups makes for a vivid piece of American history and culture, telling of
self-made man's hard work and dedication to adventure.
Living Smart New York City
7777 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53213
0879103086 $16.95 1-800-637-2852 www.limelighteditions.com
Newcomers to seasoned Big Apple residents will find LIVING SMART-NEW YORK CITY an
essential key to budget-minded living in the big city. From stress reduction and health clinics to
bargain shopping areas for clothing, provisions, and books, LIVING SMART NEW YORK CITY
packed with recommendations for locating all the good, affordable things in the city.
The New Bullwhip Book
PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368
1559502444 $12.95 www.loompanics.com
Ever felt like cracking the whip for real? Then Andrew Conway's unique NEW BULLWHIP
is just the ticket for you: all it requires is ownership of a bullwhip and reading skills. Three basic
cracks are presented in step-by-step instructions easy for whip owners to follow. From
follow-through on the crack to analyses of what went wrong, THE NEW BULLWHIP BOOK is
loaded with detail.
Andrews & McMeel
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-7701
If it's a collection of comics from popular newspaper syndicated features which is needed, chances
are Andrews and McMeel will have it: they specialize in producing compilations of strips from the
best of cartoon strips across the country and produce works of such high consistent quality that
if you haven't had prior exposure to a particular artist, the book will still prove attractive. Among
latest recommended picks: Baby Blues fans will relish Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott's DRIVING
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF CHILDREN (0740750054, $16.95), juxtaposing black and
and full color strips of the latest highlights from the 'Baby Blues' family-oriented comic strip about
harried parents and demanding kids; Pat Brady's ROSE IS ROSE: RUNNING ON ALTER EGO
(0740751271, $10.95), an aptly-named exploration of the Rose is Rose comic strip character who
has two personalities: her conservative everyday demeanor and an inner wild 'motorcycle woman',
Number 10 of Patrick McDonnell's Mutts comics is WHO LET THE CAT OUT? (0740750062,
$10.95), packed with black and white strips about a simple dog's view of life; Bill Amend's
ORLANDO BLOOM HAS RUINED EVERYTHING (0740749994, $8.95) provides a fun
of a precocious kid with a big imagination. Paul Gilligan's NO COLLAR, NO SERVICE
(0740750038, $10.95) provides a funny survey of a dog who can't seem to follow the
of his owner, Vic Lee provides a contemporary gathering of modern comments on life in PARDN
MY PLANET (0740751298, $10.95), telling of a modern couple's encounters with life; Tony
Cochran's AGNES: I HAVE TAMPERED WITH THE DIVINE PLAN (0740750003, $10.95)
packs a Dilbert-type humor into a small girl's body and comments on life's ironies; sharks take on
new underwater meaning in the 9th Sherman's Lagoon collection by Jim Toomey A DAY AT
BEACH (0740751301, $10.95), fans of Lynn Johnston's 'For Better or For Worse' will appreciate
STRIKING A CHORD (0740753150, $10.95), presenting the ongoing growing-of-age of a close
family which experiences further dventures as the kids grow into adults; Stephan Pastis' third
Before Swine collection NIGHTHOGS (0740750097, $10.95), returning the characters of Rat,
Goat and more to the realm of fantasy and talking strange animal encounters; and the new Zits
collection by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, THRASHED (0740751174, $10.95), which gathers
9th collection of Zits comics centering around the self-centered teen's selfish and often one-sided,
PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007
These fine new sets and titles will appeal to high school, college and public library holdings with
excellent references certain to receive constant consultation. Jon L. Wakelyn's BIRTH OF THE
BILL OF RIGHTS: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ANTIFEDERALISTS (1313317399, $199.95)
uses a 2-volume set to blend biographies with major writings on the topic. The Antifederalists
opposed the US Constitution because they felt state governments should hold more power: their
campaign against the Constitution failed, but they succeeded in making the Bill of Rights a strong
part of the document. Volume 1 of the set provides biographies of well over a hundred prominent
figures in the movement, from Samuel Adams to Benjamin Gale, with each listing receiving up to
several pages of background detail. Volume 2 gathers speeches and writings of the movement,
with historical notes to help readers place them in context. Primary documents include pamphlets
and broadsides as well as speeches and articles, while the volume's organization by date of state
ratification conventions allows users to understand the on-going debates. Readers interested in
helping young adults understand teen abuse will want to be sure Joan F. Kaywell's USING
LITERATURE TO HELP TROUBLED TEENAGERS COPE WITH ABUSE ISSUES
(0313307156) is part of the collection. Featured fiction includes such diverse young adult novels
Chris Crutcher's IRONMAN, John Marsden's SO MUCH TO TELL YOU and many others.
novel receives a synopsis and a discussion of how it relates to a particular abuse issue, as well as a
survey of how counselors and teachers may use the novel as a stepping stone for communication
understanding. Martin Manning and Herbert Romerstein's HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF
AMERICAN PROPAGANDA (0313296057, $69.95) packs in well over 300 entries covering the
range of American history as it examines styles, approaches and contents of American propaganda
campaigns. From events and publications fostering such propaganda to government agencies and
private organizations, hapters provide historical reviews, discussions of mechanisms of
and bibliographic references for further research. Steven D. Gish's biography DESMOND TUTU
(0313328609, $29.95) includes original quotes from Gish's own interviews with Tutu as it follows
his progression from boy to man, the evolution of his social consciousness, and his struggles
apartheid. His perseverance against all odds makes for a particularly strong account. Barry
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ELLIS ISLAND (0313326827, $75.00) provides a fine A-Z compendium
Ellis Island people and events, tracing important paths in immigration, tackling major subjects and
history pertaining to immigration trends and laws, and serving as an excellent high school or
library reference for any patrons studying U.S. immigration history.
Star Wars Empire V. 4: The Heart of the Rebellion
Welles Hartley, et.al.
Dark Horse Comics
10956 SE Main St., Milwaukie, OR 97222
1593073089 $17.95 www.darkhorse.com
Princess Leia is the leader of the rebellion and the one woman whose courage can turn the war:
stories in THE HEART OF THE REBELLION follow her actions, providing a graphic novel
story collection covering her first experiences with armed rebellion to her romance. Striking
full-color panels throughout provide vivid eye-catching action and drama suitable for any Star
Diane C. Donovan
West Coast Editor
5300 Patterson SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530
ISBN: 0310257492, $19.99, 237 pp.
This is a book of transformation designed to help change your point of view to one of gratitude
toward God and as a result a life of peace in the midst of turmoil. The text if filled with anecdotes
that illustrate a true attitude of radical gratitude extending far beyond the common conceptions.
you want to get past obstacles that interfere with your joy in life? The answer is to practice the
presence of gratitude.
Ellen Vaughn gives practical ways you can recover your joy in life. We all know we have the
to choose our attitude. The problem is that although we know this to be true we often find that
are unable to actually do it in difficult circumstances. This book teaches how to make gratitude
prevalent attitude in your life. Focused on Christ and everyday thankfulness this book is sure to
change many lives. Radical Gratitude is highly recommended to everyone.
Russell the Sheep
HarperCollins Children's Books
1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019
ISBN: 0060598484, $15.99, 40 pp. Ages: 4 - 8
A delightfully funny story about Russell the sheep and his trials as he tries to fall asleep. What do
you do when no matter how hard you try, you just can't fall asleep. Russell tries everything from a
pillow to counting stars to counting sheep. Laugh along with Russell and he finally finds a way to
fall asleep. Humorously illustrated and a just plain fun read, Russell the Sheep is recommended for
all young children.
ISBN: 0525949046, $23.95, 368 pp.
Twenty-four years old documentary filmmaker Evan Casher feels he owns the world and the
universe is next in his grasp. The reasons he feels euphoric on life are his career seems on the
of major success as he is in demand and he cherishes his girlfriend Carrie, who seems to
his high regard. When his mother calls in a state of panic, a stunned Evan races to Austin to insure
she is okay. However, he arrives as someone brutally murders his mother and tries to kill him too.
Evan knows he is fortunate to escape with his life and that only because some weird former CIA
operative Gabriel rescued him. On the run, Evan begins to learn what he thought was his heritage
a total fabrication. He has no idea what is going on or who to turn to for information. He quickly
realizes he must trust no one including the agent who saved his life, law enforcement, the CIA, or
even his maybe biological father he seeks for answers. He wonders if he has turned paranoid as
even questions whether Carrie was part of the fraud that he once called his life. PANIC is a
powerhouse of a thriller filled with twists and turns that keep readers guessing what is going on.
Evan is a terrific center holding the tale together while coping with his shock that nothing about
life is true. The support cast adds depth to this Kafka existence in which the beleaguered hero
like the Prisoner starring in a deadly version of The Truman Story.
The Grizzly Maze
ISBN: 0525948864, $24.95
Grizzly bear guru Timothy Treadwell spent thirteen summers living amongst these giants. He
became a media favorite because he was always available for a quote. In 2003 while camping in
GRIZZLY MAZE of Alaska's Katmai National Park, Treadwell and his girlfriend Huguenard
attacked and eaten by the bears that he loved. The occurrence captured on tape was the first
human death of this kind in eighty-five years. Nick Jans explores what happened piecing it
like a sleuth on an investigation. Besides covering that gory incident the author looks deep into
Treadwell's life so that the audience understands what drove this self-proclaimed expert who
biologist' beliefs that his contacts were not good for the bears. However, what makes this
bio more than just retro sensationalism is the wider discernible perspective in which the author
discusses human interactivity with animals in the wild. Mr. Jans makes no apology that he feels
type of interaction is foolish bordering on insanity. Readers will enjoy this deep biography but
especially the wider scope that Mr. Jans explores in depth at a time when mankind is tearing down
The Real Lucky Charm
Charisse K. Richardson
ISBN: 0142404314, $4.99, 80 pp.
Though taller and perhaps a better athlete than her brother Marcus, Mia Robinson was only
to cheer for her sibling at his basketball games until now. The Titans are going coed so Mia tries
and makes the squad. Her dad gives Mia a good luck charm that she believes works as she plays
quite well on the court. However, her belief in the magic soon has her missing practice and the
coach is ready to bench her even if she is a star. Will Mia learn her lesson that she is the magic
through hard work and talent not her father's gift or will she be benched permanently? The sequel
THE REAL SLAM DUNK, THE REAL LUCKY CHARM is a whimsical tale starring a
young protagonist who believes the charm has made her a star not talent or hard work. Mia is the
center of the solid story line, but gets strong support from her brother, her parents, and her
teammates. Older elementary school children will appreciate Charisse K. Richardson's fine slam
The Silver Anniversary Murder
ISBN: 0449007308, $6.99, 256 pp.
Christine Bennett Brooks gets a phone call from a woman who tells her that a body will be found
later that day. After hearing another voice in the background and a loud sound like a gun going
the phone calls ends abruptly.. Thanks to some quick thinking on Chris's part, the police are able
find out the address of the party who phoned her. When they arrive the apartment, rented out to
Holly and Peter Richards is totally devoid of furniture. The house has been cleaned with bleach
the only thing they find is a phone and blood on the floor. A few weeks later the body of a woman
found presumably the woman going by the name of Holly Mitchell. There is no record of any
Mitchell by that name in any of the city of state databases and Chris soon learns think they were
using the name of Rosette Parker and Charles Proctor. His body is found a few days after his
was located with a bullet in his chest. Chris meets their daughter Ariana when run into one
at Ariana's parent's apartment. She tells Chris that her parents were on the run since she was a
girl constantly changing names and moving every few years. Chris takes a liking to Ariana and
together they trace her parent's footsteps to find out who was after them and hopefully find their
killers. Once again Lee Harris delivers a cleverly constructed who-done-it that is full of false leads
and red herrings. This is one of the toughest cases the protagonist has ever solved because
knows why Ariana's parents were on the run and why someone called Chris to get her involved in
the investigation. Readers will come to care about Ariana and hope she finds the answers she is
seeking. Chris wants to do everything in her power to her find the answers to mystery her parents
took to their grave. This wholesome and deliciously entertaining mystery with a great support cast
will please Lee Harris's many fans.
Dearly Devoted Dexter
ISBN: 0385511248, $22.95
Miami-Dade police forensics lab blood spatter analyst Dexter "the Avenger" Morgan obsesses in
euphoria when he slices and dices a person, but he also is selective in who he carves up choosing
dregs of society, and psychopaths especially serial killers. He recently notched number forty,
homicidal pedophile photographer Steve Reiker and eagerly awaits his next victim. A serial slicer
Danco apparently leisurely over a few weeks surgically removes extremities from his victims who
keeps alive as he slowly mutilates them one body part at a time. When a still alive Salvadoran
Manuel Borges is found, he has no body part hanging off his torso; the medical examiner estates
underwent at least a month of torture as some of the slits left by the carved off body part healed.
Dexter admires this newcomer to the slice and dice game, but also decides to stop this rival
some DC outsider Kyle Chutsky claims lead until he is abducted and loses a finger with more to
follow. Now Dexter goes hunting to find the killer. As with DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER,
DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER is a wild macabre perhaps insane South Florida police
starring a psychopathic hero who enjoys the finer things in life, eviscerating serial killers. How
Dexter is comes out loud clear when unlike his peers and his adversary in the police department
are horrified by Danco's work, the Avenger recognizes a fellow artisan albeit one that he must
Readers expecting a High Noon showdown between two professional slashers will enjoy the duel
when it occurs but will wait for quite a while as Dexter the sleuth investigates.
Double Cross Bind
ISBN: 0385513887, $24.95, 372 pp.
On December 1, 1941, American Thomas Wall becomes alert in a London asylum though he
all over. He is recovering from severe wounds received in battle on Crete where his Canadian unit
was slaughtered due to a betrayal. Thomas's diplomatic brother, Earl, sold his troops out to the
Nazis. When Thomas recovers fully, he plans to confront and probably kill his sibling. British M15
intelligence officers coax Thomas to work with them masquerading as his brother in order to gain
information from captured German spy Sondegger and protect the Twenty Committee of double
agents. Sondegger gives him clues to microfilm that contain Japanese information on a pending
attack of American Pacific bases. Needing help, Thomas turns to his former lover and now Earl's
British Intel wife, Harriet, but he quickly wonders if that was an error as he struggles with who is
friend and who is a foe. DOUBLE CROSS BLIND is a rousing World War II espionage thriller
sub-genre fans will gain immense pleasure from. Ironically though the reader knows the big
event that will happen in less than a week, the beleaguered hero tries to obtain the information to
prevent or at least prepare for the attack. Though the secondary characters come out of
stereotypical espionage 101, Joel N. Ross provides an exhilarating tense thriller that grips the
audience due to its reluctant champion, a soldier forced into the cold.
ISBN: 006074782X, $6.99, 384 pp.
In DC the vicious 52nd Street Crew led by prison escapee Jango, a local fief, rules the
through violence. Currently the gang is mugging Guy Brooks until former Ranger Thea Morris
here by her psychic skills rescues the battered victim. He calls her his angel, but she says she is a
Ghetto Cinderella who needs to leave before the cops arrive. Jango is coming for Thea while she
protects a child from him and his crew and searches for the boy' missing mother. Her goals are to
send the abusive gang lord back to prison and reunite mother and son. Her visions paint a deadlier
landscape that contains no happily ever after as she and Guy appear inside Jango's torture
She concludes that to protect the man she believes she loves she must keep him at all costs out of
her showdown with Jango, but Guy refuses to heed her pushing him aside as he needs to be at the
side of his princess. This is an exhilarating dark paranormal romantic suspense with the emphasis
the action that culminates in a contemporary gender bending High Noon. The story line leaps
one action scene to another while readers never quite catch their breath as we root for the
protagonist, whose prime ally is Maurice the 9 mm to defeat her evil adversary. As the author did
with A PERSONAL MATTER, Karyn Langhorne provides a strong deep urban tale that this time
looks at STREET LEVEL life.
Only You Can Save Mankind
ISBN: 0060541865, $15.99
Twelve years old Johnny Maxwell loves to play computer games especially those with alien
His favorite game at the moment is ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND in which he battles the
ScreeWee. However, something weird out of virtual reality happens when a ScreeWee Captain
announces to him that she and her troop surrender and ask for safe passage back to their sector of
space. She explains that this is no game for when a ScreeWee dies they really are dead. A stunned
Johnny does not know what to do with all these prisoners of war as he is only a preadolescent.
Adding to his burden is when he sleeps he seems to enter the computer world in which he can
wake when he dies as the Americans bomb Baghdad in Gulf War I. Written during the first Gulf
War, ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND is a powerful condemnation of war as a means to
disputes. The story line targets the preadolescent crowd, but adults will enjoy the action-packed
as the bewildered hero makes a plea for peace. Making no apology with his in your face claim that
we are all humans whether we live in America, Darfur, Iraq, North Korea or ScreeWee, Terry
Pratchett argue we need to live together in peace and harmony instead of sending our young (that
someone else's children) to fight when we ought to seek respectful peaceful solutions to a
Men from Boys
John Harvey (editor)
ISBN: 0060762853, $13.95
The sixteen short stories and one novella (Andrew Coburn's My Father's Daughter) focus on men
coming of age when faced with a crisis that makes each protagonist have to use a path that will
hopefully leave them with self-esteem and respect. Interestingly none of the characters are similar
temperament, varying in social or economic class and even age as some boys do not become men
until their thirties and older. The settings also vary from Manhattan to the World War I front and
obviously differing time periods. What they have in common is that each tale is a superb suspense
thriller with the center being a boy turning into a man trying to cope with difficult situations that
mature someone rather quickly and that the authors are all men. John Harvey of Charlie Resnick
fame brings together a virtue hall of fame of male suspense writers and each hits a thrilling home
They're Not Your Friends
Three Rivers (Crown)
ISBN: 1400097584, $12.95
Valley girl Charlotte "Lottie" Love promises her dying mother that she will never become an
To keep her death bed vow, but taste Tinseltown, Lottie becomes a correspondent reporting on
misbehavior of the stars for Personality magazine. Her boss assumes Lottie is a bimbo wannabe so
she plans to prove to him that she is a serious entertainment reporter by obtaining an interview
media reticent rising star Chris Mercer. She has two prime rivals. British journalistic has-been
Brac, who desperately misses the three martini lunch paid for by his "clients" hopes Mercer is his
return ticket to the classy bars. The other adversary, the magazine brass' favorite son New Yorker
Mike Posner, has reported numerous exclusives that he made up. As the trio struggles to be the
feature gossip columnist, ethics is flushed down the commode. The key characters are stereotypes
coming out of gossip magazine casting 101 starring in a shallow plot that readers will love and
laugh. The office wars are cleverly handled with zingers and dirty tricks yet an interesting code is
adhered to especially by the three competitors. The cosmetic surgery reminds this reviewer of two
mercenaries in Swamp Thing comparing injuries. In other words nothing is sacred in THEY'RE
NOT YOUR FRIENDS as Irene Zutell lampoons the ooze at the bottom of the LaLa Land food
The Myth of You and Me
Shaye Areheart (Crown)
ISBN: 1400098068, $22.00, 288 pp.
The letter contained a handwriting that looked familiar to that of the recipient twenty-nine years
Cameron Wilson. It came from her former best friend Sonia Gray; they have not talked to each
in eight years. Now Sonia wants her to come to her wedding in Cambridge. Her employer and
companion, nonagenarian Oliver Doucett pleads with her to go see her former friend but Cameron
refuses still feeling that Sonia betrayed her. Oliver dies, but leaves one last request of Cameron.
wants her to deliver a wedding gift from him to Sonia. Stunned Cameron realizes her two best
friends were communicating. Cameron honors Oliver's last wish of her, driving from Oxford,
Mississippi to Sonia's house, but she is not there. She thinks back on when they first met in
New Mexico and became best buddies and later when Sonia was seeing Will Barrett who
as she was called for her height hid her love of him. As Cameron tracks down her missing friend,
finds Will who she still loved and others from her past, but wonders what will happen when she
into the girl she loved as her sister until she committed the ultimate betrayal. THE MYTH OF
AND ME is a fantastic look at friendship from the perspective of a person who felt her best friend
betrayed her so she deserted her former pal. The story line follows Cameron as she tracks Sonia,
also looks back on her relationship with her beloved "sister". Readers will want to know what
tried to give Sonia and Cameron, what was the betrayal and root for a happy ending with this
insightful look at friendship.
Senses Working Overtime
ISBN: 0843954043, $5.99
Teenager Kaylee suffers from synesthesia, which provides her with a different way to perceive her
environment; that can prove a handicap when the world she has been forced to adjust to radically
changes. She is in Manhattan having cut school on the hottest day of the year so far when a black
out shuts down the city making it difficult for anyone to cross the harbor to Brooklyn where
lives, but her condition makes it that much more difficult for her to get home. Frightened she gets
her first break when she meets Ramon who promises to help her cross the bay to her home. On
way they pick up his sister Rosa. The trek in the darkened city turns dangerous as two-legged
predators are on the prowl looking for easy prey. The teens look like easy pickings for the
marauders canvassing the city for mugging victims. Only her new friend Ramon, risking his life,
keeps Kaylee safe on the journey home. Having the beleaguered heroine have Synesthesia seems
unneeded as the excitement of a teen in trouble during a blackout makes for an exhilarating
The story line is action-packed yet the key cast members, Kaylee, Ramon, and Rosa seem real
especially with the danger of a city out of control looking to devour the innocent. Readers will
appreciate this fabulous teen thriller that never lets up as the audience will wonder if Kaylee will
make it home in time.
A Patchwork Family
ISBN: 0843955511, $6.99, 374 pp.
In 1866 Kansas, Meredith "Mercy" Monroe and her spouse Jake own one of the Holloday
Stagecoach line rest stops. The couple works hard to insure the travelers receive the best possible
attention whether it is her renowned cooking or his handling of horses and the coaches. Though
work is hard, both Monroes feel they live a good fulfilled life much more than the affluence they
behind in Philadelphia. Perhaps their only regret is a lack of offspring. That changes when driver
Michael Malloy brings two abandoned children to the ranch stop. He asks the Monroes to take
kids in as he knows they have with their help Nathanial and Asa. Though they have doubts, the
follows the Lord's way and they make a home for Billy and Christine Bristol. Though facing many
hardships and tragedy, Mercy through her inner strength and her faith remains the center of her
extended family. A PATCHWORK FAMILY is an inspirational Reconstruction Era novel. The
line enables the audience to obtain a deep look at life on the Great Plains in the late 1860s through
strong fully developed ensemble with Mercy as the hub. Mindful of Little House on the Prairie,
Charlotte Hubbard writes a delightfully deep and rich mid nineteenth century inspirational
A Dollar Short
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0743250117, $19.95
In Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, Wagon Wheel waitress Chiffon Butrell wins a video store's
Be-a-Movie-Star contest, but cannot go to Hollywood because her baby is ill. Instead her
husband Lonnie heads west where he meets actress Janie-Lynn Lauren and forgets his wife and
kids back home. Chiffon loses her job and she cannot pay her bills because Lonnie has had his
paycheck sent to California. Her friends want to help, but they are distracted with other matters.
Elizabeth is about to give birth and the remaining Bottom Dollar Girls sisterhood are busy raising
money for the Cayboo Creek Senior Center. Chiffon turns to her estranged sister Chenille to help
her with her crisis accentuated by the media descending on Cayboo Creek like vultures seeking
on Lonnie. The sequel to the BOTTOM DOLLAR GIRLS, A DOLLAR SHORT is a fine look at
modern life in a small rural southern community invaded by the outside world. The story line is
amusing as the Bottom Dollar sisterhood goes about protecting their own, but also serious with
serious subplot of Lonnie abandoning his children besides his wife. Readers will appreciate this
regional slice of life tale especially when the barbarian horde assaults the townsfolk who treat the
outsiders like parasites that need special handling. This is one contemporary that is not A
SHORT of fun.
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 074327055X, $24.00, 288 pp.
On Cape Cod, the residents are depressed as the one year anniversary of 9/11 occurs. Children's
book illustrator Danforth "Dannie" Faber is sad and somewhat guilty because her life is near
while summering on the dunes of the Cape. She and her spouse MIT anthology Professor Tom is
ideal couple and their two adult children seem to be doing well. Perhaps the only glooms are that
dislikes the lover of her daughter, Beth and wealthy Mitchell Brenner has built an affluent
monstrosity in the middle of Truro. However, her perfect life begins to unravel when Beth comes
home heartbroken as her lover dumped her. Stunned Beth quit her job as accessory and make-up
editor at Scripy teen magazine. An even worse shock is Tom leaves Dannie for someone younger.
Upset but refusing to mope, Dannie finds solace with a publishing peer. TROPHY HOUSE is an
intriguing character study that focuses mostly on a middle age woman whose life radically
when her long time spouse leaves her, but also provides a look at other individuals like a nouveau
riche show-off, etc. However, this is clearly Dannie's tale. Thus, after the initial shock is over,
Dannie begins to regain her equilibrium seeking solace elsewhere. Though action readers need to
visit a different house, Anne Bernay writes a fine contemporary fiction novel that stars a strong
ensemble cast kept together by the strong lead protagonist.
Shredder: Iron Angel
Black Death Books
P.O.Box 588, Effort, PA 18330
ISBN: 0976791420, $15.00, 286 pp.
Almost every night in the quiet like town of Morningvale, Kansas, high school senior Amy Perry
beaten by her drunken police officer father. When the pain gets too bad and the anger rages out of
control, Amy uses the power of the glimmer to keep her father away from her. Everyone knows
secret of the Perry household but nobody does anything about it and soon the town will have
to worry about them a child abuse. Soon being hit will be the least of Amy's woes. In the
below the town teen club known as the Iron Angel, Cyn, a disturbed and alienated teenage girl has
made a pact with Azazel, the Shredder of Human Souls. This entity is bound by iron in a statue
needs thirteen human souls to break free. Amy meets Grendel; a Bane who is a soulless immortal
who never sleeps nor eats and can heal from any injury. Grendel informs the teen that she too is a
Bane, born to be the one to send the Shredder back to hell. As she sheds her humanity to fight in
upcoming battle, it is her human love for her younger brother Charles that will determine whether
she contains the resolve needed to win victory from a being more powerful and older than Lucifer.
In the new millennium one of the premium writers of cutting edge horror is Karen Koehler with
distinctive gothic style, vivid imagery and dark characters. Amy is an attractive "coming of age"
character who goes from fighting her fate to accepting the mantle of responsibility thrust upon
this endears her to readers. Azazel is fascinating in a macabre malevolent way. Their confrontation
makes this book worthy of a Bram Stoker award nomination.
Jeanne M. Dams
ISBN: 1880284790, $13.95, 256 pp.
In 1904 South Bend, Indiana, student Erik Johanssen rushes to the Studebaker Mansion to ask a
favor of his older sister, the housemaid Hilda. Upset because his favorite teacher Miss Sophie
failed to show up at Colfax School and knowing his sibling solved mysteries that baffled the
he wants Hilda to search for the missing teacher. Hilda says she is unable to leave her job at this
time, but will meet with him later at the nearby firehouse where her boyfriend Patrick Cavanaugh
works. Not long afterward, the local newspapers scream out that someone murdered Sophie,
body was found in a shed. Hilda prefers to stay out of this case, but Erik pleads with her.
her younger brother needs closure through justice, Hilda begins making inquiries into who might
have been the victim's boyfriend as rumors surface that she was pregnant. The latest Johanssen
amateur sleuth historical tale combines a deep look at social issues of the times like a Swedish
Lutheran unable to attend her best friend's Irish Catholic wedding due to religious reasons and
emphasizes the gap between rich and poor inside a strong who-done-it. The homicide occurs
somewhat into the first half of the tale so for the first quarter readers obtain a look at the era
through the perspective of several characters, especially the heroine. The who-done-it is cleverly
designed to keep readers guessing while also fostering further insight into Chicago at the turn of
ISBN: 1880284804, $13.95, 286 pp.
At the Paradise Plaza Women's Health Spa in Santa Barbara, guide Lora Emerson leads an early
morning hike of two customers, TV star Vanessa Wyatt and Stanford coed Holly Constantine on
walk in the Las Padres National Forest. Not too long into the walk, two thugs assault the three
women with pepper spray. Lora's eyelids are taped shut and she is tied to a tree. The assailants
Holly and Vanessa with them. As Lora is rushed to the hospital in severe pain, Santa Barbara
Detective Suzanne Mathis investigates. The Parks for the People kidnappers send an email to the
Paradise Plaza home page demanding a ransom to build parks in weird locales. Holly's
lawyer mother Constance goes berserk partially because she brought her daughter here to lose
weight not herself. She yells at the cops including FBI Agent Eric Stonehouse and the spa
management while her husband drinks to forget how he will raise $8 million demanded by the
kidnappers. In their own ways the two victims negotiate with the culprits to make their stay a little
more comfortable as for Holly this is no worse than staying at the spa with her mother. Change
this much better. PARADISE LOST is a terrific crime thriller due to the strong cast. Readers will
appreciate Holly, who plans to make life changes if she survives negotiating with the kidnappers
different way than the whining sexy Vanessa. Holly's parents are a hoot as her mother rips skin off
everyone who has the misfortune to fall into her sphere while her father hides from his wife with
alcohol. Fans will take immense pleasure with Taffy Cannon's strong stand alone acerbic
In The Ruins
ISBN: 0756401925, $25.95, 544 pp.
Three millennia ago, the Horse People (centaurs) and seven sorcerers from seven different human
tribes wove a spell that sent the Ashioi (elves) into the aether. Now that Liath, a half-human, half
daimon of fire has stopped Anne and her agents from renewing the spell, the Ashai and their land
come back to Earth causing a cataclysm of epic proportions. Millions died in the resulting
earthquakes, flooding of the seas and volcanic eruptions. The sun doesn't shine very much or as
brilliantly, making it almost a certainty that famine is coming. The only reason Liath stopped the
spell from being rewoven is that if it was; the very earth could have been destroyed. She makes
way back to her husband Sanglant who is now the king regnant of Wendor. They travel through
lawless, lifeless and unstable lands making Sanglant realize that he wants to make Wendor a haven
of peace and stability in a world gone mad. The old alliances are gone as rulers vie for even more
power and land; there are those who would like nothing better to see Sanglant and Liath gone
the political scene. This book does not end the Crown of Stars saga but readers will find
glad of it because there is still much of the story to be told. Series fans will want to know what the
Ashai will do and how Sanglant and Liath will deal with their enemies including the church who
regards them as a heretic because of her use of sorcery amongst other dangling threads. Kate
an excellent fantasist, writes lush and lyrical scenes and uses her characters to scale down cosmic
events to a human scale.
Darkscape: The Rebel Lord
R. Garland Gray
ISBN: 1553164806, $16.00
In 3210 the solar system peace between the clans is fragile. Many pray that the upcoming peace
conference will strengthen those wanting cooperation rather than war. However, one of the
attendees, Commander Lin Jacob Rama leads an attack on Clan Douglas on Ceres. He takes
de Douglas, heir to the clan, prisoner. Combat pilot Lieutenant Kimberly Kinsdale worries that
madness is taking over her commander's mind. She fears the assault and abduction of Lachlan will
lead to clan warfare. Her only hope to prevent what seems like Rama's deliberate sabotage of the
peace conference is to rescue Lachlan, which she succeeds in doing though she is branded a
and deserter. As the two warriors try to expose a deadly conspiracy that has the planetary clans at
war, they fall in love, but saving humanity remains the prime directive. The premise behind the
Darkscape tales is simply placing pre-Culloden Scotland in outer space; thus clan wars are all over
the solar system and where they are not, hostilities are one incident away from exploding.
is a remarkable protagonist struggling between performing her duty by doing the ethically correct
thing vs. loyalty to her superior officer and her clan by obeying orders. Her dilemma makes the
segment of the story line very appealing while the rest of the tale continues that strong ethical
exciting start. For instance, Lachlan is terrific in the co-lead role as he must sacrifice his personal
quest for vengeance for the better good of all the clans. Together they make quite a force though
enemy seems quite insurmountable. R. Garland Gray provides readers with a superior stimulating
The Big Over Easy
ISBN: 0670034231, $24.95
In Reading, England Nursery Crimes Davison Detective Jack Spratt is upset that his latest open
shut homicide case fell apart as the court declared those three murdering pigs not guilty of
first-degree murder of Mr. Wolff. However Jack has no time to wallow over his next meal as he is
assigned the case of Humpty Dumpty who fell from a wall. Assigned to work with Jack is quite
contrary rookie know-it-all Mary Mary. Jack and Mary, Mary dig deep into the world of yoke
learning that Humpty's life was in the dumps. His wife divorced him for womanizing with more
women than the king has horses and men. His former lovers hated him enough to want to see him
fried. So many suspects wanted HD scrambled and had the opportunity as the victim liked to sit
wall and think, but the nimble Jack and his sidekick Mary two times struggle to figure who would
commit the act. This is a weird often satirical and amusing police procedural in which nursery
rhymes serve as an alternate world. The story line is clever and literary to the point that writing
about solving crime receives more accolades than solving the crime. The little encounters with
nursery rhyme characters are fun sort of mindful of Shrek. However, the irony of the story line is
that the sidebar nursery rhyme anecdotes though fun at times overwhelm the plot; if only Jack was
as nimble as Thursday.
When the Day of Evil Comes
ISBN: 1590524268, $12.99
In Texas, when she first saw the chalk white, totally hairless skeletal man at a faculty picnic,
psychology professor Dr. Dylan Foster thought he was a cancer victim, not a survivor; he
introduced himself in the cold lake water as Peter Terry. Presents begin showing up and he seems
come out of nowhere any time of day. Worried Dylan concludes Peter is stalking her. Weirdness
always follows his eerie appearances like the necklace, her dead mother's wedding ring buried
her and the overwhelming odious odor. Finally troubles assault people associated with Dylan to
include a suicide of a healthy colleague and the insanity of a seemingly hale and hearty student.
Other strangers visit her discussing her theology degree. Dylan does not understand what is going
on, but knows she is at least in a battle to maintain her sanity. She begins digging to learn the
behind who Peter is, why he haunts her, and what is harming those she knows. She soon finds a
to a nasty incident three decades ago that has enabled evil to grow and foster with each new
Only Dylan can stop this malevolence, but he must risk her life to do so. This is an intriguing tale
which the eternal war between good and evil is fought within each person's soul. Dylan is a
heroine drawn into a skirmish that she does not understand nor particular wants to be involved in,
but also knows she cannot disavow as Peter, who constantly shows up, frightens her on sight and
always lead to tragic aftermaths. Though the Peter dilemma is never fully resolved, readers will
enjoy this strong mystical war.
Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol
ISBN: 1590524721, $12.99, 397 pp.
Everett Lester and DeathStroke are musical superstars; however fame and fortune are not as
fulfilling as he thought that would be. He turns to drugs and alcohol to fill his emptiness and to
Madam Endora Crystal, his personal psychic for spiritual guidance. Through Endora's guidance,
Everett turns his back on Christianity and encourages his impressionable young fans to do
However, Everett soon finds himself on trial for the murder of Endora. He is depressed with no
hope for the future. As he contemplates suicide his only regret is badly injuring a teen fan. The
from Karen of Topeka, Kansas makes it clear she dislikes his music but prays for his soul. No one
has ever cared what happened to him except when the music sold. More letters arrive and soon
Everett begins to wonder why he crossed to the Other Side instead of turning to Jesus. Though he
still faces the possibility of capital punishment, Everett is beginning to find solace with Jesus, but
wonders if it remains too late for him to give his lost soul to God. This is an interesting character
study that showcases a lost soul who has fame and fortune yet feels empty. The beguiling story
shifts between Everett's present woes and his memories while she knows he needs Jesus to save
soul. Profanity and implied drug abuse add depth to the characterizations of Everett and the band,
and the Jesus is where it's at message can feel heavy handed at times but fans of insightful modern
day Christian fiction will want to read Creston Mapes' strong realistic tale of salvation.
Shred of Evidence
ISBN: 1590523482, $12.99, 400 pp.
Former newspaper editor, Ellen Jones and her husband Guy, a lawyer, have moved into their new
home Seaport, Florida. Ellen works on a novel while Guy commutes to Tallahassee to practice
At a supermarket Ellen meets two other newcomers depressed and lonely Julie Hamilton and her
two years old daughter Sarah Beth. Not long afterward, Ellen is at a diner when she overhears a
conversation that accuses Julie's husband Ross of child abuse. Out of fear for the child and the
mother Ellen reports what she heard to police chief, who says he will make inquiries. Not feeling
that is enough, Ellen investigates Ross. She soon realizes her initial opinion and that of others that
was an abuser seems wrong although he is someone with a shady deadly past as a newspaper
claims he killed two boys, ran over his own son, and is the prime suspect in the disappearance of
missing girls. Ellen fears she waited too long too speak out as Sarah Beth has vanished. The story
line grips readers who will worry that Sarah Beth perhaps has been killed by parental abuse, which
overshadows the return of the Baxter series stars Ellen and Guy in the first Seaport saga tale. The
story line serves as a reminder not to jump to conclusions especially based on gossip and rumors
(mindful of Harriet the Spy). Though the moral message is overly pounded with unnecessary cul
sac sidebars, fans of the Baxter tales will enjoy the relocation of the stars.
Billy Goat Hill
Mark Stanleigh Morris
ISBN: 1590524063, $17.99
In 1958 Los Angeles, infant Matthew Parker stops breathing. His parents and two older brothers
stunned with his death. Not long afterward, their dad deserts his family leaving their emotionally
numb mom to bring in income. Eight year old Wade takes care of his six years old brother Luke.
Still boys will be boys as the two siblings along with pal Gooey climb Billy Goat Hill to cardboard
slide down the Crippler at four in the morning when they run into Scar, Miss Cherry and their
Already frightened Wade tries to brazen their way out when murder occurs. They escape, but as
usual no one is there for Wade who is there for Luke; he turns to the Dodgers and Charlie Neal
Duke Snider as imaginary friends. Now forty, an age he never expected to reach, Wade looks
at his life. He is at a crossroad in which he can join the materialistic world of his biological father
he can turn to the heavenly world of the Father. He thinks both deserted him along with his
when he was eight; only the imaginary Duke and Luke was there for him. BILLY GOAT HILL is
deep look inside a man whose childhood is shattered when neither of his parents coped with the
death of their youngest. Readers will empathize with Wade who lost more than just his innocence
during that year; he lost his beliefs in God and adults. Scar in a twisted way becomes his role
Readers will cherish this powerful character study while asking the same question that Wade
ponders about going home to a nightmare of grief, alcohol and homicide.
ISBN: 1590523768, $12.99
Governor Ronald "Mac" MacClartney is irate, embarrassed, and fears he could be a one term
when the Orland Sentinel broke the story of Dylan Jacobs placed in foster care at four years old
years ago only to vanish. Acting like a Mack truck running over everyone in his path, Mac
instant answers, which a Grand Jury would take to long to provide. Florida Department of Law
Enforcement sends its best team, Agents Tim Porter and John Russell to find the child. While the
police partners follow the trail, John past rises to haunt him. His estranged father, Frank Moore
been paroled after thirty-three years at Union Correctional Institute in Railford, Florida for
murdering his wife. Frank pleads with John to give him a second chance saying he has changed
he found the Lord. An idealist who believes in second chances John wants to refuse his murdering
dad's request to see any family member especially John's wife Marie and their children Brandon
Joshua. However, he also knows how un-Christian he behaves if he fails to forgive the man who
sired him but also destroyed his childhood. ROLLING THUNDER works on two fronts, the
procedural thriller and the family drama. When John follows the clues to the disappearance of
the audience receives an exciting investigative tale; when the plot concentrates on John's personal
dilemma of not wanting to forgive his father, readers obtain a deep introspective character study
which the hero's private debate impedes on his official capacity. Mark Mynheir provides a strong
ISBN: 0312327757, $24.95, 384 pp.
In 1956 Dunster, though married to Marina and raising a son Piers together, Felix is unhappy with
his loveless life though he loves his son. He meets Angelina when he attends the theater as she is
performing on the stage. They begin a tryst as he visits her often at the Birdcage. He is falling in
with his Angel and cherishes her delightful young daughter Lizzie, who thinks Felix is the dad she
never met. When Marina learns about her husband's infidelity, she forces him to decide between
second family and his son. Four decades later, a grieving Lizzie, whose mom just died, needs to
understand why Felix abruptly dumped them. When she catches up to the man who was so kind to
girl that needed attention, she hides the truth that she is married to a philanderer. Felix is happy to
see Lizzie and introduces her to Piers. With Lizzie as the catalyst the estranged relationship
father and son heals, but she knows she lives a lie from the two men she cares so much about. The
vital element in this deep relationship drama is the significant cast members seem genuine whether
is the 1950s or the 1990s. The story line focuses on the characters especially Felix in the first half
and Piers and Lizzie in the latter segment of this profound drama. Readers will emphasize with
as he chooses his beloved son which means Marina over his treasured Angel and her dearly loved
daughter. Fans will be pleased with this strong family drama starring wonderful fully developed
protagonists regardless of the decades that the subplots occur.
Nora Jane: A Life in Stories
ISBN: 0316058386, $14.95
As a child, Nora Jane Whittington loved her grandmother's Blue House where the youngster
that she is the product of generations of strong women who are not afraid to take charge as it is a
God gift for them to use their strength when needed. At nineteenth she heads west where her
Sandy teaches her to rob people using a prop gun. In the San Francisco Bay area, she tries to rob
bookstore owner Freddy Harwood, but instead of leaving him in a wasteland, she ends up sharing
his hot tub. She loves both her men and soon gives birth to twins. She chooses Freddy and with
raises their daughters in Berkeley. Over the next two decades, Nora Jane continues her belief to
gravitate towards those you love; others follow her lofty ambition. All is joyful in Mudville until
Freddy has leukemia. Now Nora Jane has her toughest task of all: bringing all her love into
her beloved. The fourteen short stories have appeared in other publications over the years, but the
novella Fault Lines is a new entry that adds to Nora Jane's cycle of life and love. The tales are all
well written as most fans already know, but for the first time they appear in one book. The
effervescent heroine is perhaps at her best in NORA JANE A LIFE IN STORIES because the
written often amusing bit, always with a serious undertone, comes across more as a biographical
fiction than anecdotal shorts. The novella enhances Ellen Gilchrist's wonderful collection.
ISBN: 1401301746, $22.95, 336 pp.
Medical Examiner's Office forensic scientist Evelyn James and homicide detectives Bruce Riley
David Milaski stare at the young woman in chains and her feet stuck inside a bucket of cement
drowned in the Cuyahoga River. Making matters worse Mayor Daryl "Mobbuster" Pierson
he was once Evie's lover before she married and since divorced her cheating spouse Rick. At
their teenage daughter Angel blames the split on Evelyn while Rick and his girlfriend Terrie play
good guys. A second victim surfaces, the mayor's daughter Destiny making the case the top story.
Evelyn crosses the thin line into cop territory fearing her daughter might be part of the inner circle
targets of a serial killer as she begins seeing a pattern. The killer becomes aware that the forensic
scientist is closing in on him so he plans to lure her into a trap. David, who was attracted to
from the moment they first met overlooking that first corpse by the Cuyahoga, worries about the
safety of the scientist he is falling in love with, but he may not be enough to keep her safe from a
clever consistent killer. Readers who appreciate the details will enjoy this strong forensic police
procedural. The heroine is a super person who enjoys her work and worries about her relationship
with her daughter even while fighting an attraction to the new homicide detective. The suspense
takes somewhat of a back seat to Evelyn on the job and at home, but though the tension is not
stratospheric, the investigative depth seems genuine, candid, and insightful making for a fine tale
held together by its star.
ISBN: 1401300898, $22.95, 307 pp.
Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Phil Blasky informs Chicago Violent Crimes Unit
Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels that the morgue has a slight problem, a pair of extra arms handcuffed
together. Jack and her partner Herb Benedict, thinking that the 100 plus degrees outside is cooler
than their office, stop by the morgue where Jack's handcuffs link the arms. Soon other body parts
surface at the morgue as if an insider is toying with the medical examiner and the cops. After
people are killed, the two cops finally catch the apparent culprit aspirin popping Barry Fuller; Jack
and Herb feel they have stapled the case shut until the accused takes a lie detector test. While the
serial killer case looks suddenly lost Jack's home front turns weirder then ever when her mom,
assisted by her former son-in-law Alan, moves in with her while her current boyfriend Latham
Conger wonders what is going on; for Barry a new list of Jack's circle now exists. BLOODY
is a zany roller coaster police procedural that the alternates perspectives between the cop and the
killer. The story line starts off grippingly eerie, picks up weirdness and speed, but slows down
towards the middle as readers know too much, only to suddenly detour yet accelerate into
hyperspeed once Fuller is caught but apparently will walk due to lack of evidence. Jack's personal
life adds craziness that is so out of control that a serial killer aimed in some perverse way at her
seems like a lark. Fans will need to toast Jack with a WHISKEY SOUR for handling her personal
life with chocolate and a murder investigation as her escapes.
The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805
ISBN: 1401300030, $25.95
In the early nineteenth century, Tripoli ruler Bashaw Yussef uses a force of pirates to terrorize the
seas (nation sponsored terrorism even in early 1800s). Countries have choices to either pay him
safe passage or risk the seizing of their ships. Most nations choose to remit the fee. America is the
exception refusing to bow to any form of tyranny. Instead, the tiny US Navy sets up a blockade
North Africa, but the Philadelphia runs aground off Tripoli; the 300 man crew is enslaved.
President Jefferson sends diplomat William Eaton to allegedly negotiate with the abusive Barbary
pirates though he also has a secret agenda to cause regime change. This is an interesting look at a
rarely detailed chapter of early American "diplomacy". The first part of the book reads almost like
historical action thriller as the audience is gripped by what really happened. When the negotiations
occur, the account slows down, but remains insightful and intriguing (no wonder the media
for hostilities - those are more exciting than back room diplomacy). Known for his bio on Captain
Kidd (see THE PIRATE HUNTER) Richard Zacks provides an excellent insightful look at the
Jefferson presidency with this powerful, deeply researched historical description of the Barbary
Amy J. Fetzer
ISBN: 0758211031, $14.00, 352 pp.
Undercover secret agent Alexa Gavlin has lost one month of memory somehow chemically erased,
but has no idea why though she is confident that she knows who. She knows that her peers
her a traitor and are coming for her. Alexa trusts no one as her only objective is to survive until
can prove she did not betray her country and name who set her up for the fall. Former marine
Moore wants nothing to with his former world of black operational retrieval, but he is an expert
has been ordered to take Alexa back in custody dead or alive. Although he believes she cost him
career he still wants to refuse the mission, but is given no choice; he must retrieve her or else.
he catches up with Alexa, she is nothing like he expected. His beliefs are destroyed and he wants
to be innocent, but he wonders if he is thinking with the wrong head as he knows she is the best
artist in the government. Alexa knows he has come for her and should run from him, but her heart
wants to trust Killian with her life and her soul. NAKED TRUTH is a thrilling espionage romantic
suspense that never slows down whether the heroes are undercover or under cover. Alexa and
Killian have reasons to distrust one another and no logical argument to rely on each other except
their attraction, which both believe is undependable yet keeps them together. Fans of
non-stop thrillers with a critical romantic subplot will enjoy the female spy alone in the cold until
love joins her.
The River Devil
ISBN: 0758207948, $14.00, 384 pp.
In December 1871 in New York Nicholas Lennox will do anything including kill to insure he
controls the wealth of Rosalind Schuyler though he plans to marry her first. A stipulation in her
inheritance insists that if she marries in the next fifteen months she loses control of her money. To
avoid that fate especially with the dangerous Nicholas, Rosalind flees west hoping to hide until
can claim her wealth without any proviso. To hide in plain sight, Rosalind dresses like a man, but
Nicholas seems to be closing in on her. At a poker game, she meets Mississippi-Missouri riverboat
captain Hal Lindsey. She is attracted to him but fears revealing her gender; he knows that "he" is a
she and he needs to learn why because he wants her too. Diane Whiteside's latest devilish tale,
RIVER DEVIL, is a terrific historical romance that stars two likable lead protagonists, a vile
and the rivers with their riverboats. The story line cleverly meanders like the rivers that flow
throughout the descriptive plot. However, the cast makes this a fine novel as readers will root for
Nicholas and Rosalind (perfect name for a woman disguised as a man) and appreciate the return
the stars of THE IRISH DEVIL in a secondary role.
Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?
ISBN: 0758211414, $14.00, 304 pp.
"Wicked Widow". On Long Island, Mathilde Sims hired Women-Tek private Eye Hannah "Nan"
Harrington-Scott to investigate her wealthy husband Rupert when she notices that a James Bond
clone is doing likewise. She decides checking out Damon Connelly is more fun especially when he
reciprocates by inspecting her with enough heat to melt her clothing off. "Man with a Past". A
decade ago teen Geena Cole helped Cabot Vandermeer III escape town before he is arrested as a
killer. He has come back with a need to prove his innocence and a greater desire to kiss the
who helped him flee. Cab hires private eye Geena to find proof that he is not a murderer though
real motive is winning Geena. "Love Bites". Delia Petrocelli hates her life as a boring socialite
married to a wealthy loser. Geena assigns her to investigate whether Ben Michaelson killed his
lover as the victim's sister insists. As she stirs her mark's juices, she falls in love with him, but the
evidence seems to point towards his guilt, which could mean he might kill his next paramour, her.
These three former bad girls turn wicked women investigative romances are fun to follow because
the female stars and the men they nab make for a fun fine time for the audience. It will not take a
sleuth to know that Gemma Bruce has provided a fabulous who-done-it anthology.
Not Just For Tonight
Susan Johnson, Katherine O'Neal, & Diane Whiteside
ISBN: 0758206968, $15.00, 336 pp.
"American Beauty" by Susan Johnson. In 1889 Epsom, England, American Evelyn Sweet knows
horses while Marquis Nicholas DeLacey has the reputation for the best stable in England. With
Derby coming up shortly, they agree that their thoroughbreds belong together while each plans to
make love with the other. "Dr. Yes" by Katherine O'Neal. In 1912, following three annulled
marriages due to certain marital problems, rich San Franciscan Sierra Winston travels to Buenos
Aires seeking to become sexually liberated. British expatriate sexual therapist Dr. Alistair Lange
plans to be her liberator but also sees her as a sexy distraction who can seize a damning political
document he desires to possess almost as much as he wants to possess her. "The Seduction of
Rutledge" by Diane Whiteside. In 1863, his father warns Colonel Brett Rutledge that if he fails to
take a bride soon he will have him removed from the military. Knowing he can do this, Brett visits
his childhood friend Venetia Davidson to ask her to be his wife. Though twelve years have passed
since they saw each other in Maryland, Venetia accepts as she worries about her future. However,
she vows to never fall in love as that only leads to pain, but Brett has mounted an assault on the
heart of the woman he loves. These three heated historical romances star wonderful protagonists
who grip the audience in each case. Readers will appreciate these naughty yet nice novellas.
ISBN: 0758210124, $14.00
He is the ultimate matchmaker insuring that the dead receive what they deserved, but did not get
of life. He insures that the recently departed and their soulmate spend eternity together even
he may have to expedite moving the survivor on. Former FBI profiler turned deputy sheriff Greer
Lomax fears her current assignment that brings back the memories of why she fled the agency and
the agent she loves. Two years is not enough to rid herself of her nightmares, but the court
she exhume a corpse now. Greer is stunned as the deceased shares his last resting spot with a
woman. She needs help so she asks her former lover FBI agent Ash Keller to investigate. Ash still
loves Greer, but is angry that she left him. AS they work together to uncover the culprit, the
matchmaker believes they are a perfect couple to spend eternity together. THE MATCHMAKER
a tense serial killer suspense tale with a strong romantic subplot. The killer is cleverly employed so
that the audience along with Greer slowly see a picture of a maniac murderer matching the living
with the dead. The relationship between Ash and Greer accentuates the troubled case. Though
similar in tone to police procedurals involving a psychopathic serial killer like Copycat, Jamie
Denton hooks her audience from start to finish with this taut thriller.
Larger Than Life
ISBN: 0758211120, $14.00, 309 pp.
Smithson Group agent Mick Savin awakens in West Texas wondering how he ended up there. He
knows he was attacked, hog tied and dragged before being left to die by Spectra hoods while on a
mission in the New Mexico desert. Mick soon learns that former attorney Neva Case saved his
She saw his battered dog on a remote road and followed the canine until she located the tattered
bleeding Nick. She took him to safety. He is already grateful to her for saving his life, but soon
admires Neva as she left her urban legal practice to manage the Big Brown Barn shelter, which
protects young girls from being sold into polygamist marriages. However, Mick is concerned that
someone wants to put Neva out of business permanently even if that means killing her but he
to allow any harm to come to the woman he now loves. The latest Smithson Group thriller is an
electrifying espionage romantic suspense novel that starts off at supersonic speed, accelerates, and
never slows down until the climax. The story line is loaded with action, but also contains two
congenial yet tough lead characters whose love for one another comes at the right time as first he
needs her nurturing and then she needs his protection. Alison Kent has added a winner to her
ISBN: 0743492609, $24.00
In 1944 Vienna, septuagenarian Emilie Floge fears the Nazis either absconding with or viciously
destroying her most prized possessions. Willing to risk her life to see they are safe, she flees
with the only things she thought important in her life, a portfolio filled with the drawings of her
beloved Gustav Klimt. On the trek to her Austrian countryside hideaway, Emilie reflects back to
when she was a teenager and first met her Gustav in 1886 Vienna. Her father hired the near
artist to provide her with some rudimentary drawing lessons. .Over time they became lovers
inspiring each other to greater heights though he also was a womanizer. She became a renowned
designer while his paintings became popular. He turned to her for inspiration as she was his
motivating muse for his most reflective work, The Kiss. This is a well written biographical fiction
starring two intriguing individuals who's on and off love affair enhanced their artistic endeavors.
story line is loaded with historical insight especially Vienna in 1944 and the late nineteenth
this makes for an interesting comparative analysis. Though the book is too crammed with sidebar
details that never fully get integrated into the prime story line, fans of novelizations of real life
persona will take much delight with what inspired the renowned PAINTED KISS.
Robert K. Tanenbaum
ISBN: 0743452909, $25.95, 396 pp.
Twelve years ago five Bedford Stuyvesant teenage gangbangers were convicted of raping
twenty-eight years old new mother Liz Tyler when they caught her jogging from Brighton beach
towards Coney Island; they left her dead under a pier. After a decade behind bars for four of
the one who turned witness had died; Enrique Villalobos, a lifer at Rikers Island, confessed to the
crime as the lone assailant; Kings County DA Kristine Brennan admits that the only DNA found at
the crime scene besides the victim matched that of Enrique. Politically ambitious attorney Hugh
Louis demands the immediate release from prison of the Coney Island Four and persuades the
Jayshon Sykes to sue the city for $250 million. Since Brennan capitulated, Mayor-elect Denton
demands New York's Acting District Attorney Butch Karp to defend the city. Meanwhile, Butch's
wife Marlene Ciampi, defends visiting Russian Professor Alexis Michalik from the rape charge of
NYU graduate student Sarah Ryder. While the married couple struggles with highly visible cases,
they hear rumors that murderer David Grale, thought dead, is alive, and that terrorists plan to
up Times Square at midnight on New Year's Eve. The seventeenth Karp-Ciampi legal thriller is
terrific when the story line focuses on the two rape cases; on the other hand the terrorists and
subplots seem cartoonish and unnecessary in comparison. The lead duet remains as fresh and solid
ever as they work difficult cases under the media spotlight and the heated political reactions to the
negative publicity of being on the accused side of both fights. Though the ending is obvious, fans
the series will cherish this installment and look forward to the next one, already set up.
Once Upon a Prince
ISBN: 0373197772, $4.25, 187 pp.
In Erie, Pennsylvania, Shey Carlson intercedes when she agrees to keep Prince Eduardo Matthew
Tanner Ericson of Amar away from his chosen bride, one of her two best friends Princess Parker
Dillon (see ONCE UPON A PRINCE). Shey succeeds in her mission taking the Royal pain on her
motorcycle while Parker marries her beloved Jace O'Donnell. Tanner leaves town not because he
embarrassed or hurt by losing his princess to a private sleuth, but because he is confused how by
attraction to Shey. Tanner now knows what he wants and returns to Erie to persuade the
of the Monarch Coffeehouse and Titles Bookstore that she is his caffeine and together they can
a fairy happily ever after. Though she loves his kisses and caresses, Shey is unable to accept the
possibility of her being a regal outside of a cafe. The second royally Pennsylvania romance is a fun
contemporary tale starring a wonderful outgoing protagonist and the regal who loves her. The
of Shey's pals adds a sense of belonging to the warm tale. Tanner is terrific as she struggles with
upbringing as a prim proper prince and his desire to ride the wind with the wild woman he
Readers will enjoy this story, the previous one and look forward to the final entry in a charming
trilogy, ONCE UPON A KING.
ISBN: 0373513666, $4.99
A former Olympics diver who won a silver medal at Sydney has a will to win in all competitions
because the win was done with a broken hand. Talia Mooney knows why she is in the middle of
Pacific Ocean. Her father owes $50K to Rocco, a loan shark known for breaking bones of late
payees. Talia looks over her rivals and thinks she has an excellent chance of winning the million
dollar winner take all prize though she acknowledges her prime competitor on the Ultimate
Endurance reality TV survival show is the in shape former cop Reuben Serrano, who makes no
pretension that this is a team sport as he plans to go alone. However, a storm strands the
and crew on the isolated island. Not long afterward, someone decides to change the rules of the
game by killing off opponents. Talia wonders if she can trust anyone as any of the other marooned
folks could be the killer although she is most wary of Reuben as she fears her judgment of him
strong attraction. Perhaps being an ex-cop, he is even more suspicious of his competition although
his libido screams for teaming with Talia. THE CONTESTANT is a fabulous romantic thriller
starring two real individuals with flaws that make each hesitant to fall in love. The exciting story
is mindful of Ten Little Indians (especially the Hugh O'Brien movie) with the TV reality show
modernizing the plot. Fans of action-packed pot boilers will enjoy this strong romantic
Once a Thief
ISBN: 0373513631, $4.99
One year ago Rachel Blu fled France to escape from her mentor Christian who raised her to be a
master thief. She relocated in the American Midwest using her thieving skills to become a security
consultant. Her current assignment, keeping a priceless gem safe, will make her reputation.
However, the impossible has occurred and the gem is stolen and she knows who the thief is
only her former mentor could have pulled off such an impossible theft. Rachel knows that if she
to recover the gem she will be the prime suspect especially when her previous occupation
She also concludes she needs help from a specialist when she begins her quest to regain the stolen
gem. Thus she goes to friend and thief Jason Marland not knowing that turning to him in her hour
need will prove even more complex to her heart than stealing back the gem. This intriguing
suspense will grip readers with its cat and mouse contest between the teacher and the student.
Rachel is a terrific protagonist who chose the right side of the law over the morality of her
instructor. Jason is her perfect foil as she grants to herself that she loves him but also detests him
due to his profession. Christian steals the show though his appearances are comparatively brief as
is not evil yet stealing is in his blood except when he suffers the severe head pains. Michele Hauf
provides a fun thriller as it takes a thief to catch a thief.
ISBN: 037351364X, $4.99
NASA scientist Dr. Kate Foster assumed her troubles would be in space not on earth. Instead
someone broke into her secure lab holding a gun on her and seven members of her staff, stole
valuable data, and "abducted" a HW-1 satellite that she operates. She assumes that the intruder is
corporate espionage agent from a rival of her prime funding Alternate Source Energy Corporation
(ASEC) until this Zed kills one worker and shoots and abducts another. Civilian anti-terrorist
and retired marine colonel Daniel Rooker is hired to find the criminals and recover the information
and the satellite. As he begins his inquiries with Kate, the thieves demand ransom money from the
government. He questions Kate as if she is the felon and is even harsher with her about her loyal
crew as he is convinced someone inside had to expedite the caper. She cannot give credence to his
theory that she has a traitor on her team though that is the only plausible way the theft could have
occurred. Instead she knows each person personally and each one is dedicated, knows their stuff,
and has cleared security checks. As they dispute who is behind the escapade yet work closely
together, Kate and Daniel fall in love. HOT PURSUIT is an exhilarating thriller that never slows
down from the moment that Zed enters the NASA Weston Research Facility until the final
confrontation. The relationship between the scientist and the anti-terrorist expert starts early with
dispute over alarms and continues arguing over the turncoat and even over falling in love. Kathryn
Jensen writes a fun romantic suspense thriller filled with plenty of action and a neat final
ISBN: 0373513658, $4.99
A scandal involving sleeping with her boss Harold Lowell cost wealthy Palm Beach criminal
attorney Katherine Rochelle her job at the U.S. Attorney's Office. So when she feels a proper
amount of time has passed she opens up a partnership with two friends, Carling Dent and Nicole
Sterling. Her Aunt Hilary orders Katherine to defend family friend Lloyd Silber accused of killing
Grace Roberts. Katherine reluctantly agrees and cautiously hires private investigator Gabriel
to make inquiries; her hesitation stems from her attraction to the ex-cop and not his competency
he is acknowledged as one of the best. As he digs up information, the case takes a wicked spin as
is connected to the disappearance of her grandparents years ago. Before deciding whether she
should recluse herself due to a possible conflict of interests as she always wanted to know what
happened to her relatives, someone tries to kill Kate. Only Gabriel keeps her safe, but she
who will keep her heart safe once he steals it. Fans of romantic legal thrillers will enjoy this
tale. The story line stars an attorney struggling to regain her reputation shattered when she had an
affair with her boss; both losing their jobs. Though Gabriel is a fine male lead, Katherine is the star
from her first sterling performance bringing to heel a felon, a judge, and a prosecutor in the
courtroom until the final efforts to prove her client innocent and learn what happened to her
grandparents. Readers will want more stories starring the "Debt, Default, and Miscarriage" legal
team especially COURTING DANGER.
Happily Never After
ISBN: 0373836562, $5.99
Thomas Beckham thought Sophie Mellon was the most beautiful woman he ever met. He courted
her and proposed to her; she accepted. However, as the wedding day grew nearer he saw a dark
insane side to his fiancee. She also pales in comparison to the sweet kind hearted bridesmaid Kelly
Carpenter. Unable to marry his lunatic betrothed and half in love with Kelly, Tom flees New York
for Atlanta. Though most members of the Mellon wedding party assumes the runaway husband
with the bridesmaid that everyone could see he ogled, Tom and Kelly went their separate ways in
spite of their attraction to one another. Neither thought it appropriate to build a relationship off
misery of someone else. A decade has passed when someone begins killing the Mellon wedding
party. Kelly fearing for her life and thinking Tom must be a target too looks him up. Though ten
years since they have seen one another, both have thought of the other many times and realize the
desire is as strong as ever. Assuming unhinged Sophie went off the deep end, they team up to
one another safe while trying to stop a matrimonial serial killer. HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is an
exhilarating romantic suspense with a strong cast that will have the audience reading the novel in
one sitting to learn why Tom jilted Sophie and whether Sophie is, as the lead couple suspect, the
killer wiping out her extended Mellon family. Though the motive seems twisted, the story line
slows down gripping fans until the end. Kathleen O'Brien writes a solid contemporary romantic
thriller, which asserts you can't go home.
Not Without Proof
Signature Saga (Harlequin)
ISBN: 0373836716, $5.99
The International Diamond Dealers Association wants to hire Stratton O'Neil to uncover a thief
stealing valuable gems from their members. Stratton insists he is out of that business, but the offer
so good so he accepts the IDDA as a client. The prime suspect is a Houston dealer Am
owner of Leonadov Diamonds. Insisting he needs her ability to speak Portuguese, Am shocks his
assistant Jennifer Rodas by taking her on a business trip to Rio, the first time his assistant goes on
the road. However, someone kills Am in his hotel room and targets Jennifer next. Stratton, who
followed them to Brazil, rescues Jennifer. He concludes she is an innocent dupe, but someone
needed her and her boss out of the way. When the lead couple meets and remains on center stage
story line is a gem of a romantic suspense; when the sidebars push the stars off the stage, the tale
slows down as the audience feels overwhelmed by seemingly excessive subplots. Stratton is a
fabulous hero who wants to get out of the game, but has one last play in which the stakes are the
highest he ever participated with, the safety of his beloved, and innocent soul. Fans will appreciate
this strong suspense thriller.
Velvet, Leather & Lace
Suzanne Forster, Donna Kauffman & Jill Shalvis
ISBN: 0373836546, $5.99
"Red Velvet" by Suzanne Forster. Several months ago playboy Jamie had the night of his life with
Lorna, but stupidly walked away. Now, the CFO of Velvet, Leather & Lace needs someone built
just like her to pretend to be him with the media as everyone wants to meet the "women" behind
successful "Hot at any age, sexy at any size" lingerie catalogue company. As he tries to persuade
to masquerade as a female him, they fall in love, but she does not trust him with her heart and he
does not trust him with her heart either. "Black Leather" by Donna Kauffman. VLL partner
Samantha is a control freak at work, but also uses her acumen in her sex life needing to always be
charge. Her lover Marsh wants her to let go and let him be in charge in bed even some of the time
else he will leave in spite of being in love with Sam. "White Lace" by Jill Shalvis. VLL graphic
designer Mia needs help when her set is not right so she turns to her best friend Jake to fix her
problems. Jake agrees but wants more than gratitude from the woman he loves. These three
VLL romances heat up the sheets as each well written tale makes the case that mixing business
pleasure with the right person is hot and sexy.
Julie Elizabeth Leto
ISBN: 0373836538, $5.99
During the divorce hearing, the Prince of West Palm Beach Daniel Reese and his team selected by
his powerful father lie on the witness stand that his soon to be ex-wife Tessa Dalton is a sexual
deviant as they want part of her wealth. The proof they insist that she sleeps with any male is that
she writes erotic fairy tales that they hint are her memoirs. The media loves scandal especially that
a socialite and she becomes the nymphomaniac butt of their stories and jokes. Her friends flee her
side as they do not want her deviant taint to touch them. Surprisingly nationally acclaimed
Colton Granger is the exception as he defends her in his column while attacking the father-in-law.
Colin has a reputation for honesty and encourages Tessa to get back into writing. She does, but it
not the same until he collaborates with her. As they work together, they fall in love, but someone
plans to use the smut written with the slut as a career move not caring what happens to either
Colton or Tessa. MAKING WAVES is a solid contemporary romance starring two intrepid lead
characters and a powerful secondary cast. The tale focuses on how a powerful individual can
manipulate and buy public opinion with innuendoes, hyperboles, and fabrications if the media fails
do its job. Readers will especially root for Tessa to overcome her reluctance to trust anyone after
her reputation is nuked by her vicious former father-in-law.
Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Red Dress (Harlequin)
ISBN: 0373895291, $12.95, 320 pp.
Thirty-five years old Shari Diamond has been fascinated with Anglo-Saxon history since she met
Christopher Robin as a kid when he starred in her copies of the Winnie classics. Studying for her
PhD in dead languages at NYU, Shari searches for the last known person alive who speaks
as she has for several years. In Chicago to give a talk on Volupuk, she meets British bloke
Christopher "Kit" Brown, who makes her forget her boyfriend back home Kevin Bernstein.
However, to her shock, Kit is studying Volupuk and insists the last user lives near York. Ignoring
Kevin's concerns, Shari rushes to England where she meets a boy from her past, but neither Owen
nor Kevin hold a candle to Kit until she learns in a garden his secret connection to the last speaker
Volupuk in the world. Besides highlighting the rapid loss of languages as the world grows smaller
through modern day communications, THE ANGLOPHILE is a fine chick lit tale starring a
heroine, her Jewish New York stereotyped mother and the men in her life. The story line focuses
the rivalry between Kit and Shari in search of the last known user of a shortly to be extinct
When that is gone, like many languages which are oral only, cultures die. The romance is an 18
diamond that includes the efforts of Kevin and Owen to compete with Kit for Shari's heart, but it
the language that steals the show though that plays a minor role in this fine thought provoking
ISBN: 0373895305, $12.95, 368 pp.
Dr. Martingale suggests to his high strung client, Buffalo Bugle obit columnist Holly Hastings to
write her own obituary, which she does. By doing so Holly realizes she is lonely in spite of fine
friends and her life is boring. When she sees the Marilyn Monroe film How to Marry a Millionaire,
she decides to make that her quest culminating with How to Book, but mostly so she can begin
living her own life rather than precariously that of dead people. With the help of girl pal George,
Holly takes a leave of absence and begins searching for a wealthy mate; this means leaving
which may have been the millionaire capital of America but that was two centuries ago or so.
several aborted efforts, Holly thinks she has found her affluent hunk in San Francisco so why is it
that Remy next door is the one that touches her soul. Holly comes across as shallow as she
to seek money over a loving nurturing relationship until Remy makes her reconsider her choices.
The amusing story line is somewhat inane, but chick lit fans will appreciate this MARRYING UP
a millionaire romantic romp.
With or Without You
ISBN: 0373895453, $17.95, 432 pp.
Four strikes and you are out. At least that is what Dunstan and Bradley advertising specialist Jake
tells his live-in girlfriend Global Magazine Publishing Assistant Editor Lyssa. Four times they tried
vitro fertilization, four times they failed. Jake cannot deal with Lyssa's obsession to become
and leaves, but fails to inform her that he has moved in with a mountain climbing wealthy amazon
beauty Neve. Stunned by his abrupt departure and further shocked that he is living with Lara
Lyssa decides to go out and do something crazy to reclaim Jake's heart. Since Neve is climbing
Everest, Lyssa takes a leave of absence from My Baby to do like wise. While Jake finds he misses
Lyssa and detests some of Neve's selfish actions, his ex meets American tour guide Dean, who
shows her a vast world at her beckoning starting at the top of the Himalayas if she takes a chance.
The key to this chick lit romance is the metamorphosis of Lyssa from a brain with one icon: that
pregnancy to that of daredevil adventuress; those who can accept her sudden change of heart will
appreciate this fine tale; those who can't need to pass. Readers will emphasize with Jake who is
frustrated with Lyssa's obsession until they learn he already has another squeeze even before strike
four. Chick lit fans will enjoy this interesting look at a young woman seeking her groove at the
of the world.
The Daughter He Never Knew
ISBN: 0373712898, $5.50
On the night of graduation from Pilgrim Cove High School, his twin bother died in a DUI
Jason Parker, unable to cope, fled the sanctuary of his grieving family and left behind his girlfriend
Lila Sullivan though he loved both. Over the years Jason became a successful songwriter, but
avoided returning to his home where ghosts live in his mind. However, now nine years since he
flight, Jason finally comes home. To his shock, he finds he left a piece of himself with Lila as she
raised THE DAUGHTER HE NEVER KNEW by herself, but not for long as she is engaged to
marry. Jason now realizes what he lost when he ran from his demons. He wants a second chance
with the two women that mean everything to him, but the older one distrusts him to stay with
when the going gets rough and the younger one is warily adjusting to her biological father. The
latest Pilgrim Cove romance focuses on two likable protagonists and the usual delightful support
cast including stars from previous tales. Interestingly in spite of Jason's cavalier treatment of Lila
THE DAUGHTER HE NEVER KNEW, the audience will want a happy ending for this fine trio
though like the lead pair readers will remain uncertain to the end whether Jason regains what he
As usual Linda Barrett escorts her fans through another fine Pilgrim Cove engagement.
Mary Anne Wilson
ISBN: 037375082X, $4.99, 249 pp.
When his father suffered a heart attack, Joshua Pierce left the Atlanta Police Department to come
home to Silver Creek, Nevada to help his dad and to work as a deputy in the sheriff's office,
temporarily at least in his mind. While on mobile patrol, Joshua stops a speeder. The check of the
plates reveals a stolen vehicle so he arrests the driver Riley Shaw who insists she is driving the car
legally to San Diego. However, her confirmation in Chicago fails to back her because the owner
Alvin Nyland is out of pocket at the moment. As Joshua learns about Riley's arresting past, he
to fall in love with his vivacious prisoner. She reciprocates and feels great affection for his
daughter JJ, but believes that someone who should one day soon become the elected sheriff
afford an albatross of a spouse with a mile long rap sheet of a past. Besides she knows he loves
late first wife Sarah. When the air is cleared she will leave with JJ's drawings, but her heart will
remain behind. JUDGING JOSHUA is a joyful Return to Silver Creek for readers and ultimately
title hero. The story line is fun to follow as Joshua adheres to police procedures with his handling
the potentially stolen car scenario, but outgoing Riley makes him want to throw away the book
just because of his attraction, but with her tender nurturing of his daughter because inside his
he knows the truth. Readers will enjoy this fine tale.
ISBN: 0373750838, $4.99, 249 pp.
After spending much of the last seven years in College Station, Heather Henderson returns to her
hometown of Nowhere, Texas to allegedly bury her father, who died when he fell asleep in bed
a lit cigarette. However, Heather knows she is not coming home to honor her abusive dad who
never cared one iota for her; she is returning to confront her knight in shining armor Royce
McKinnon, who as an older teen took care of her after her mother fled from her father. She plans
demand he explain why he rejected her three years ago. Royce cares for others, which is why the
rancher became mayor. He still sees Heather as a rebellious adolescent needing food, water, and
times shelter and protection. She wants him to see her as a nurturing capable grown-up willing to
care for him while he minds others for Heather knows that her adulation of her hero has turned
adult love, which she believes deep inside his heart her stubborn champion reciprocates. The latest
"Homeward Bound contemporary romance is a fine tale starring a rigid soul who feels a need to
responsible for everyone in his sphere of influence and the woman who matches him in degrees of
obstinacy who demands that she be responsible for him at times. Readers will believe this couple
belongs together, but wonder if Heather is still hero worshipping and also ponder why Royce
what is obvious. Although Royce can become irritating with his Bushian principle of my way or
highway, fans will welcome this refreshing small town Texas tale.
Almost a Family
ISBN: 0373712847, $5.50
Divorced from her husband and having adopted three preadolescent children within the last ten
months would be enough to send anyone over the edge. However merging into a family and
relocating to start her new job as Blackberry Hill memorial Hospital Administrator seems nothing
Erin Lang compared to having Dr. Connor Reynolds on the staff. Back in college Erin was
to Connor, who became married to her now deceased cousin Stephanie. Worse she has a secret
about one of her children that Stephanie made her swear to hide from Connor. As Connor and
avoid their attraction to one another, she is concerned over the number of deaths at the hospital
should not have occurred. She begins to investigate only to place herself in jeopardy. Connor,
so nice her children, tries to help her as he sees the trend too, but someone paints him in a
light that leaves Erin to wonder if her heart could be so wrong about the man she loves.
A FAMILY is an exciting medical romantic suspense thriller that fans will enjoy though the culprit
in the reader's face. The story line is action packed but filled with plenty of angst over decisions
made involving Stephanie. Connor and Erin are a fine pairing while the trio of children brings out
best in them. Fans of hospital romantic intrigue will want to read this fine tale.
ISBN: 0373712871, $5.50, 299 pp.
When a Tainer, Skelton, and Goldstein lawyer was unable to attend a public hearing the firm
Molly Ferguson. Her job is for the most part is to remain silent, but if needed sell how much the
mining will mean for the community. Molly calls her boyfriend to break a date because she will be
the hearing at Moose Horn, Montana adult population 27. The attorney for the Native Americans,
who oppose the mining of their mountain, Steven Young Bear gives a lift to a stranded Molly. At
the meeting site, he scoffs at the claims of Ken Manning from the mining company. Though very
attracted to one another, Molly and Steven are on opposite sides of the issue as she emphasizes
and he points out heritage. This is a terrific environmental vs. development tale starring two
attorneys (and this is not a fantasy) falling in love but differing on what is best for the locals. The
story line is at its best when the disagreeing dynamic duo dispute with one another. Though an
intrigue involving questionable deaths add suspense and enables the lead couple to meet, that
subplot seems unneeded as Nadia Nichols packs her contemporary tale with plenty of super
within a complex keenly developed societal issue.
A Treacherous Proposal
Patricia Frances Rowell
ISBN: 037329364X, $5.50
In 1814 London, Lord Wynmond Corby dies from injuries he suffered leaving behind his wife
and their two small children Bytham and Selena. Lord St. Edmonds offers to help the beautiful
widow with an "arrangement" to pay off her debts; however, Earl Vincent Inglets intercedes as
was his only friend. Vincent persuades St. Edmonds to roll the dice for who would protect the
widow. They "exchange" dice and Vincent wins to the relief of Diana. Following the funeral
someone abducts Bytham, but before the hoodlum can escape with the child, Vincent rescues him;
the thug escapes. Vincent wonders if the return of Napoleon from exile, the death of Wyn, and the
kidnap attempt are related to the deceased's work at the Home Office. Vincent takes the widow
her kids to a safe estate of his to keep them safe, but someone believes they have information Wyn
accumulated leaving no haven for the grieving family. However, he never expected Diana to
that he is worthy of being loved while demonstrating she can be trusted to safeguard his heart.
Though similar to many entries in the sub-genre, readers will gain pleasure form this tremendous
Regency romantic suspense. Wyn is a fabulous protagonist trusting no one as he learned his life
lessons as a child under the odious tutelage of his sire; Diana needs him not just to keep her
offspring safe, but because she trusts him with her heart and soul. The espionage subplot engages
the reader mostly because it propels Wyn to hang around though he finds his guest to be A
DANGEROUS SEDUCTION and fears his lack of control will lead to A SCANDALOUS
Sexy All Over
ISBN: 0373791941, $4.75
Image consultant Naomi Tyler ends her relationship with her two timing boyfriend. However, the
blames her for his indiscretions, insisting she could put someone to sleep while allegedly making
to them. Just like she teaches people how to improve their public figure, Naomi decides to find a
boy to train her in the art of lovemaking. The station brass warns reporter Zane Underwood that if
he fails to clean up his bad boy act he will be fired for behavior unbecoming a TV journalist. He
loves his job as much if not more than he does the women so Zane agrees to an image make over
under the tutelage of Naomi though he detests changing what he believes is the essential zany
To her chagrin, Naomi is attracted to the bad boy, who she hopes becomes her tutor, but to her
amazement he wants more than to be her boudoir pedagogue. Jamie Sobrato provides her
with a wonderful, often amusing, but also serious contemporary romance. The key is the lead
couple, initially suspicious but wanting one another, slowly becoming interested in the other, and
soon falling in love. Adding depth is the metamorphosis of Zane whose understanding of his
on his chosen profession follows the same path as the relationship. SEXY ALL OVER lives up to
ISBN: 0373791941, $4.75
They met in the first grade and became friends; now two decades plus years later they remain best
friends while both work at the same advertising firm. As best friends, Becca Mercer and Turner
McCloud agree to support one another kicking the vile smoking habit, but they need outside help
nothing has worked so far. They go to a hypnotherapist for the cure, but that fails too. In fact they
are smoking more than ever especially following sex as they have become lovers. Both fears the
friendship will end if their libido stops as Becca and Mercer wonder if they can be both friends and
lovers to each other. Place When Harry Met Sally inside of Office Space to have an understanding
this amusing white collar romance. The story line is very humorous as Becca and Mercer fear
their friendship going into a different direction because neither wants to lose the camaraderie as
there is no going back. When they become friends and lovers, the likable delightful duet dare do
what they avoided, but both still worry that they can't be both to each other. Elizabeth Bevarly
writes a fine office romance.
The Baby Scheme
ISBN: 037375079X, $4.99, 251 pp.
Five years as a reporter at the Orange Coast Outlook had not prepared Alli Gardner to have
someone steal her story from her computer, but Payne Jacobson, nephew of an assistant editor,
just that. He got the byline for exposing the Serene Beach, California Mayor LeMott running
gambling tournaments. She complained and was fired. Out of work and outraged, her career
over until she gets a tip from a reliable source centering on an illegal baby adoption ring. She
the danger of trying to uncover the people behind this money maker so she asks private detective
Kevin Vickers to help her. They approach the case in opposite ways; she is filled with adrenaline
rushes into danger while he is much more cautious. As they work the case and try to also trap
Payne, these opposites who belittle one another fall in love, but first there is a case to solve. THE
BABY SCHEME is a fabulous police procedural romantic suspense that really goes into
when a reluctant Alli asks Kevin for help; reluctantly because she desires him yet tries to hide that
with caustic humor. The plot is deftly handled so that the audience roots for the likable sleuths
wanting Payne to suffer pain and hoping the "big shots" behind the infant sales are caught. Fans
enjoy this diamond of a tale.
A Texas State of Mind
ISBN: 0373750803, $4.99, 246 pp.
Port Serenity, Texas Police Chief Lavinia "Lolly" LaTullipe has a filled plate between raising a
fourteen years old son and a ten years old daughter alone and the small crimes that occur in her
jurisdiction. The Peaceful Cove "Inn" calls to have her remove underage drinkers when she
high school crony Cookie Baker at the bar with a stud. She says hello, but the hunk yanks her
his lap so she zaps him with her stun gun. Texas Department of Safety Narcotics Division
undercover agent Christian Delacroix knows he deserved the shock, but that he thought she could
have just shown him her badge instead of leaving him on the floor. Christian is in town working
case of dead drug dealers floating onto the nearby beach. As they share an office and work closely
together, they fall in love, but she has two kids with a picket fence while he has always lived on
edge. A TEXAS STATE OF MIND is a wonderful police procedural romance that works on two
levels: the investigation and the relationships. The murder mystery is cleverly handled so that the
two law enforcement officials must work as a team following up on that opening zap. Lolly is a
strong amazon who does Herculean work as the chief and as a single mom. Christian is her ideal
counterpart as he is intelligent and courageous. However, kids, dogs, and fences are outside his
norm so the audience will wonder if he chooses to stay out in the cold or enter the warmth of a
Tears of Pride
ISBN: 0373770464, $6.99
The fire killed her father Oliver and destroyed the family's Cascade Valley Winery. Though she
knows her beloved dad would want her to rebuild, Sheila Lindstrom cannot finance the project.
Instead her lawyer informs her that Wilder Investments President Ben Wilder was Oliver's partner
and over the years lent money to keep the winery afloat. The insurance goes to Wilder. However,
Sheila what is worse is her dad's shredded reputation as most people believe Oliver set the deadly
inferno and must find a way to tell her daughter. Unable to sit back idly, Sheila confronts Wilder
Investments temporary president Noah Wilder. He has troubles with his teenage son Sean who is
missing from school; he also runs the family company that he does not want anything to do while
dad recuperates in Mexico from a heart attack. Feeling like a traitor to her beloved father, Sheila
attracted to a man she considers a pirate. In spite of the angry termagant behaving as if she wants
skin him alive, Noah reciprocates. However, the winery business impairs their potential loving
partnership. This is a rewrite of a strong character driven contemporary romance that holds up
well even though the plot has a historical feel to it because the investigations into the fire are
pre-Internet. Sheila is a terrific protagonist struggling with the loss of her late father's reputation
much as or more so than the family business while delaying her need to grieve and falling in love
with the enemy. Noah is an ethical individual who wants to learn the truth, clean up his father's
questionable practices, help Sean, and persuade Sheila they belong together. Readers will enjoy
fine character driven tale.
ISBN: 0373770553, $7.50, 384 pp.
Her parents died in a plane crash in the Andes when she was ten; her Uncle Yank "Yack" Morgan
raised Micki Jordan and her two older sisters though he knew noting about girls. Still he
them with love and ultimately brought them into his sports agency. Micki became a partner with
siblings and publicist at The Hot Zone, an offshoot of Yank's agency. Unlike her girly girl sisters,
Micki is a tomboy who thinks nothing of entering the locker rooms of professional sports teams.
However, she decides to change her appearance from one of the boys to a HOT NUMBER.
New York Renegade Rick Carter thinks he is the one she wants to impress since he took a
kiss from her, Micki leans towards his teammate renowned playboy Damian Fuller. As she
in catching Damien's full attention, she panics, afraid of rejection and defeat, unlike the baseball
who will lose plenty of games during his career. Damien tries to prove he is her only one, but a
paternity suit apparently strikes him out. The second Hot Zone sports romance (see HOT STUFF)
a fun tale that the audience will adore as Micki the tomboy becomes a HOT NUMBER that her
clients want in their bed. The story line is often amusing while providing insight into the drudgery
professional sports from an athlete's perspective. The support cast, especially her siblings and
and Damien's teammates add depth to a well written contemporary tale that will leave fans waiting
for the final game starring middle sister Sophie.
A Fragile Trust
ISBN: 0373770774, $5.99
By 872, the Viking raids have devastated the English countryside. Everyone is frightened as only
Wessex remains as the last kingdom barely resisting the Viking assault, but have little hope of
holding out much longer. The Viking won the last battle overwhelmingly. Near the Mercian
Lady Gemma finds a bloodied male lying in the forest. She knows he must be a warrior most
Viking as he has muscles while her side is skin and bone from starvation. Still she nurtures the
injured man in spite of his warning her to leave him because he brings danger to her. Ash, an
Englishman raised by Vikings, has sworn his fealty to the King, but has been betrayed by an
Englishman not a Dane; his men murdered by treason. He plans to avenge their death, but first he
must prove he lives up to the honor of Beowulf that Gemma expects of him while keeping her
from a sly traitor as they begin fall in love with one another. A FRAGILE TRUST is typical of the
Dark Ages romances, but yet contains a fresh plot due to the courageous lead couple. Gemma
all to nurse Ash back to health while he vows to keep her safe in a world where betrayal and
violence are the norm. The story line brings out the late ninth century through tidbits like the
Beowulf reference (could they really know of this Danish poem in England at that time?) and
especially the impact on the people by the Viking raids. Helen Kirkman provides a terrific tale
starring two honorable heroes struggling against treason and duplicity.
Code of Honor
ISBN: 0373770499, $5.99
Two years ago in Iraq, Green Beret Cooper Scott and his squad were trapped under hostile fire
as his wife World Weekly photojournalist Brigit Wheeler, in country on assignment, knows her
beloved is dead. Captain Joe "Face" Green tries to rescue his best friend, but fails. Not long
afterward Brigit quit her job. Two years later, widow Brigit enjoys her leisure life at Ft. Walton
Beach, Florida though she still misses her spouse. Joe has been there for her helping her make her
adjustment that much easier. Though feeling guilt, Brigit is attracted to Joe, but he shows no
indication that he reciprocates. In fact he has loved Brigit from the moment Cooper introduced
to each other, but out of respect for his pal never acted on his deep regard. As they begin to show
their strong feelings, they learn that Cooper lives. CODE OF HONOR lives up to its title as the
couple try not to act on their attraction and admiration for one another out of deference to the
hero whose has his own guilt to deal with when it comes to his wife. Loaded with action, a vile
villain, and a terrific romance, fans of suspense thrillers will enjoy this fine tale and look forward
Catherine Mann's next novel, the Captive Returns.
Key of Sea
ISBN: 1932815406, $6.99
Growing up in the Keys, Dora Lee Hanson looked forward to escaping as the quiet beauty bored
her. She thought her ticket to the bright lights would be modeling, but instead married a wealthy
suitor J. Walter Morrison III. After twelve years of marriage Dora Lee knew it was over when she
realized she bonded with her trophy peer a tarpon her spouse caught just like her and hung on the
wall. J. Walter dissolves the union dumping her for a younger model. Dora Lee returns to the
where she knows her grandfather would welcome her with open arms. Fishing guide Bobby
is stunned to learn the big one that got away in his youth is back in the Keys though she has lost a
of her spirit. Bobby plans to hook his beloved star fish permanently this time as he hopes Dora's
wanderlust is over. Dora finds herself attracted to a man she inadvertently hurt when she felt the
Florida Keys had nothing to keep her there a dozen years ago. Readers will be ALL KEYED UP
with Mary Stella's fun contemporary romance starring a rejected former trophy wife and the man
who has loved her since they were teens. Bobby knows he will not quit until he reels in the catch
his life, the woman he has always loved. Dora Lee is a bit more difficult to feel empathy for as she
left the Keys to follow a dream only to allow herself to turn into a bird in a gilded cage. Still the
KEY OF SEA is a stellar tale.
ISBN: 1932815244, $6.99
Residents of the Big Easy are not living up to the city's nickname as fear has gripped New
A serial killer has been mutilating young females before dumping the corpse into the nearby
Mississippi River. Because the victims are tattooed with weird diagrams, New Orleans Homicide
Detective Lewis Kline concludes that the killer is performing some form of a ritual slaying. As his
hemorrhoid flared up, he knows that in a city like New Orleans there is virtually no clue as the
shines big time here. Following a nightmare, Sela Warren goes to the Black Kitchen on Bourbon
Street with her friend Mandy who deserted her, but left her cell phone behind when it rings.
Thinking it is Mandy, Sela feels compelled to answer the ringing phone, but quickly regrets that
did. The caller says she is Chloe Applegate, the serial killer's last victim. Sela is shocked with the
impossibility of apparently either hearing from the dead or more likely a cruel trick, but will soon
realize how deep the insanity can go when evil comes calling for her. DISCONNECTIONS is a
strong thriller that moves on two levels, that of a police procedural struggling to stop a serial
from murdering again and that of a paranormal connection between Sela and the malevolence
coming for her. Readers will be hooked from the moment Sela picks up the phone and keep
to learn whether the supernatural in terms of the devil or a devilish killer are behind the homicides
and the assault on the heroine's senses. Erin Samiloglu writes a powerful who-done-it that is part
wonder suspense and part supernatural thriller.
Giver of Roses
ISBN: 0800730941, $13.99
The enemy has laid siege on Astara in the Kingdom of Gadiel with only Prince Vartan Karayan
standing in the way of conquest. Though physically and mentally exhausted, Vartan continues to
lead the counterinsurgency until he is betrayed and subsequently critically wounded in combat left
blind to die. A Hylean Lady Danae, who escaped from abusive religious tyranny, saves his life.
Vartan recovers his health including his sight his outlook has changed as he feels a bond with his
nurturer though he still struggles with the truth turning towards Danae's God. When the
Dragonmaids invite Danae to join them she believes she has found her life's calling. However the
price is high as she has fallen in love with Vartan; he makes her decision harder because he not
reciprocates her feelings but needs her at his side praying to the true God to enable them to save
people. The queen of romantic fantasy Kathleen Morgan returns to her regal roots with GIVER
ROSES, a terrific saga filled with religious symbolism and starring two courageous, battle
champions trying to overcome impossible odds to save their people and each other, not
inclusive. The story line is action packed from the moment Vartan falls in battle, but also insures
relationship between the healer and the patient and their beliefs in the true God evolves. The
audience sees the dilemmas and choices that the two heroes must face though that insight at times
diminishes the epic proportions of the plot. GIVER OF ROSES is a fine tale with strong spiritual
parables that sub-genre fans will cherish.
Song of Redemption
ISBN: 0764229907, $12.99
Following the blasphemy of his father, Hezekiah sits on David's throne. He wants to do the right
thing for his people starting with a renewed belief in Yahweh and a cleansing of the Temple.
However, adhering to the laws of Yahweh is complex and dangerous. The young monarch has
enemies who make demands on him. Making matters worse the Assyrians are demanding tribute
his country can ill afford though prosperity has begun to return. More critical to Hezekiah, he
believes God will protect the Jews though his closest advisors counsel him to pray. When he
Jerusha, a Jew who fled from Assyrian captivity; he knows he has found his queen. As the
march closer to Jerusalem, pressure on Hezekiah to abandon the Lord grows, but though he has
doubts shared by his frightened spouse, he stays the course. SONG OF REDEMPTION continues
the fascinating biographical fictionalized account of King Hezekiah (see GOD AND KINGS)
to return his people to the one God while struggling with his council recommending bowing to the
Assyrians instead of Yahweh. Readers will feel they have been transplanted to biblical times as
Austin brings to life Hezekiah trying to stay what he believes is the proper course that Yahweh
would expect him to lead his people down. This is an insightful well written biblical biographical
fiction that readers will treasure.
ISBN: 0764229389, $12.99
Her husband Scott has been dead for twenty months, but Mibby Garrett still mourns her loss
she is starting to go out on dates as he would have expected her to do. She is more concerned for
their son Ky who has been acting strange lately even for a teenager. She wonders if he misses the
influence of an older male. Mibby is elated that her stepdaughter Andrea, a San Francisco
schoolteacher, is spending the summer with her, but worries that the 100 degree weather is
devastating her gardening business with a customer claiming incompetence and firing her.
even worse than a busted water heater is that her best friend Louise suffers from cancer. Praying
the time for Louise, Mibby meets Louise's son Larry who moved home to help his mother. Larry
Mibby are attracted to one another; perhaps something good can come out of something
bad as God works in mysterious ways. ALWAYS GREEN, the sequel to the first Garden Gates
LIKE A WELL-WATERED GARDEN, returns much of the cast from the previous novel. This
family drama focuses on a wonderful protagonist struggling with teen angst, budding romance and
associated guilt, her business tottering near ruin, and the health of her best friend. Through all this
Job-lite woes, Mibby keeps an optimistic attitude for fear of letting down her loved ones who
depend on her for inspiration. She wonders who will she turn to though Larry applies for the job,
Mibby doubts they are suited for one another, Mibby is a strong character who keeps the deep
poignant yet gentle story line focused. Patti Hill provides a wonderful healing of love story.
The Crow Queen
6470A Glenway Ave. #109, Cincinnati, OH 45211
ISBN: 1594260575, $13.00
Ax the wizard warns Londah the Crow Queen that Jahcgroth of Argannon will turn kingless Jenel
into a frozen wasteland as he has done with his own kingdom unless a monarch is crowned soon.
tells Londah to keep an eye out for Lord Auglar of Kellsjard who is the hope for the future. To be
anointed ruler of Jenel, Auglar must assure the Council of Lords that he is worthy of the honor.
Auglar is accompanied by his steward Suchen, Yozerf the Wolfkin and the Sworn on the trek.
Lord Fellrant makes a claim for the throne, Augur and his party are trapped inside dangerous
Ner in Segg. Yozerf knows his birth city detesting having to return but willing to die for Suchen.
Only Londah and Yozerf can get Auglar and his party out of the city alive, but even with them the
odds are insurmountable. The sequel to the WOLFKIN is a terrific supersonic speed fantasy tale
keeps the readers on edge pondering what will happen next. The key characters are fully
and the city seems very real to the audience who will wonder how we ended up there. Readers
enjoy the trek through the "urban" cesspool as each distrusts their companions especially when
secrets are revealed but need one another because danger and death lurks around every corner.
CROW QUEEN is a fabulous Lord of Wind and Fire tale that can be read as a solo entry, but the
audience will understand the cast even better by reading the previous exciting saga.
Donita K. Paul
ISBN: 1400071291, $13.99, 352 pp.
Kale was once a slave, but was freed by her village elders when she found a dragon's egg; they
her to study at Hall, but on her trek there she found more eggs and battled an evil wizard (see
DRAGONSPELL). Eventually she made it to the Hall where she expected to be in service, but
instead is a student, a difficult adjustment for one who has always been in servitude. The Wizard
Fenworth learns of the exploits of the dragonkeeper of Paladin as Kale is known; he sends for her
come to The Bogs as his apprentice and to nurture his youngling a recently hatched meech
dragon-infant. Her teachers at the Hall send swordsman and fellow student Bardon to accompany
her. Kale dislikes Bardon, but the journey is long and dangerous and he seems to always be there
when she needs him until the evil Wizard Risto makes his latest move. He has attained a new
dragon that makes him nearly invincible; he plots vengeance on the slave girl who defeated him
recently before conquering Amara. This spectacular sequel stars a delightful young heroine still
struggling to understand the change in her circumstances from servitude to student. Bardon is a
fabulous sidekick as he irritates and fascinates Kale, whose just discovering the attractive
non-mischievous side of boys. The evil villain Risto is the perfect adversary in DRAGONQUEST
he obsessively needs to defeat the little girl who humiliatingly defeated him before and then
the world. Donita K. Paul provides a delightful fantasy that both the Potter and Tolkien crowds
Beyond the Blue
ISBN: 1578568226, $13.99, 368 pp.
In 1975, ten years old American Genevieve learns that her mother died in a war related plane
in Viet Nam while trying to adopt a child. At about the same time, not that far away, the civil war
destroys the family of seven years old Vietnamese Lan when her brother, a Viet Cong soldier,
them out of their home. Years later partially in homage to her mother, infertile Gen accompanied
her spouse Jeff come to Viet Nam to adopt. Though she detests doing so, an impoverished Lan
gives up two of her children for adoption so they have a chance for a better life. Separately
by the war, Lan and Gen will soon meet with both still trying to make sense out of what happened
their families back in 1975. BEYOND THE BLUE is an intriguing tale of two women from
backgrounds co-joined by family events in Viet Nam almost two decades earlier. The story line
follows the preadolescents as they grow up in radically dissimilar environments, but the tragedies
1975 haunting both of them until they converge as adults. Ironically though quite realistic, the
shows down when Gen and her husband struggle through delays, detours and unnecessary
impediments caused by the unsympathetic Communist government, which in turn adds plenty of
realism. Leslie Gould writes a strong two women character study that provides her audience with
fine story that nurtures hope in the future.
Nectar From a Stone
ISBN: 0743264797, $15.00
In 1351 Wales, evil Maelgwyn performs his "husbandly attention" to include yelling at his spouse
Elise, who has the gift of visions. When Maelgwyn starts to abuse Elise, she, not fearing him and
refusing to cower, kills her husband. With the help of her older servant Annora, she dumps the
corpse into the nearby river and flees. On the lam, the two women meet gloomy Lord Gwydion
seeks vengeance for the murders of his father and sister. Attracted to one another, Elise and
Gwydion soon realize they have a common enemy as Sir Nicholas killed his family and tried to
Annora and Elise. As Gwydion and Elise fall in love while she heals his physical and mental
Maelgwyn survived with plans to avenge his affront. The keys to this great medieval Welsh
are the relationship between the lead couple and the insightful historical tidbits that bring to life
mid fourteenth century. However, there is too much nectar in the story line as well written and
interesting sidebars take away from the prime tale of malevolent thugs accosting and interfering
the romance between the good guys. Still sub-genre fans will want to join Gwydion and Elise on
their trek filled with detours towards love.
Cooking for Mr. Right
ISBN: 0451215249, $12.95, 240 pp.
In Seattle, twenty-six years old sous chef Kate Linden feels like drowning in her toilet when her
former lover and still friend Gaston informs her he is marrying an elementary school teacher
Courtney Davis he just met. Though previously Kate decides that Gaston was too regimented for
her, suddenly she feels obsessed that she should be the bride so she cooks up a plan to get Gaston
back in her life as her lover. To achieve her objective, Kate leaves Sounds Bistro to work full time
on a recipe for success starting with obtaining work at his office and enlisting his mother as an
As her memory of her time with Gaston comes back into focus, she recalls why they were wrong
one another. Still she remains steadfast and obstinate staying the course even as her efforts leave
target, their mothers, his fiancee, and cute Sam who wants her cooking for him, bushed. Though
well written, this chick lit tale is difficult to swallow because Kate is obsessively nasty and willing
do any dirty trick regardless of who she hurts; Gaston is so superficial he belongs in Congress;,
Courtney is a bubbly dope. Only Sam seems nice amongst this generation in which even secondary
characters like Chef Dierbocker are cruel, stupid or both. In spite of questionable antics that
might find amusing (as long as it is someone else), Kate concocts quite a banquet, but shocking
herself she remains unhappy even when her intended gourmand seems to desire her home
Good Night, Henry
ISBN: 0451215184, $12.95, 352 pp.
Professional polo player Tucker Twist-Black suffers a career ending injury. While in the hospital
reflects on what is important and knows he let down his wife Melvina Brown and their two
ten-years old Archie and nine years old Theo when he left them years ago. Now he wants back in
their lives, but Archie loathes him for deserting them and Theo who has one arm wonders if it was
his imperfection that sent dad leaving as he believes it did before. Tucker knows he has no chance
with Mel who has a boyfriend Walter Beech who helps her along with her dad and her sister. Mel
allows Tucker to try to regain what he lost with the kids though her family and her boyfriend
prefer Tucker left. Every evening before going to bed she says GOOD NIGHT, HENRY hoping
one day her brother will return home; he fled town a decade ago after a fight that she caused. Still
feeling guilty over what she did to Henry's life and unable to forget, she allows her estranged
a chance with his children giving her renewed strong that one day her sibling will come home.
GOOD NIGHT, HENRY is a powerful deep relationship drama. The simplistic yet delightful
line intelligently focuses on the complex connections between people; sister with sister, father and
his daughters, mother and her sons, father and his sons, people and animals, woman and man, and
finally a "ghost" and his sister. Readers who appreciate fully developed casts starring in realistic
situations inside an entertaining tale will want to read Jennifer Olds' astute family drama.
Drive to the East
ISBN: 0345457242, $26.95, 608 pp.
As World War II explodes, the Confederate States of America attack its neighbor to the north the
United States of America; General Patton leads his armored divisions towards the Great Lakes in
effort to split the USA in half before driving to the east. Japan launches an assault on the
Islands. Finally Occupied Canada and Mormon Utah see an opportunity to toss out the USA and
regain their respective independence. However, the four prong attack that has caused a multi front
war for the USA not only fails to break the morale of the Americans, but actually provides a
common resolve to repel the invaders. Even the death of President Smith in a Confederacy
raid over the capital Philadelphia fails to deter the Americans as Vice Preside Charles Lafollette
takes over. In the Confederacy, President Featherstone continues his campaign to dramatically
eliminate the freed slaves by making the blacks build concentration camps for their containment
death. USA War Secretary Roosevelt sanctions devastating reprisals against the Mormons and
Canadians with the goal to keep themt from the conflict. War is all over North America once
Book two in Harry Turtledove's alternate World War II trilogy, Settling Accounts, is an
action-packed saga that grips readers from start to finish. As always is the case in a Turtledove
novel, fans will try to find the comparative real event that the author brings into his universe. The
story line is fast-paced even when the descriptions of past events that were described in book one,
RETURN ENGAGEMENT, are provided. The sub-genre audience will appreciate this appealing
entry that makes the Turtledove universe seems like the real one.
ISBN: 0374130752, $25.00, 400 pp.
From 1940-1945, Emile Poulquet served as the Prefecture of Finier in which he exiled thousands
die. After the War, he had cosmetic surgery to disguise himself by eliminating the facial hump his
father thought personified evil, but would identify him to authorities on their Nazi sympathizer
witch-hunt. In 1999, the authorities catch eight-four years old Emile, who stands trial for his role
genocide over five decades earlier. However, he remains spry and sharp, and escapes. Emile takes
the train south to Finier. In the train's lavatory he writes his last will to give to his Arianne, a
resistance hero's widow, for he expects that upon returning for the first time since he spent a
there in 1960, this will end his odyssey. In Finier, Emile is sidetracked by the town's wartime
that touches his withered soul as he knows he can never participate though he obsesses with the
need to join even at the cost of his wasted life. CRAWL SPACE is a deep character study of an
octogenarian who knows that even death will not eliminate the guilt that haunts him. His need to
home" grips readers, but Emile knows that he can never truly go home. Interestingly he feels more
remorse over one incident than over sending thousands to their certain death as the latter is more
statistical consequence of his job while the former was caused by his emotions. Edie Meidav does
the impossible turning a Nazi butcher into a sympathetic protagonist though the audience will
believe he deserves an abode in hell; Emile would affirm that a life with no place to call home is
Resurrecting Langston Blue
North Atlantic Books / Frog, Ltd.
P.O. Box 12327, Berkeley, CA 94712
ISBN: 1583941363, $23.95, 390 pp.
Carmen Nguyen grew up believing that her father, a highly decorated US Army Platoon First
Sergeant Langston Blue, deserted in Viet Nam, his country, his spouse and her. Since she also
assumed he was probably dead, Carmen grew up in Denver not caring to know anything further
about her biological father. However while in Denver on a sabbatical at the University of
Cancer Center, her beloved sixty-one years old Aunt Ket mentions that Congressman Peter
Margolin knows why Langston deserted and ofthat her dad might still live in backwoods West
Virginia. Realizing she had been in denial for all her life, Carmen needs to know why. She travels
Mae's Louisiana Kitchen to hire two bounty hunter friends of her boyfriend Walker Rios, who is
of the country. Reluctantly CJ Floyd and Flora Jean Benson agree to search for Langston. Neither
realized the danger when they accepted the assignment that they thought was a daughter needing
meet her father for the first time, but turned into a deadly look at an Amerasian baby market,
military operations, and Margolin as he runs for the Senate. RESURRECTING LANGSTON
is a superb suspense thriller that runs on two levels: the dangerous intrigue focusing on continual
hiding of a web of lies two-three decades old and on a child, even an adult one, needing to
with her roots. The story line is action-packed especially when the bounty hunters are on center
stage, but also insures the key characters seem genuine particularly Carmen. Fans will enjoy this
tense chilling drama with the same obsession that Carmen has to know why.
Playing with Destiny
Phillip Thomas Duck
ISBN: 1583145249, $14.00, 273 pp.
Colin Sheffield's first novel was critically acclaimed that a new talent had surfaced. He followed
other novels that also received much accolades, but none of his books sell well. Besides he
to reach that bar of excellence he achieved with his debut. Adding to his problems is his
estrangement with his pregnant wife Liza. Finally someone threatens to reveal Colin's darkest
that will ruin him. A superstar college junior Courtney, Colin's younger brother, is thinking of
passing up his last year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft. His real goal deep in his psyche in
professional is to finally win his mother's approval and subsequently her love from Colin, who he
once worshipped, but now loathes. However, his feelings for his former girlfriend Chante remain
strong even as he wonders if her daughter is his as he prays is so. Courtney is reconsidering
school so that he can try to regain his relationship with Chante that he hopes for. PLAYING
DESTINY is a terrific extended family drama that ducks nothing as it digs into personal issues
concerns. Once the audience meets the flawed Sheffield siblings, readers will follow what happens
them as they make mistakes which compound their estrangement and causes grief with their loved
ones until a final crisis makes each brother face the truth. As brilliantly developed Colin and
Courtney are, the key to the tale is the female support cast who further bring out the struggles of
siblings especially jealousy. Fans who relish a sharp character driven contemporary novel will
to read Phillip Thomas Duck's fine take on the modern day family.
The Baby Game
ISBN: 096316385X, $22.95
In San Diego County, California, recent law school graduate attorney Toby Dillon opens his
out of his condo overlooking the Coral Canyon Country Club where he also serves as an assistant
tennis instructor. Tony's legal practice deals with adoptions. Movie stars Brogan Barlow and Rita
MacGilroy want to adopt so they turn to Toby, who was Brogan's high school pal when they
nerds. Toby arranges things with a single neighbor Sammy who became pregnant from a casual
inseminator as the state would say. Toby takes Sammy to the hospital in his nightwear, but instead
of her going inside with him, she vanishes with his car. Besides Toby's PJs embarrassment and
concern for Sammy, things went great even though the biological mother gives birth outside a
hospital. Toby's clients have a daughter to lovingly raise together until a day later a phone call
their world; With Tony they go to see the birth mom to obtain the truth, but she has vanished.
follow-ups go nowhere as those they need to speak with are either dead or never existed in spite
the paper trail. THE BABY GAME is a fabulous tale that starts off as a simple family drama, but
quickly turns into an exciting action-packed thriller. Once the call comes, the story line accelerates
from a celebrating couple with their friends to a deep tense investigation in which nothing goes
Randall Hicks insures his exhilarating story line seems realistic with the tidbits involving adoption
that the audience has a one sitting chilling investigative novel that feels as if it could happen.
The Stars at War II
David Weber & Steve White
ISBN: 0743499123, $27.00
"Shiva Option". The enemy's first and only directive is that all other species, sentient or not, is
Humanity and its three ally races that form the Grand Alliance are under siege, losing the war to
Bugs. Efforts to communicate and forge a truce leading to peace have failed as the Bugs refuse to
communicate or perhaps are unable to communicate with beings they consider beneath them on
food chain. Death apparently awaits humanity. "Insurrection". Several generations have passed
the Fourth Interstellar War against the Bugs (see The Shiva Option). The central Corporate
of the Terran Federation refuse to relinquish their war powers though the hostilities are over.
control everything while the Fringe Worlds pay the price. However that is not enough for the
avaricious leaders of the Corporate Worlds as they want more power. To expedite matters by
causing chaos in the Fringe Worlds, a Corporate World agent assassinates Fringe Worlds leader
Fionna MacTaggart. Rebellion explodes on Fionna's home planet. The Terran Federation Navy
arrives to put down the revolt by force but instead the crews mutiny refusing to kill fellow
soon rebellion spreads across the Federation leaving the Federation reeling near death. These are
two reprints of early 1990s space operas combined into one book. "The Shiva Option" remains
of the most exciting thought provoking thrillers of the past two decades. "Insurrection" is also a
written action thriller as a domino effect leads the Terran Federation on the brink of a supernova,
but does not contain the cerebral punch of "The Shiva Option" because much of the cast are
Thraxas and the Sorcerers
ISBN: 0743499085, $22.00
In wintry Turai, the Transport Guild hires Thraxas the Investigator to uncover which of the
sorcerers is stealing precious dragon scales. Thraxas freezes his butt off hiding at the docks to
observe what happens. He captures Rexox in the act and refuses a bribe although the criminal
confesses owning senators to do his bidding; all Turai wants is a warm bed by a fire perhaps with
beer to ease his going to sleep. Deputy Consul Cicerius hires the Investigator as an Observer at
upcoming Sorcerer's Assemblage that gathers to elect a new leader. The city trying to regain its
influential position insists the next chief come from Turai; however the best candidate Lisutaris is
addicted to thazis. Named a tribune so he can get inside, Thraxas is to insure Lisutaris is elected.
However, the Tribune has a new issue to deal with; an unknown assassin has stealthily begun
murdering folks using sinister magic, but the sorcerers are all at a lost as to how, who or why.
Thraxas is on the case. The eighth Thraxas private investigator fantasy is a terrific tale as the hero
seems as fresh as ever. This time he "defeats" the daughter of his client in a battle of words, stops
connected thief, embarrassed to be amongst the sorcerers having flunked their entry test years
and challenges a silent serial killer. The story line is action-packed and the magical world of Turai
seems genuine (a trademark of the series). However, the reason this tale and its predecessors are
and intelligent is the consistent asides based on observations and conditions from the beer-bellied
ISBN: 0060765860, $6.99
In the peaceful British Virgin island of Tortola, burned out Agent W. Cooper heads the local field
office, consisting of one person himself. Cooper got this gem post where his job is to drink rum
cocktails and chase women by blackmailing the agency's Deputy Director Peter Gates, who is
pleased with the arrangement because this wild card has been removed from the deck without
exposing or embarrassing him. Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Captain Roy Gillespie known
locally as "Cap'n Roy" risks a beating by waking up Cooper at 6 a.m. Roy is fortunate as Cooper
takes his ire that his beauty sleep aided by rum cocktails was interrupted out on a window. The
wants Cooper to dispose of a battered burned corpse that washed ashore on the beach. Cooper
reluctantly gets involved especially when he sees the odd tattoo on the male body. He begins
until he uncovers proof that a massive increase in weapons in China has occurred. Fellow CIA
Agent, Julie Laramie finds similar evidence, but Gates warns her to cease and desist and remain
silent or face more than just a firing for insubordination. She refuses and Gates paints her has a
malcontent. Cooper and Laramie serendipitously meet to continue the inquiries as they realize
something global is at stake. PAIN KILLER is a wild espionage thriller starring a retired on the
antihero and the woman who inspires him to get back into the game. The story line is
but has a tongue in cheek quality to it because of Cooper's attitude. Fans of Clive Cussler will
to read Will Staeger's action-packed tale, but just go easy on Cooper's PAINKILLER, Pusser's
The Black Silent
ISBN: 078601637X, $6.99, 408 pp.
In Washington State marine biologist Dr. Ben Anderson conducts research into organic molecules
the Sanker Foundation though this is his last weekend there. He did not like the brass accusing his
adopted daughter Haley Walthers of stealing the ideas of other scientists and he does not trust the
security chief Frick from stealing his work on organic molecular structure impacting on youth
retention. Thugs accost Ben in his facility. Haley, who was fired and currently owns a bike shop
one of the Puget Sound islands, is worried about her mentor since she has not heard from him
recently and he has been very secretive. She and Ben's assistant Sarah visit his nephew retired
private espionage guru Sam Wintripp on San Juan Island to see what he knows. Sam knows as
as the two ladies: nothing. However, Ben's anxious message on Haley's cell phone puts the retired
operative back into the field to try to rescue his uncle. Neither he nor Haley is prepared for a
corporation that will do anything to own the fountain of youth. THE BLACK SILENT is an
suspense thriller that grips the audience from the moment that Ben barely escapes an undersea
and never blinks until the final confrontation with an avaricious corporation headed by immoral
individuals. Though the enemy seems so depraved that they seem more suited for a fantasy tale
a chilling thriller, readers will enjoy the action that never decelerates. While Ben's caring efforts to
prolong the quality of life is about to be abused, fans will root for Sam and Haley to rescue him
save the world.
ISBN: 0060595345, $13.95
In the Catskills at his father's country home, Felix "Fee" Pasko and his best friend small time hood
Martin Quinn discuss betraying fathers when their mutual enemy Terry Hughes arrives to kill them
both. Terry murders Fee, but Martin kills the hitman. The New York police arrest Martin for the
double homicides; however, the DA offers him a deal he shouldn't refuse. He can start over in the
witness protection program if he turns state's evidence against his "family" the Italians who raised
him or he can take his chance in court on double first degree murder charges. When Felix's father,
the head of the Russian Mafia, sends his goons to kill the murderer of his son, Martin realizes he
far has been fortunate to stay alive. He needs to move out fast if he rejects the Feds' offer and
somehow retrieve his share of the heroin money. Wherever he goes, law enforcement and the
Russian Mob follow him for he rejects negotiating with either to keep his respect, but the cost
be more than his life, he could lose his beloved Penelope. This is an exciting thriller starring a law
breaking antihero who decides to risk his life not just for the loot, but more for his self respect.
story line is action-packed though some of the significant secondary players like the Feds and the
mobsters are caricatures rather than full blooded (though they bleed). Still Quinn carries the tale
with his chutzpah gauntlet run.
C.S. Chatterly and Amanda McIntyre
ISBN: 1598360019, $14.99
"Book 1: Forever My Love" by Amanda McIntyre. Lord Canterbury raised the orphan Adam as
own son. As a child his only friends were the neighbor's kids cousins Rosalind Vancouver and
devious Reginald. Adam vowed to always keep Rosalind safe. Years later, she is going off to
but wants him to know that he is her soul mate so she bites him. More years pass before Rosalind
and Adam meet up again; she demands he totally gives himself over to her and though confused
needs her too. However Reginald plans to destroy the love that has grown stronger between his
cousin and the neighbor because he has plans for his blood relative. "Book II: Guardian" by C.S.
Chatterly. Vampire Cade Maguire desires Ann Foster, hired by his sister to care for their dog
the daytime. At first sight (not bite) he asks the pooch walker to become his mistress, but she
though she admits to herself she is very attracted to him even if they just met. Disappointed Cade
tries to seduce the dog walker who has his blood boiling with lust that he soon realizes is love, but
the fire in his soul does not expedite his thirst as much as the fire to her home does. These are two
hot well written vampire romances that will stir the audience to want more such works in the
Cimmerian world. In both tales, the fully developed key cast members make vampires seem like a
real species. Fans of the sub-genre will want to read these two enjoyable erotic novellas starring
strong women and the males who thirst for them.
Descent to Avalon
ISBN: 1420819992, $18.95
After surviving several battles against vicious armies, a war with the otherworldly Mendikek, and
happy reunion with his beloved parents, Taine accompanied by warrior Joanne Hatakayama head
towards Barstow. They plan to visit their friend Chief Doeskin of the Morango tribe, but first
Coyoteman to an isolated hole in the ground where he reveals some of his master plan. Afterward
they are welcomed by the Chief into staying with his tribe. Taine and Joanne enjoy their respite,
when some of the tribe's children are abducted they feel they need to go to Los Angeles to rescue
the kids. In Change L.A. the followers of Uncle Christ persue the duo capturing Taine, but Joanne
escaped due to her swiftness and cleverness. As Uncle Christ brain washes Taine to betray his life
long mentor Coyoteman, Joanne meets up with Darth Shadi. They agree to team up to rescue
knowing the probability of success is slim at best. The second tale in the Coyoteman trilogy
continues the fabulous post-apocalyptic journey of Taine (see LAS VEGAS RITE) this time
accompanied by a strong female. Joanne is not afraid to challenge powerful Coyoteman, outrace
lover naked down an empty highway, or try to rescue him from a deadly cult. The story line grips
the audience once the couple climbs down the hole to learn more of Coyoteman's master plan
through meeting the emissaries from the New United States whose capital is in what was called
Denver before the Change and never slows down until the final altercation in Change Los
Though this tale stands alone, readers will want to read the first novel and look forward to what
should be a stirring climax.
Toil & Trouble
C.S. Chatterly and M.A. DuBarry
PO Box 545, Canon City, CO 81215-0545
ISBN: 1933417013, $13.75
"Toil" by C.S. Chatterly. In 1558 Cork, Ireland, an upset Esmeralda combines her witchery with a
scorned Molly Claire turning two mages Trevor McGovern and Ian O'Rourke into cats because of
their mistreatment of women. To revert back to men, they must find true love, but that person
return their feelings. Witch Tabitha Cole owns a magick shop in present day New York that she
inherited from her murdered mentor. She casts a spell to protect herself from the evil who killed
mentor; her stray cat turns into a hunk, Trevor finally human. As he risks his life to keep his
safe, he wonders if she is the antidote. "Trouble" by M.A. DuBarry. Tabitha's sister research
librarian and witch Marian has also adopted a stray feline. She dreams of a gentle person to love
and Ian enters her dreams. As he falls in love with her, Ian feels hope for the first time since the
curse as he believes Marian might be the first person ever to love him. Surprisingly though the
uncaring womanizing two males deserved their punishments, readers will feel empathy towards
them. That is the key to these delightful interrelated novellas as C.S. Chatterly and M.A. DuBarry
make her two hunks more than just using philanders. The Cole sisters are their perfect match
and adoring their respective mate, but unwilling to accept anything less than love in return. TOIL
AND TROUBLE is a terrific romantic fantasy with double the fun.
PO Box 545, Canon City, CO 81215-0545
ISBN: 1893896455, $13.75
Eight years ago calamity devastated the Goblin race. Now there are only forty-six survivors left
no newborn surviving twenty-fours since the calamity struck. Goblin leader Tearach Bruce is
despondent as he watches hopelessly the looming extinction. Medical science has failed; their last
fading hope lies with the Druid Sorceress Shayla, who concludes species Goblin will be eradicated
unless Tearach returns hope to his beleaguered people by siring a newborn. Tearach sees nothing
new in that declaration, but figuratively stops breathing when Shayla suggests mating with the
humans. Setting his loathing aside for the better good, Tearach's loyal followers abduct former
firefighter Kathleen Parker, still in mourning from recent losses of loved ones, while she is on
morning run. She has vowed never to love again because the heart takes too big a battering from
that unwanted emotion. Tearach does not desire love with a human; he just needs to mate with
Neither expected to find strong feelings with the other, but a species is at stake. Can they
on the future though their cultures see the world so differently? The fourth Tales of the Moon
GOBLIN MOON, is a terrific fantasy starring two star-crossed individuals who clash on
as each perceives, ponders, and deduces from the same information different results and outcomes
than the other yet fall in love. The comparative cultural anthropological disparities between
and Goblins seem so genuine that readers will believe in the existence of magical creatures at least
when entering the charming Sams' universe. Newcomers can start here as this novel stands alone,
but well written references to the previous books will send the audience seeking them too as
GOBLIN MOON is a wonderful tale.
ISBN: 1573223107, $24.95
They met as teens and fell in and remain in love. Adam LaSalle and Sandra Ellis are talented ballet
dancers, whose careers are just taking off with both looking like future superstars. Sandra dances
George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet while Adam performs with the rival American
Theatre troupe. In the early 1980s, the ailing master choreographer Balanchine thinks he has
his muse to star as Sleeping Beauty when he sees Sandra. He knows she is his last chance to put
the fairy tale production he has dreamed of performing for what seems eternity. However,
Balanchine expects Sandra to obey everything he demands from her; which includes putting her
personal life on hold. Adam has other plans for his beloved to dance on stage and off together.
Sandra must choose which love takes precedence knowing that whoever she rejects will be
FIRST LOVE is a terrific what if alternate recent history tale that builds around the dream of the
late legendary George Balanchine wanting to put on a special production of Sleeping Beauty, but
real life never found his star "muse". The story line focuses on Sandra whose loves clash as she
wants to be all she can be in ballet, but also desires to be with her beloved Adam. The three men
her life (which includes her father) pull her in an opposite vortex as if she is the center of a
Readers will appreciate this fabulous ballet character study starring a terrific cast and paying
to a great master.
Matthew Von Unwerth
ISBN: 157322247X, $23.95, 256 pp.
Psychoanalyst Dr. Matthew Von Unwerth jumps off Sigmund Freud's poetic essay "On
written in 1915, but apparently rarely evaluated especially in light of the massive volumes on the
works of the "father of psychoanalysis." The appendix provides the entire short work in which
describes a walking talk on life and death, mortality and grief with two friends (Unwerth makes a
case they are lovers Lou Andreas Salome and Rainer Maria Rilke). The tome provides
on the pair including their break-up and makes an argument that Freud had more of a fatherly
relationship with the pair. However, the prime focus of the tome is Freud, brilliant and troubled,
sentimental and detached, emotional and intellectual. In other words the doctor is also the patient.
This is an engrossing look at Dr. Freud built mostly from a psychoanalytical speculation of the
of mind of the sixty something doctor as war is all over the continent. In some ways it feels like an
insightful treatise, but very entertaining as Freud has rarely been seen as more intriguing than with
Dr. Unwerth's placing him on the couch for the audience to observe.
Las Vegas Rite
ISBN: 141406716X, $14.95
It has been about two decades since Phil and Diana fled the Pasadena area with their infant son
Taine as the catastrophe apparently eradicated civilization. They were fortunate to meet up with
Harbin when punks killed the man's wife. He took them to his mountain sanctuary where survival
became the norm. Encouraged by the Coyoteman, who visits only him, Taine needs to leave to
his mate in what apparently remains of Las Vegas. His father is worried about what his son will
out there while his mother encourages him to do what he must do though she will sorely miss him.
The trek for his companion begins with him meeting the first human Ray in Independence besides
parents and the deceased Harbin since he was an infant. However, he also spots some vicious
who he does not trust. After befriending Ray, Taine heeding Coyoteman continues on, but soon
encounters dangerous foes like King Peter and Mendikek, who want to enslave him or kill him.
chances of reaching Vegas seem remote even with Coyoteman to guide him. Mindful of Hiero's
Journey, the first Coyoteman tale is a fabulous post-apocalyptic tale. The description above barely
touches the action of this action packed science fiction thriller. Taine is a strong protagonist who
keeps the tale coherent as he travels a ruined United States; his escapades like opening a can of
he assumes is food provides the perspective of a powerful saga that will have the audience reading
this work in one delightful sitting and anticipating further adventures.
ISBN: 1582343985, $23.95, 281 pp.
South Florida construction worker Ray Rose killed the rapist of a friend. He also inherited Port
Lucie property from a throat cancer victim who used his fingers to select Ray randomly from the
phone book. Growing up with two older sisters, female neighbors his age, and no young male
nearby, Ray believes in romantic love forever though his third wife left him just a few months ago.
He plans to perform Florida's most famous profession, reinventing himself but in Alaska. In Los
Angeles, children's carton show animator Ruby Falls loves her lifestyle especially living on the
Canyon estate of her best friend, a former porn star Jeannie. Having dumped her last boyfriend
to long ago, Ruby's good times abruptly end when she finds the corpses of Jeannie's beloved dogs
and their Walker. Needing to reinvent herself she chooses Alaska. In Alaska, Ruby and Ray meet
having in common fleeing the forty-eight. They begin to fall in love, but both have lingering
haunting them. As they work through their respective problems, Ruby is injured and ends in a
with Ray never leaving her side while her family arrives to bicker and divide the spoils. This is a
terrific contemporary romantic suspense with strong characters especially in Alaska. However,
readers will feel the story line dives short of the gold as the key suspense elements, his committing
homicide and her finding a homicide are not fully explored. Still, the solid story line grips the
from the start as Lisa Teasley writes a fine tale that fans will enjoy because the lead couple with
strong support of the secondary cast provides an interesting tale of love.
Be Mine Forever
ISBN: 0821776630, $6.50, 350 pp.
Four months ago, they were attacked by a rogue vampire and changed into ghouls with no
of who they were or what they became. In Chicago Vlad Tepes found them and brought them to
Ohio and the community of vampires living there. It was discovered that the women Jane and
Angela were ghouls even though none of the vampires know what that entails or what powers
have. Jane stays in Ohio with Kit Marlow and his wife Dixie while Angela goes to England to stay
with Justin and Stella, married vampire couples. Tom Kyd is in love with Angela which brings out
his protective streak so that Angela finally rebels and goes to Devon without telling him to
on a clue to her identity. Tom follows her and they search for clues together but the vampire that
turned Angela into a ghoul has attacked and nearly killed Justin and the leader of the vampire
community. He is coming for Angela and she must use the powers of a witch's coven as well as
vampire community if she hopes to defeat him. Rosemary Laurey is one of the best writers of
vampire romantic thrillers on the market today. Her characterizations are brilliant and complex,
pacing is just right and there is enough romance and action to keep readers absorbed in BE MINE
FOREVER. There are other vampire characters who deserve their own story so hopefully this
the end of Ms. Laurey's magnificent vampire series.
One Night to be Sinful
ISBN: 0821779427, $3.99
Lord Thomas Wolcott is worried about his sister Abigail living by herself but running an estate
well. His concern involves large unexplained expenditures and the complaint of their neighbor
Viscount Raleigh that she stole his horse. Finally a fire in the stable makes Thomas fear for his
sibling. He asks his friend Calvin Garrett to see if she is okay by pretending to be a servant; having
been born on the streets Calvin figures that masquerade should be easy but he agrees because
Thomas befriended him when no one in the ton acknowledged he had become one of them.
who wears a brace, needs a new butler, but none of the applicants seem right until Calvin arrives
with a note from Thomas asking her to consider him. She hires Calvin but warns him to stay away
from her neighbors, Lord Raleigh and his cousin Katrina. As Calvin and Abigail fall in love,
harasses her to sell her property to him or else. While Abigail tells Calvin she is his boss; he says
will keep her safe though he wonders who will protect his heart once his beloved learns of his
deception. This is a fine Regency romance starring a strong lead couple with a solid support cast
that enhances the tale. Fans will especially appreciate the brave heroine refusing to allow her
"handicap" or a nasty neighbor interferes with her life. Though a key scene comes out of nowhere
and the climax seems softly pedaled, fans will appreciate this fine suspense headlined by two
protagonists who deserve the best of love (and readership).
ISBN: 0821777122, $7.99
In Prosperity, Oregon seventeen years ago, the fire killed several members of the wealthy
family and devastated their mansion. The blaze was suspicious and most locals assume that the
family's nasty patriarch Rex Buchanan was the target because so many people had a motive to kill
the SOB. Whoever lit it never was uncovered and remains a cold case. Journalist Cassidy
survived the inferno that killed many of her loved ones and drove her out of town away from her
teenage crush Brig McKenzie. Seventeen years she feels is enough time to return home to face her
fiery demons and seek the truth. Instead another nightmarish fire and murder occurs. The
wonder if Cassidy as the link between the two incidents is the cause or the intended victim lucky
survive twice. Meanwhile as Brig vows to keep the woman he never stopped loving safe and
wonders if her beloved is the killer, someone plots to hear her FINAL SCREAM of death. Lisa
Jackson provides a tense thriller that enthralls the audience from the moment that Cassidy learns
can't come home until the climatic confrontation with the killer. The story line is action-packed as
readers will wonder who the culprit is and why while thinking of Hitchcock's Suspicion. Though
answer to the latter question seems a bit weak as a motive, fans of tense suspense with a romantic
subplot will want to learn whether the killer gets his or her wish, hearing Cassidy's FINAL
SCREAM before dying.
A Season to Be Sinful
ISBN: 0821777750, $6.50, 448 pp.
In 1810 the local Bishop sends the Right Honorable Lord Woodridge to "hire" a governess
the younger residents. He initially selects Lilith Sterling, but her limp makes him believe she is an
abomination. The Abbess persuades him otherwise, but Sister Mary Joseph knowing that the
aristocrat uses, abuses and discards young teenage girls sends Lily to England for her safety. Five
years later, Lily sees three thugs ready to assault an aristocrat; one of the felons carries a skiff.
intercedes, but is stabbed for her efforts. The intended victim Viscount Wyatt Grantham assumes
that she was the thief, but her compatriots took her away. Not long afterward three urchins,
Dash, and Midge arrive at Wyatt's home demanding money since his knife stabbed Lily so they
take her to a physician. He denies the knife was his, but intercedes and takes Lily into his home to
heal. As they become acquainted they fall in love, but she remains unsafe amidst the Ton because
Lord Woodridge will kill to keep his perversion and something even more shocking a secret. A
SEASON TO BE SINFUL is a delightful Regency romance starring a courageous young woman
and the noble who admires and loves her. Her three street wards add a different flavor to the
sub-genre story line yet Wyatt measures them as worthy because they hold in common with him a
willingness to die to keep Lily safe. Though the final confrontation seems weak, fans will receive
immense pleasure from this wonderful historical.
What a Woman Needs
ISBN: 0821779303, $3.99
His father holds the title and the related purse strings as Stuart Drake learns when dad cuts him
without any money for the scandalous rumors of impropriety that is rampant amongst the Ton.
Refusing to beg or correct the record, Stuart fears the small estate he recently purchased will be
unless he marries a wealthy heiress. He chooses amiable pretty and most important rich Susan
Tratter to court as his future wife though he knows he does not love her. However, her pretty
Charlotte Griffolino is like a lioness protecting her cub though the age difference between the
women is slight. Charlotte wants better for her niece than a gold-digger so she fans the gossip fire
that further devastates Stuart's already tattered reputation. When someone from Charlotte's past
kidnaps Susan, she turns to Stuart to help rescue her niece. As they risk their lives and definitely
their reputation, Charlotte and Stuart fall in love. However, she has a secret that once he learns of
she feels he will detest her; while he is abashed with how he sought wealth and believes she will
never accept he found love instead. WHAT A WOMEN NEEDS is an entertaining regency
that sets the tone with the opening bondage scene and never slows down once Charlotte and
begin battling for supremacy. The story line is action-packed as the lead couple turns from
to a tryst to amateur sleuths falling in love. Though Stuart's angst seems overly done, Charlotte is
unique heroine with a sexual past; together they make a formidable team starring in a fine
ISBN: 0821776320, $6.50, 319 pp.
In Richmond, Virginia, Jimmy Purcell persuades his cousin private investigator Rachel Anderson
take on US Senator Thurston Benjamin IV as a client though she believes politicians are pains as
image means everything. Benjamin explains that his beloved wife suffers from leukemia diagnosed
just after her daughter Cindy died in a car accident. He recently went through Cindy's things only
find a journal that says she was pregnant, but never mentions whether she gave birth. He admits
doubts the veracity because of the source, but wants Rachel to find the child if there is one though
that will end any White House aspirations. His stepdaughter attended Shepherd's Cross College in
West Virginia where the associated powerful Shepherd's Cross Church headed by influential
Hanson runs a black market baby ring. CIA operative Elijah Trent, who has a past with Rachel,
encourages her to go undercover at Shepherd's Cross College. Reluctantly Rachel agrees only to
LEARN OF PROJECT EVE, female students brainwashed to become perfect spouses for
sexual predatory politicians. However, exposing the school seems improbable as William's power
reaches to the top of the Hill and across the pond to the White House. Except for the righteous
politically activist religious right, fans of romantic suspense will vote up for this tense thriller filled
with numerous twists and turns, perhaps too many. The story line is action-packed as courageous,
obstinate Rachel learns that image is not the issue, survival is. Elijah is her perfect counterpart as
alpha male willing to die for Rachel, but frustrated with how she ignores his dictates. Lauren Bach
composes a fine tale of intrigue that the sub-genre's mainstream readers will enjoy.
Mirrormask -- The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture from the Jim Henson
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
ISBN: 0060798750, $34.95
Fifteen years old Helena works very hard in her family's circus. She hates her life, hoping to one
escape and become part of the real world. However, one day her wish comes true, just not her
world. She has ended up in a fantasy realm filled with mythological creatures in which two
exist in natural balance side by side. One eternally in light, the other forever in darkness.
the harmony is gone as Helena and her double from this world beyond her imagination have
switched places. To return home, Helena must restore the balance. Above is an overly
of the delightful fairy tale plot that is some ways will remind the audience of the Wizard of Oz.
book is not a novel, but instead the film script with story boards of Mirrormask Motion Picture.
different tome is fun to follow whether Helena is performing as a sock, working at the circus as a
juggler or selling tickets, or meeting strange beings in the fantasy realm as she seeks "ruby
to get back home. Interesting but not for everyone, this is an intriguing picture book that tells the
fun tale, but keep in mind it is a script not a graphic novel. Appendices add understanding as the
MIRRORMASK -- THE ILLUSTRATED FILM SCRIPT OF THE MOTION PICTURE FROM
THE JIM HENSON COMPANY is fun family entertainment with a movie to follow in the
Match Me If You Can
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
ISBN: 0060734558, $24.95, 400 pp.
Sports agent Heath "Python" Champion decides he needs a societal acceptable trophy wife to
his career. The agent of football superstar Kevin Tucker (see THIS HEART OF MINE) does not
want to go through the motion of finding someone or bother much beyond the superficial when it
comes to the courting ritual. He hires Portia Powers of Power Match, but she wants to control his
every move. He then turns around and hires cute but wacky Annabelle Granger, who recently
inherited her grandmother's matchmaking business. Between the two companies Heath meets a
horde of eligible lovely women, but none of Chicago's finest is good enough for him. Instead he
begins thinking of attractive Annabelle who he finds very kissable when they are not arguing and
even more kissable when they are. However, Annabelle is the last person a social climber wants
his side so he keeps asking himself why does he want to make a permanent match with the
matchmaker? Heath and Annabelle are a fun couple due to their vigorous spats, their vivacious
kisses, and finally their undisputed conclusion that each is wrong for the other's career goals. In
other words love is a wonderful irritating nuisance. MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is a fine animated
contemporary romance starring a delightful duo.
No Man's Land
ISBN: 0060554827, $16.95
At Meza Azul, Arizona maximum security facility, former Navy Captain Timothy Driver holds
people hostage. He threatens to kill one of them every six hours until true crime writer Frank
who wrote a bestseller that treated the naval officer with respect, meets with him. He has put to
death a guard so the authorities are taking Driver seriously, but finding Corso proves a bit of a
problem until the Coast Guard locates him sailing in Seattle's Garrison Bay. Corso has no idea
Driver insists on seeing him now even if the writer painted the murderer as a victim too in the
of passion killings of his wife and her lover. Although he prefers not to go to Meza Azul, Corso
cannot pretend to have A BLIND EYE to the fact that Corso will kill innocent victims. He enters
the prison with instructions from law enforcement officials to learn what Corso and his seemingly
more unbalanced partner Cutter Kehoe wants. Inside Corso becomes a hostage when riots and
break out. With few options if any, Corso's only hope to survive resides in a cold passionless killer
whose humanity was sucked out of him by his spouse's betrayal. NO MAN'S LAND is a gripping
action thriller that fans will lose sleep over while they try to finish it in one tense sitting. The story
line moves forward at hyperspeed and never slows as the audience wonders whether Corso will
survive in spite of being the hero of this tale and previous novels. G.M. Ford scores big time with
riveting taut tale that once again keeps his works at the top of the line.
Long Time Gone
ISBN: 0688138241, $24.95, 352 pp.
In Western Washington, her parents warns five years old Bonnie Jean Dunleavy to stay inside the
house until they return or else. Fearing punishment she listens, but looks out the kitchen window
when a car pulls into the driveway of her neighbor Mimi. Two people step out of the vehicle and
Mimi. Bonnie rushes outside to help Mimi, but is warned to leave and say nothing or else. Several
decades later in Seattle Frederick Mackenzie visits his high school friend Special Homicide
J.P. Beaumont to ask a favor. A person who also attended their high school, Bonnie Jean recently
remembered witnessing a homicide when she was a little girl. Beaumont tells Freddy Mac that he
only handles cases assigned to him by Attorney General Connors. To his shock Beaumont is
assigned the inquiry, which means someone has clout. He visits Bonnie Jean now Sister Mary
Katherine to obtain her statement. He begins to follow up on a "cold case" murder that he has
doubts actually occurred until people try to end his investigation. Beaumont knows something
down years ago and he plans to find out what. LONG TIME GONE is a fabulous Beaumont
investigative tale because of the hero's reaction to working a cold case that he believes never was
more than the imagination of a five year old abused lonely girl even if the nun recalling the
believes it occurred. The strong story line focuses on Beaumont changing his opinion as he finds
evidence that substantiates the Sister's story, which is further affirmed by someone wanting
Beaumont off the case, dead or alive. J.A. Jance is at her police procedural best with this
Pacific Northwest mystery.
ISBN: 0440242436, $6.99, 448 pp.
In Bath, internationally renowned cellist Sara Selkirk plays Dvorek on stage when she notices in
audience the pink suit. Her first cello teacher Professor Cruikshank, who tutored her back in the
1970s at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, is attending her performance. Afterward Sara
obtains work and treatment for her alcoholic ailing pedagogue as a musical therapist at the
renowned Sulis Clinic run by Dr Golightly. While she helps her former instructor, her beloved
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Poole has rid himself of his disaffected ex-wife Valerie, but
fails to improve his relationship with Sara. Andrew explains that regardless of where their
goes, he must put his kids' needs before their desires. She may detest that, but Sara knows he is
right. When a Japanese tourist dies in an apparent homicide, nebulous links surface to the Sulis
Clinic but especially to Professor Cruikshank. Besides insuring that her mentor is doing okay,
needs to prove that the professor had nothing to do with the murder that Andrew also investigates
even as he asks her to stay out of it. A second homicide confirms her belief that all is not well at
Sulis and she plans to insure that the killer pays the piper. The third Sara Selkirk amateur sleuth
(see FUNERAL MUSIC and HALF BROKEN THINGS) is a terrific psychological thriller that
readers from the opening note until the final coda is played. The story line is filled with several
that will catch the audience unaware, but like it predecessors stupendous Sara is the star
who turns the tale into a virtuoso concerto worth reading.
The Undomestic Goddess
ISBN: 0385338686, $23.00
In London attorney Samantha Sweeting works 24/7 on her legal career in order to achieve her
objective of becoming the youngest partner at twenty-nine in Carter Spinks law firm's illustrious
history. Having sold her soul to run around at hyperspeed and juggling a ton of cases, Samantha
makes a horrendous error involving the Glazerbrooks account that cost her client Third Union
a bundle and her firm the legal fee. Her escalator to the top stalled ironically on her birthday and
stunned how she fumbled the issue, Samantha already suffering from battle fatigue syndrome,
mentally collapses unable to face anyone. She takes the first train out, leaving the city in a mental
fog. She disembarks in the middle of nowhere and through a series of misunderstandings obtains a
job as a full time housekeeper though she has never cleaned, done laundry or cooked at the
home. There she meets the gardener Nathaniel, who knows immediately that the newcomer is an
"undomestic", but also believes she is a Goddess. As they fall in love, he expects she will leave
once she opts to go back to her real work, which occurs when she begins to unravel a scandal at
law firm. THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS is an interesting character study of an up and coming
professional mentally struggling with a mistake that has derailed her career. Unable to cope, see
anyone, and panicked, Samantha flees the city where she soon finds a life something she gave
at Carter Spinks. Readers will enjoy this fine tale while wondering if Samantha will choose the
rat race or domestic tranquility.
ISBN: 1590804260, $14.99, 296 pp.
In 1998 Jack Wilmont is tired after fifteen years as a cop, somewhat from the work but more so
from his personal life as his past year has been the year in hell. His father, who walked out forty
years ago, suddenly reappeared as he wanted benediction from his son before dying. His long time
partner Carson took a bullet and is on disability. His girlfriend Elaine dumped him. With all this
eating at him, Jack informs his boss Captain Chester Whitesel that he going on a six month
sabbatical. Chester asks Jack to handle one last case, the disappearance of nine-year old Cassie
Bennett-Lee whose guardian Cameron raises the child. Although the biological parents live
neither is interested in their child's well-being. Jack wants to ignore the case and that of a dormant
serial killer who has resurfaced, but admires Cammie so he makes inquiries concentrating on the
divorced parents. He gets Carson to help him with the missing kid but struggles with the FBI take
over and butchering of the serial killer inquiry so Jack delays his leave until he finishes both cases.
What makes PEDESTALS a refreshing exciting police procedural is the attitude of a bone wary
dedicated cop who knows that he can no long give it his best. Still as his superior, who knows
insists, he remains one of the elite guns so Jack reluctantly investigates two cases, one because he
attracted to and admires the dedicated guardian and the other because he knows the Feds are
and someone will die because of that. Jane Shoup provides a top echelon mystery that readers will
cherish and want Jack and Carson to star in future tales.
Pamela Redmond Satran
ISBN: 141650558X, $13.00, 304 pp.
Her husband dumped Alice for a younger model. With the encouragement of their daughter, Alice
crosses the Hudson from New Jersey to Manhattan where she meets her best friend Maggie. One
look at her middle aged pal upsets Maggie so that she decides a total make over is needed to
the suburban mom into a hot urbanite. The years come off and forty-four years old Alice looks
she is in her twenties. At a New Year's Eve party Alice meets Josh, who is much younger than
Though their personal definitions to what are a couple shows the age gap, both insists they are not
interested in a relationship. As she continues to see a man old enough to be her son, Alice also
obtains her first job. However, pretending to fit in as a fellow twenty-something at work and in
"non-relationship" with Josh proves overwhelming as Alice wants to climb back out of the rabbit
hole and confess to being a fortyish mother. YOUNGER is a deep character study that looks at
discrimination especially in the workplace, but to a lesser degree in relationships. The story line
centers on Alice who finds lying about her age difficult to keep up with, but knows the truth will
set her free as it probably would cost her job, the friends she has made at work, and Josh. Pamela
Redmond Satran writes an intriguing thought-provoking drama.
Happiness Sold Separately
ISBN: 0743499239, $13.00, 336 pp.
Twenty-five years old Manhattanite Ryan Hadley feels she lives an okay life though she finds
boredom as her roommate much of the time especially on the job at Geiger Data Systems and in
closet sized apartment. The highlight of the past week for instance is seeing Henry Winkler on the
streets. She enjoys spending time with her two best pals, Veronica and Audrey, but is shocked
both leap up the career ladder while she remains mummified below them. Ryan has been saved
cyber-sex by her best friend at work Will, lead singer of the Delicate Blunder band, who is
making it in rock and roll and seemingly with Audrey too. Ryan feels depressed as her three buds
leaving her behind even though not one of them would do that consciously. Then a miracle occurs
lift Ryan's spirits when she spots Charlie her former college boyfriend. Though she can hear her
on his lips, he is engaged to a shrill. Thanks to a strong secondary cast who make New York seem
real, HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY is much deeper than the typical chick lit romp. Ryan is
the center of the tale as she is jolted out of complacency by the recent gains by her three best
and inspired by the return of Charlie into her life; the former makes her nostalgic for what she
they will lose but the latter turns her into an amazon warrior prepared to fight for her man.
the fine character driven plot could do without the usual sub-genre lists, fans will want to walk
Ryan as she seeks her groove.
Blood and Memory
ISBN: 0060747587, $14.95, 480 pp.
Kept alive by the magic of the Quickening, warrior Wyl Thirsk witnessed ruthless King Celimus
Morgravia kill Myrren the Witch; the person who gave him his paranormal skill to switch bodies.
vows vengeance while he resides inside his third body that of Faryl the female assassin. Romen
Koreldy had killed Wyl's body, which due to Myrren's Quickening enabled the deceased to move
soul inside his "conqueror". When Faryl killed Wyl's second body that once belonging to Romen,
moved inside her flesh. In each case he kept his memories expanded by that of the body he uses.
King Celimus plans to conquer neighboring Briavel either by marrying Queen Valentyna or
Concluding that her country will be slaughtered in a war, Valentyna ponders marriage to the
abusive Celimus, which she believes would be worse than death, but also fears the outcome to her
people if the vicious soldiers of Morgravia attacked. Wyl continues his search for his sister, his
desire to return to his beloved beleaguered queen, his need to kill Celimus, and finally trying to
understand the Quickening. This terrific dark fantasy will get fans to believe in sorcery especially
Quickening but to better understand what is going on especially with the magic, new readers
start with book one, MYRENN'S GIFT. The story line is action-packed as Celimus puts in motion
his scheme to annex his neighbor while Wyl in a female's body (interesting psychological twist)
struggles with several potentially conflicting objectives. Readers will question his thinking skills
because he makes the same fundamental errors which places him in unnecessary jeopardy, but that
cranks up the excitement so that the audience has a fabulous saga to follow.
Storms of Destiny
ISBN: 0380782847, $7.99, 560 pp.
Jezzil is a warrior-priest of the Pen Jav Dal who fights for his leader the Redai of Ktavao. He
his future is mapped out until he runs away from a battle in fear. In disgrace, he obtains work as a
guard to a caravan protecting the novice priestess of Boq'urak Thia who is escaping the High
who perform rites that are abominations to her. They travel to the port city of Q'Kal; at the same
time, from a different direction the sentient creature known as the Khith who is a healer with
powers is heading to Q'Kal after being banished for examining the forbidden tests of the Ancients.
Prince Eregard, the third son of King Agivir of the island of Pela sails to the mainland when he is
captured by slavers and eventually sold to the freedom fighter Talis. They eventually all wind up
Q'Kal where Eregard is to be sold again. Jezzil, Thia, the Khith, Eregard and Talis all meet in
and a friendship is formed. They learn of a plot to overthrow Pela and Eregard is finally able to
convince the rest of the group who he is. As they try to stop the scheme, the god Boq'urak is
arranging people like chess pieces in a rigged game as he is known to the Ancients as The Player.
The five main characters in this novel are all very different yet through common cause, battle and
just plain friendship, a bond is formed that might one day take down a god if A.C Crispin
the adventures of this intrepid and likeable group in future books. The point of view rotates
the five characters, allowing the audience to see inside their psyche so they can understand them
even when they don't understand themselves. Surprisingly this technique enhances and expedites
plot in a rapid fashion so that readers will appreciate these exiles struggling to save a society that
The Lions of Al-Rassan
Guy Gavriel Kay
ISBN: 0060733497, $14.95
History has condemned Ammar to the role of monstrous butcher as he betrayed an inept monarch
killing him and brought to the Al-Rassan throne a stronger but abusively insane king. Though
by everyone even the person he put in charge, Ammar will do anything to save his beloved
As he did once before, he plans to correct his mistake with the same deadly precise solution. Dr.
Jehane is a physician just like her father, who had to choose between his life by bowing to his
ruler or his oath. His daughter has doubts that a physician can adhere to their oath to heal while
kneeling to the savagery of the monarch. She plans to break her oath by killing the killer of her
father. Rodrigo is a great swordsman recognized by everyone as a hero for his loyalty to the
ruler. Since heroes cannot expeditiously be royally killed, he was exiled by the new king. His
wife and his children remained behind in Al-Rassan. He wants to come home to see his woman
more time, which means he must bow to the ruler. Three individuals from different walks of life
impacted by the same pivotal moment are coming together perhaps at another focal point. This is
reprint of a classic mid 1990s tale that fictionalizes the fall of Moorish Spain. The three superb
characters struggle with the past and present and have no hope for the future while the support
brings the era to life. The story line remains powerful and insightful while also entertaining readers
with an extraordinary historical fiction thriller that transports audience back to the twelfth or
Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
ISBN: 006052538X, $24.95, 304 pp.
Khorii, the daughter of Acorna and Aari, is on her first long space faring voyage and hopes for a
little excitement. She gets more than she bargained for when a virulent plague sweeps the human
galaxy killing millions and her parents are asked to use their healing abilities to save lives. They
agree to go to a planet where there are desperately needed while their daughter visits Maganos
Moonbase where she makes friends with human youngsters as well as the young water dwelling
Poopuus children. When the plague comes to the Poopuus world, the youngsters beg Khorii to go
there and save their parent with her horn on the forehead that heals. She agrees to go and is
accompanied by some students a teacher, her cyborg friend and her sentient cat. She saves the
people and the planet by letting the properties of the horn heal the people and cleanse the water.
then meets up with her parents but it is not a happy reunion. In order to help Aari and Acorna,
Khorii must track the origins of the man-made plague and find an antidote that will help her
FIRST WARNING continues the adventures of Acorna and her family but Khorii is the main
protagonist as she comes into her psychic powers and matures into a person willing to heal whole
planets and expose herself to danger to keep those she cares closest to safe. The authors give as
much attention to the characterizations as they do to the action scenes making FIRST WARNING
great entry in a strong running fantasy series.
Different Kinds of Dead and Other Tales
ISBN: 1594142130, $25.95, 311 pp.
This fourteen story suspense anthology from short story grandmaster Ed Gorman runs the gamut
terms of sub-genres to include Americana historical, western, science fiction, horror and of course
contemporary. With one exception (written in 1968), the other thirteen contributions were
in an assortment of books or magazines so have never been contained within one compilation
The tales are all well written and in spite of the relative size, each grips the audience who will not
able to guess what comes next. Because of the wide array of settings (past, present, and future),
of a specialized genre will probably want to pass although those readers will miss out on a strong
collection. Those readers who appreciate variety will especially enjoy Mr. Gorman's latest, but
ask the author-editor one question: when next?
ISBN: 1594143889, $25.95 286 pp.
After being force fed several Ecstasy tablets at a rave, Elias jumps off a forty story building and
When he comes to Mephisto, second-in-command of the legions of hell and the archangel
leader of God's army, tell him he is the new Forerunner of the millennium. A Forerunner is given
powers of the angels and demons to decide who will be in control of the earth for the next one
thousand years, Heaven, Hell or humanity. The former Forerunner Matthias lived when
was a world power. Elias doesn't want the responsibility of deciding mankind's fate but when he
saves the people who killed him and the woman he loved as a mortal, he accepts the mantle of
responsibility thrust upon him. The fallen angel Warrish doesn't want Elias to make any choice
repeatedly tries to kill him so he can rule over all the realms by bringing about Armageddon. Elias
with the help of several allies does all in his power to stop him but while the hosts of heaven and
clash, Warish reads the scrolls that bring about uncreation. That opens Elias's eyes so he makes a
decision that changes heaven, hell and other entities. This apocalyptic thriller is also a coming of
story (even though the hero is dead). Abandoned by his father and feeling that his mother neglects
him, Elias goes from a pleasure seeking rebel to a man capable of choosing what he deems is best
mankind. There is non-stop action, great character development and an exciting storyline in this
unique work of speculative fiction work J.J. Ace has written a work that will be put on the
ISBN: 1594143153, $25.95, 287 pp.
Over ten years ago in Philadelphia Frank Wilkie and Eddie Baker murdered the beloved mother
sister of Brad Frame. Stunned Brad brought the two killers to justice. Encouraged by Philadelphia
Police Department Detective Nick Argostino, Brad opens up a private detective firm. Meanwhile
Baker kills himself on death row and Wilkie invites Brad to witness his state execution. His
Sharon Porter encourages Brad to go to obtain closure. Instead the reporters act like he is the
ghoul so he gets no satisfaction. Wilkie leaves his bible with Brad. Inside the deceased had written
eighteen words that Brad thinks will lead to the ransom money spent to rescue his family but
recovered. Soon afterward attorney Allesi demands Brad hand over the bible as he has an iron
contract with Wilkie to represent him in his appeals in exchange for his personnel effects. Brad
Sharon begin to decipher the biblical clues in the hopes of him gaining true closure.
UNFORGIVING SHADOWS is a strong private investigative tale starring a strong scarred soul
studying the murders of beloved family members that though over a decade ago still haunts him.
story line is action-packed from the moment Brad arrives at the execution and never slows until
confronts the shadowy adversary. Though Ray Flynt makes his position clear where he stands on
state executions in which there is no doubt to whom the murderer is, readers, even those opposed
capital punishment, will empathize with the hero, hoping he obtains closure, but most of the
audience will doubt he will ever achieve this.
ISBN: 1594143528, $25.95, 298 pp.
Due to widespread infertility, the drug Geminizon is taken by women who can bear children. By
twentieth-second century, one twin is allowed to live a natural life while the fetus of the other is
stored in a womb bank. When the living twin reaches a designated age, the other fetus is activated
and allowed to reach the age of fifteen. At that time the longer living sibling is killed and the
memories is placed within the younger twin. The Association forms to fight against this state
sponsored genocide. Meanwhile world dictator Ronald Carver, whose father invented Geminizon,
into his second lifetime more repressive than ever. When a cell of the Association is wiped out
except for Lee, the fifteen year old twin becomes determined to destroy the world order. His twin
Max, a gynecologist, knows nothing about him but questions his placed in society. His lover
what a vile man Carver is but feels helpless to do anything about it. As the Association gains
recruits, Max, Mandy and Lee prepare for the forthcoming war. David Murphy paints a bleak
foreboding twentieth second century landscape; a place where the first generation of adult twins
don't care that they are killing a life so they can have a second one of their own. That premise
improbable given the anti-abortion sentiment of today at least in America yet feasible with the
of health care. This is a thought provoking novel that makes readers evaluate issues that they
deal with in the foreseeable future. The point of view rotates between the four main characters,
giving readers an intimate look at the viewpoints and state of mind of the principals without
down the dark plot.
Black Like Blood
ISBN: 1594143544, $25.95, 324 pp.
While diving in a storm at night, teenage lovers Donnie Spurlock and Karyn Rainey find a corpse
the bottom of the lake. The townsfolk of Kiowa County are already shaken with the recent
murder of Donnie's father, the mayor of Hoel's Dam, Dennie. The corpse found in the lake is
Dennie's older brother Hugh, a WW II veteran missing for forty years whose father also went
missing. Texas Ranger Tillis Macrory investigates the homicides linked by blood, but rumors also
include lost diamonds. As the two youngsters refuse to back off and continue digging for the
new sheriff's dispatcher septuagenarian retired schoolteacher Esbeth Walters mistrusts all law
enforcement officials although she thinks Tillis is the cleanest except when he thinks with the
head involving the new deputy Gala. Esbeth, the star of NO MURDER BEFORE ITS TIME,
actually gets involved about halfway into this enjoyable police procedural. Three teams of
investigations compete. Tillis assisted by his long time friend and Karyn's father game warden
make up the most professional inquiries; the sheriff's office is officially in charge; finally the teen
lovers provide an amateur sleuth look. Russ hall brings these divergent competing investigations
with Esbeth the retired teacher looking down from her big "desk" with a moral light as she trusts
none of the players to learn the truth though her reasoning varies. BLACK LIKE BLOOD is a
Texas who-done-it with a strong cast.
Cracks in the Rainbow
ISBN: 1594143498, $25.95, 342 pp.
In Southern California, police detective Stretch drives to inform his partner Rick Dover what he
frighteningly learned on his own time when his Bronco exploded and went over the cliff. Officially
looks like Stretch took a turn to fast, but Rick has problems with this scenario because his friend
was too good a driver who had driven this relatively mild curve many times. The autopsy reveals
anomaly that does not fit a gas explosion; the victim's testicles were blown away. Rick enlists an
ATF pal Harsha to look at the remains of the vehicle and the accident scene. Harsha concludes a
bomb was timed for Stretch to go over the edge. Rick and his new partner Falcon begin finding
evidence that Stretch was working on a dangerous case by himself. They find FBI documents on
Stretch's computer and a hidden taped card with one word BLACKFLASH. Soon the cops, the
Feds, and others will collide with no one expected to walk away unscathed. Though why the
pursued his investigation without the aid of his capable trustworthy partner seems a stretch, fans
appreciate this fabulous police procedural that step by step uncovers why the detective was
murdered starting with proving a homicide occurred. The story line is cleverly devised so that
readers see how the case begins with Rick's doubts that soon mushroom into a wild frenzied
skirmish in which so called friendly fire might kill the hero. Mark Bouton provides a pleasurable
J.J. Lamb and Bette Golden Lamb
ISBN: 1594143560, $25.95, 280 pp.
Heir Apparent, Inc sends letters to married sisters Paige Alper and Sheryl Fenster informing them
they can earn $62,500 each if they sign the attached legal document. Apparently, their
seafaring Uncle Jock Boylan left a fortune. Because of her husband's latest get rich scheme, Sheryl
needs the money to pay off loan sharks, but Paige prefers to find the loot and not share it with
Apparent, Inc. Paige and her husband Max are investigative reporters; she gets time off while he
quits. They begin tracking Jock's last days by visiting the Oceans Shore Nursing Home in San
where he stayed whenever he suffered from Lassa Fever. That leads to Asia as Jock had business
dealings and a surprising family connection there. As the journalists follow the clues, they soon
realize that Jock was murdered to silence him from exposing a white slaver ring. Now the intrepid
Americans have a mission besides money to uncover. HEIR TODAY is a terrific private
investigative tale that is made even more realistic by the simple act of Max being fired when he
wanted time off. The story line is fast-paced as the lead couple hop seemingly everywhere
uncovering and including having their clothing taken away one shocking but always dangerous
after another while Paige realizes how little she knew about her Uncle Jock. Fans will enjoy this
thriller starring two adept journalists, who spend much of the inquiries in precarious
ISBN: 1594143226, $25.95, 320 pp.
Sunbow Farms was once a commune but now only Mooney lives there with Coyote, an animal
can talk. Mooney's main crop is marijuana so she can pay the taxes on her multi-million dollar
grant. It is a successful enterprise until the police discover it and arrest Mooney. Now she must
another way to pay the taxes or loose her land. Mooney's friend John visits them accompanied by
blind girl suffering from amnesia. Moose and Coyote bond immediately but when Coyote becomes
friends with a werewolf, something magical happens to him so that he change on the night of the
moon. John explains to Coyote that John's totem Fox had him mix human DNA into a cell which
reproduced and created Coyote. Though of Native American legend Coyote wants to learn the
White Man's Magic (science) and has no memories of his life in the spirit realm. A bad magical
has entered Coyote and Fox says he will have to kill him to protect others in the mortal realm.
Coyote doesn't want to die now that he has found someone to love. NEW COYOTE is a cute
fantasy showcasing a character who is young in years and wisdom but has the potential to fulfill
mission if he doesn't get killed by the many dangers that he seems to attract. Readers will find him
adorable and hope that there will be future books that continue his story. Michael Bergey blends
New Age mysticism with Native American mythology to create a work that is quite special.
A Shot to Die For
Libby Fischer Hellmann
ISBN: 1590581857, $24.95
In Chicago, divorced Ellie Foreman raises her teenage daughter Rachel while filming
and training videos. Currently, Ellie is developing a video on the Lodge, a former Playboy Club
turned into a popular G-rated resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. At a rest stop between Chicago
and Lake Geneva, Ellie meets Daria Flynn, who says she was dumped here but is expecting a ride
come pick her up shortly. Instead a sniper in a pick up truck kills her as Ellie watches in horror.
Though the pay is good, the filming is uninteresting. Intrigued by Daria's assassination and
experienced with investigations (see AN EYE FOR MURDER, A PICTURE OF GUILT, and AN
IMAGE OF DEATH), Ellie still vows to stay out of this one. Instead between Detective
Milanovich's questioning her on anomalies and other law enforcement officials asking questions of
her too, Ellie begins her brand of investigation. As she begins closing in on the secrets of an
family living in an incredible mansion overlooking Lake Geneva, the killer is closing in on her. The
fourth Foreman picturesque amateur sleuth mystery is a fun tale as Ellie reluctantly is pulled in the
investigation by initially the police questioning her and her increasing knowledge of the victim, a
chef in a fancy restaurant. Though the use of a chance meeting at the highway rest stop begins
quest for the truth, fans will enjoy her efforts to uncover the truth as she sees things differently
Milanovich and the other law enforcement types. Libby Fischer Hellmann provides a fine
who-done-it starring a likable protagonist and a strong support cast to include the locale.
ISBN: 1590581911, $25.95, 314 pp.
While the pipeline is under construction, flying customers to Fairbanks enables bush pilot Alex
the opportunity to spend some time with his former prospecting partner Stan and his friend's
Athabascan wife Angie. However, Stan asks Alex to meet him in town without his spouse because
he is worried about a threat by an unknown assailant who thinks he overheard something;
he did not hear anything. They meet at the local, but depart for privacy heading towards Stan's
pick-up truck. A bar girl stops Alex while Stan turns on the ignition; the vehicle explodes.
Alex goes to comfort Angie. Not long after his arrival two cops come on the scene, but instead of
breaking the news of Alex's death, they start shooting at the grieving pair. Alex and Angie manage
to escape by canoe, but the killers give chase. Alex knows they need time to learn what the
think Stan overheard if they are to confront the employers of the assassin chasing after them, but
first they must elude their adversaries in the stark frozen Alaskan tundra. Though this is Alaska
Hitchcock's North by Northwest uses cornfields and climaxes at Rushmore, this fine thriller will
remind readers of that excellent movie because of the innocent hero falling into a deadly situation
and also the massive backdrops. The story line is superb as Alex and Angie must first find safety
regroup and figure out what is going on and how to act on this. Readers will take immense delight
wondering what ironically Stan did not hear that killed him.
ISBN: 1590581881, $24.95
The robbery several months ago of 500 million dollars worth of fine art from Callend College for
Women made national news. Picketsville, Virginia locals were interviewed and many in-spots like
the diner and its customers were on the news. For instance so-so Stonewall Jackson Memorial
Church organist Waldo Templeton appeared smiling on TV sets across the nation. However, that
proved to be a mistake as the classic butterfly effect occurs; someone enters the church and kills
Waldo as the victim ironically touches Sanctuary. Church secretary and all around busy body
Millicent Bass finds the body. As she and her posse of friends hysterically and inadvertently
contaminate the crime scene, Sheriff Ike Schwartz struggles with a motive. Due to a note the
deceased had inside his shirt pocket, Ike focuses on the relatively new vicar, Reverend Randolph
Blake Fisher, Jr., who arrived after a scandal back in his previous church in Philadelphia. The
next murders Millicent assuming that her nosiness gave away information in the church's
files. Still leaning towards Blake as the culprit, Ike revises his opinion when the murderer tries to
the vicar. With regional police procedurals like this one Frederick Ramsay will not remain a secret
readers. The pleasant story line provides the audience with a captivating local group that shows
congregation's loyalty with the naming of the church. Ike is tremendous as he hones in on Blake,
who has a history of trouble with his flock while also struggling with the ladies devastating the
scene. Fans will take delight with this fine mystery in which the chief and the readers will wonder
what Blake is hiding.
The Thirty-Three Teeth
ISBN: 1569473889, $24.00, 272 pp.
In Vientiane five months have passed since septuagenarian medical Dr. Siri Paiboun was named
the two year old Communist government as the Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic national
a job the widower did not want, but had to accept. His selection was based on two critical criteria;
that he is too old to make waves and he is the only doctor left in the country as the Intelligentsia
in 1975 when the Communists took control. Siri did not want to leave his beloved deceased wife
behind in an unattended grave. The communist bureaucrats underestimate their coroner who in
of constant tutorials and harangues, tries to do the right thing. Currently, he and his team look at
murders of two males found near a bike. Dubbed Man A and Man B, the better dressed victim
suffered from triplicate syndrome as his fingers are mauve colored, which means government. As
works the case, Siri is named the honorary consul to the spirit world and assigned with shamans
warn the spirits to get with the communist program or leave. He takes both situations seriously
while the party hacks look over his shoulders. The second Dr. Paiboun investigation is a fabulous
look at late 1970s Laos at a time when the royal family lost their "kwun" enabling the
to send the monarch into a gardening career. The story line includes a solid mystery, but what
this tale and its predecessor (see THE CORONER'S LUNCH) worth reading is the insight into
complex society focusing on a deep understanding of politics, religion and customs. Fans will
appreciate this fine look at Communism with an influential Buddhist tradition.
Upon a Dark Night
ISBN: 1569473935, $13.00
Things have been so quiet lately; Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond suffers from
caused by ennui as he has not had a homicide to keep his blood pressure level. Normally Diamond
would ignore an apparent suicide by a farmer, but with nothing else to occupy his time, he decides
take a quick look. First thing he realizes that the farmer's arms were too small to pull the trigger
shotgun placed under his chin. Peter simultaneously investigates what he believes is a homicide
trying to persuade his superior that someone killed the farmer. At about the same time, a girl falls
a rooftop during a party. Initial reaction was it was a tragic accident, but Diamond sees
with that explanation. He investigates both deaths while an amnesiac is found in a hospital parking
lot by a shoplifter Ada who reluctantly releases the woman to someone claiming to be a sister.
talks with Diamond, who reluctantly follows up her comments and links the two deaths and the
abduction with a fourth party as he begins to find the buried connection. UPON A DARK NIGHT
a fantastic Diamond police procedural as the cop is at his curmudgeon worst due to absolute
boredom from no cases; only someone like Diamond could bemoan a major drop in the murder
Thus two homicides would have probably remained under the radar screen with the killer free
that Diamond basically had nothing interesting to do. The mystery is brilliantly established so the
audience like Diamond's boss sees no foul play until Diamond's inquiries begin to cleverly prove
otherwise. Peter Lovesey is at his best with this awesome who-done-it.
ISBN: 0373230362, $5.50, 304 pp.
In Southern California, everyone pays respect to the "great" man, but his widow Mary Jane "MJ"
Hollander knows her bisexual spouse's final breath was on a round bed of a "pseudowoman".
his adult kids and their spouses salivate over the inheritance, MJ makes it through the platitudes
the sushi served by her stepson only because her two best friends Cat and Bitsey are truly there
her. The three transplanted southern amigos get together to help MJ with her grief and discuss the
men in their lives including the one that memory serves as being their ideal mate. Bitsey is married
her lord and master Jack Albertson who never appreciates her efforts because if he didn't do the
chore then it is not perfect; however, he never does it with her nor helps with their Stepford kids.
Cat has less patience with the lesser gender than her friends having two divorces on her belt. Sick
selfish perfection, avaricious stepchildren, and failing husbands, the trio agree to visit each one's
hunk that got away to see if the memories match the realities or their dead, ex, and living
Though middle age female buddies star, OLD BOYFRIENDS is an amusing coming of age
relationship drama. The three women learn about themselves during their often comic escapades
they realize how much their behavior as an individual and as a trio impact on the rapport with
Though the fine story line lacks a specific center to hold the tale together due to the constant
rotation of perspective, fans of a jocular tale with a moral "to thine own self be true" will hitch a
in the Jag.
The Marriage Trap
ISBN: 0553587536, $6.99
Six months since Waterloo and the English are flocking to Paris. A vicar's daughter, Ellie
is in the city as a companion to the daughter of the Sedgewicks. There she sees Jack for the first
time in fifteen years when he was a teen exiled into rusticating for his pranks at her late father's
vicarage; to her chagrin she remains mesmerized by him as she did then though the former soldier
and now Lord Raleigh fails to recognize her. To have some fun, Ellie masquerades as Aurora the
gambler. He rescues her from a brawl and soon shares a passionate kiss. Not long afterward she is
accused of theft; Jack is her alibi which means revealing he compromised her. Forced to marry
her trepidation because she knows she loves her Jack and she believes he does not reciprocate,
soon become entrenched in a murder investigation seeking a killer who threatens Ellie and her
brother. Though the premise has been used in varying degrees by the sub-genre authors, this
Regency is a fresh look at the compromised scenario as Jack is the alibi that keeps her out of
but traps him in marriage. The story line is action packed as the couple begins to know one
while falling in love but at the same time are seeking to uncover a deadly criminal wanting to kill
Ellie. She is a courageous but very serious individual while he wants to kick back and celebrate
end of the war, but when his beloved is stalked he turns somber as no one knows Jack when it
comes to protecting his.
Jon Courtenay Grimwood
ISBN: 0553587447, $12.00, 432 pp.
His Excellency Pashazade Ashraf "Raf" Bey has been selected as the detective chief of El
at a time when the Ottoman Empire is divided between religious fundaments and secular
However, Bey tries not to concern himself at the moment with extremists from either side though
knows not to ignore danger that might follow from zealots. Instead his focus is a brutal serial
who mutilates his victims. Clues point towards businessman Hamzah, owner of Hamzah
Complicating the case for Raf is that he falling in love with Zara, the daughter of his prime
starting from the moment she gave a coat to his ward Hani. However, while struggling with an
investigation that increasingly looks like he will arrest the man who he would like as his
father-in-law, Raf also must deal with assassinations, explosions and abductions terrorizing the
residents of El Isk. EFFENDI, the sequel to the delightful police procedural PASHAZADE is
different in plot design as the who-done-it shares billing with terrorism and political and religious
intrigue. The key to why this novel and its predecessor are worth reading lies in Jon Courtenay
Grimwood's ability to paint a realistic futurist alternate universe in which the Ottoman Empire is
superpower as it has been for centuries. Raf is a terrific protagonist struggling with his personal
interacting negatively on his official duties. With cross genre appeal, EFFENDI is a strong work
Andrea Rains Waggener
ISBN: 0553382985, $14.00
Over salads that would not feed a mouse, her paper thin mother Audrey informs size 28 Ronnie
Tremayne that her obesity is driving the overweight customers away from Luscious Landing
Women's Clothing Boutique. The owner, her mom's friend Cheryl Land, expects Audrey to lose a
of weight or lose her store manager's position. Upset that even her boyfriend Gilbert cannot help
her, Ronnie overindulges in an eating binge. That night she dreams of a world where fat is
When she awakens her fantasy ahs turned out to be true. She is the centerfold of beauty with her
near three hundred pound body. Ronnie attends all the galas and men want her. However, as her
finds a lust for life, she eats less. Over time the perfect 28 becomes an imperfect 10, but inside
Ronnie detests what has become of her and misses her Gilbert. This fantasy romance is an
look at the American idealization of thinness and demonizing obesity. The story line is fun to
as Ronnie finds her role as an ALTERNATE BEAUTY in the new world order not quite as
captivating as she thought it would be; instead she learns that what is inside a person is what
not calories. Though health concerns of someone obese or too underweight are passed over too
lightly, fans will cherish Andrea Rains Waggener's intelligently insightful look at the cost to a
person's happiness of the constant drumming of the never too thin ideal.
ISBN: 0553587765, $6.99
At twenty three, former sheep turned tiger Gloria VanDeen seems on her way up the long
bureaucratic ladder at the Empire's department of Extraterrestrial Affairs better known as Dexta
though currently she is level XIII in charge of five planets amongst the 2643 annexed orbs.
However, a problem at backwater Mynjhino has surfaced that could derail her career. A report
that the local Myn populace is using semi-automatic rifles which are too advanced for them and
killed GalaxCo humans. Before she can investigate the massacre of sixteen people, she attends an
event hosted by her ex husband, Charles, now the Emperor. They share a night of sex that makes
media news. To escape the sensation of no longer being a faceless bureaucrat, Gloria decides to
the 862 light years from Times Square to Mynjhino. Nine days later, accompanied by her sheep of
assistant, she begins inquires into the seemingly ephemeral subservient Myn and another indigent
race because she learned of several additional slaughters. DEXTA is a terrific science fiction satire
that lampoons much of the government-corporate complex that runs the United States and global
economy. The structure at Dexta is brilliantly based upon a vast horizontal and vertical formal
classification system, but operates under animalistic informal interrelationships. Once on planet
tale spins into another direction though it never loses sight of the classification systems; Gloria the
tigress employs her boobs, brains, and body to uncover who is supplying the Myn and how to
this strange race treated like cattle by most on planet "white man's burden" humans. C.J. Ryan
provides a fabulous treasure that will have his appreciative audience anxiously awaiting his next
entry in this wonderful universe.
ISBN: 0553801856, $24.00, 416 pp.
Former criminal Ralph Arguello asks his childhood friend private detective Tres Navarre for help.
Apparently, the San Antonio Police Department believe he shot his wife detective Ana Deleon to
prevent her from accusing him of killing Franklin White, a crime boss' son, eighteen years ago.
believes Ralph who insists he did not kill White or shoot his spouse, because he knows his pal
not shoot the woman he would die for. While Ana lies comatose and the cops hunt for Ralph, he
Tres begin making inquiries into the White cold case. Tres assumes that Ana had figured out who
clubbed the serial killing White to death. That person set up Ralph to take the fall for both crimes
especially the present one. Tres knows he must uncover the real culprit before the police catch
of them and throw away the key he as an accessory to Ralph's attempted murder. In his sixth
appearance Tres remains competent and loyal as he works a cold case investigation while eluding
dragnet to arrest his friend for attempted murder and he for an accessory to the crime. The case is
intriguing especially the flashbacks to what happened to White, an individual who readers will
believe deserved to die and justice was served when he did, but the law sees that differently.
not quite at the multiple-award winning level of SOUTHTOWN due to several "conveniences"
force Tres and Ralph on the lam. MISSION ROAD is a strong entry that fans will enjoy as the
must serendipitously investigate two crimes almost two decades apart.
Up From Orchard Street
ISBN: 0553804006, $23.00
Teenage Manya and her spouse accompanied by their infant son Abraham Jacob left Odessa,
for New York, but her husband died during the journey. Manya obtained work at Grenspan's
on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When Jack turned four, Manya sent for her much younger sister
seven years old Bertha to live with her and her son. Her cooking gets Manya a following and soon
typesetter at the Jewish Forward enables her to open her own restaurant on Orchard Street. In the
1930s, Jack works in the fashion industry where he meets and marries the delicate from childhood
illnesses but lovely Lil, who is the opposite of her steel magnolia mother-in-law. They have two
children and adopt a starving black child whose name sounds almost like Clayton so they call him
Clayton. Through the three generations, Manya is the matriarchal soul of this Jewish family, but
changes are coming with a cafeteria opening nearby and a trip to Connecticut. LIFE FROM
ORCHARD STREET is told by one of the grandchildren Elka about life in a 1930s Jewish family,
which centers on "Bubby" Manya. Elka provides insider depth to life in the Lower East Side of
York as few writers have accomplished. With photos from the era and specific historical places
Bubby used to take me shopping on Orchard Street, which was in the early 1960s the best bargain
around if you were willing to negotiate) included in the fine plot, readers will conclude that this is
superb biographical fictionalized account paying homage to Eleanor Widmer's bubby as well as to
the late author who recently passed away.
Sleeping with Beauty
ISBN: 055338306X, $11.00
Her memory of school was being too tall and too clumsy for any of the boys to desire her. This
twenty-eight years old elementary school teacher and still wallflower Lucy Harper has doubts
the ten year anniversary reunion yet would like to show up as a sex goddess especially to knock
her high school unrequited crush Jason Prescott. Lucy hires the fairy godmothers of Glass
to turn her into a beautiful desirable princess. They succeed beyond her wildest dream and Jason
all over her seeking more than just a kiss. However, Grady Mathews who liked the old Lucy back
high school, but was to shy and too short to do anything about his feelings is unhappy with her
change and with Grady sniffing at his beloved's heels. He wants his former less glamorous Lucy
to show her that love is where it at not some shallow relationship with the hunk. Though the plot
a high school outsider coming back as the queen of the reunion has been told often, Donna
Kauffman refreshes the theme with her fairy tale SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY. The key to the
is actually Grady who brings the brisk newness to the story line by his having the same feelings for
Lucy that she has for Jason. However, he wants the real Lucy not the pumpkin at the ball who
desires. Though Jason comes across shallow next to a real man like Grady, readers will enjoy the
latest fairy godmothers' delightful makeover.
More Than a Scandal
ISBN: 0060575352, $5.99, 384 pp.
In 1811 shy Catherine Miller cannot believe her odious cousins want to displace her and others to
sell her home as they need money. She has no plan at first but knows she must act assertive or
However, a concept surfaces when she finds the diary of the Thief of Robinson Square. She will
reincarnation of the thief robbing from the affluent to save the orphanage she calls home. Major
Marcus Dunn has just arrived in England after spending time in Spain. He is on a critical key
mission, but realizes the reticent Catherine that he met years ago when she was a child is
masquerading as the Thief. Already attracted to her, he admires her spirit, but ponders whether to
expose her for her safety. However revealing who she is could destroy his mission by revealing
he truly is. MORE THAN A SCANDAL is an entertaining Regency romance starring two
protagonists, several fine supportive characters and the heroine's dislikable cousins. Catherine is
center of the fun story line as she willingly risks all to save the orphanage from her avaricious
relatives yet her solution is a dandy. Marcus is her perfect foible as he fears for her safety, wants
kiss her all over, and must hide his real reason for being home. Sari Robins provides a fine
ISBN: 0060782153, $5.99, 384 pp.
In 1848 Claudia J. Prattley visits London's Illustrated Times editor owner Derrick Middleton to
inform him that she will no longer illustrate the Society Fashion Report. He stays calm over her
gender deception as he thought C.J. Prattley was male, but cannot afford to lose her as her
has brought in a lot of new aristocratic customers. Claudia explains that her father the Viscount
expects her to marry soon though she does not want his choice. Derrick's Aunt Chloe tells him to
court the girl so that he can be her husband. Though he knows her father openly hates him,
agrees as not only is CJ intelligent but also pretty besides which she can save his paper. Derrick
deceives CJ into thinking he desires her and tricks her into marriage. As they work together on a
nasty case involving death and blackmail amidst the Ton including her father, Derrick needs to tell
his wife the truth about his ruse because secrets can destroy a relationship even between loved
COURTING CLAUDIA is a fabulous Victorian romance because of how easily Derrick accepts a
female illustrator and the need he has to have her continue to work for him though courting and
marriage seems an extreme solution. The story line is fun to follow as Derrick woos Claudia while
her father objects to him and tears into paper every chance he gets. A final twist will surprise the
audience as Robyn Dehart writes a solid historical tale that reminded this reviewer of the classic
play/movie Front Page except a romantic relationship between the stars in the middle of the
nineteenth century London.
This Enemy Town
ISBN: 0060587393, $6.99, 272 pp.
Hannah Ives is a survivor. She survived breast cancer and is coming on the five year mark of
free of the disease. She also survived the pain and media spotlight that shined on her husband Paul
when one of his students Jennifer Goodall claimed sexual harassment. Eventually she dropped the
charges and moved away from the Naval Academy. Paul and Hannah put their marriage back
together. When Hannah's new friend Dorothy Hart asks Hannah to help her with the set designs
the Glee Club musical, she agrees knowing the woman battles breast cancer. While working on
set she sees Jennifer who has been reassigned to work at the Naval Academy. The two women
in front of the cast. Not long afterward, Jennifer's murdered body is found in a trunk that is used
the set. Hannah is arrested for murder because the weapon has her fingerprints on it and was
wrapped around Hannah's bloody sweatshirt. A witness also put her at the scene even though she
was nowhere near the place. Not content to let the FBI handle the case, Hannah decides to
investigate on her own which puts her on a collision course with the killer. Anyone who has never
read a Hannah Ives mystery is missing a special treat. The heroine is a strong, determined and
kind-hearted woman, who is determined to find out who the killer is even though her lawyer,
husband and daughter advise against it. There are plenty of suspects who hated the victim enough
want to see her dead and readers will not be able to figure out who the culprit is until the author
chooses to reveal it. Award winning author Marcia Talley has written an exciting amateur sleuth
novel, a bit darker in tone than other books in this series.
Love According to Lily
ISBN: 0060597291, $5.99, 384 pp.
In 1884 Lady Lily Langdon knows she has always been attracted to her brother's best friend Lord
Whitby, but he never seemed to notice her as more than just a little sister. As an adult, Lily
that her adulation has turned into a full love, but Edward Wallis treats her as a younger sibling.
When Edward becomes gravely ill from what seems like Hodgkin's disease which killed his father,
Lily, encouraged by her American sister-in-law (see TO MARRY A DUKE), decides to take
in her hands so that she can always remember her beloved. Meanwhile Edward detests that his
odious cousin Magnus will inherit and probably destroy his sister Annabelle. Lily offers Edward
alternate plan to give him an heir, which he considers not just for Annabelle's safety, but also
because he wants Lily in his bed even if in some ways that feels like incest. She seduces him and
agree to marry, but miraculously the illness goes into remission leaving Edward to either disdain
rejoice with his now pregnant wife. LOVE ACCORDING TO LILY is a fabulous Victorian
that grips the audience with what does not occur as much as what does. Cryptic as that sounds
story line is character driven as the lead couple struggles with his pending death from illness
(thankfully not a drawn out attempted homicide) and their attraction especially on his part for one
another. Edward is realistically portrayed as he displays anger and impatience behaving like a
person facing mortality. Fans who have waited for Lily to star for a few years will appreciate her
An Offer He Can't Refuse
ISBN: 0060763485, $6.99 384 pp.
Palm Springs, California resident Tea Caruso is a highly regarded interior designer, who has spent
lifetime or at least since she was twelve and her father vanished, probably killed, loving and hating
her family. She loves every member especially her mother and sisters Joey and Eve, even her
grandfather Cosimo, but detests what he does for a living as the mob chief. Tea avoids him as if
she might catch the gangster disease. Johnny Magee hires Tea to redo his home, but actually has a
hidden agenda. He blames the Caruso family for devastating his father. He has dreamed for years
avenging his sire and now has the economic means to do so but needs someone to get him inside
family. He seduces Tea so that he can accompany her as her boyfriend to Cosimo's eightieth
bash. To his chagrin, Johnny believes he betrays his late father by falling in love with the enemy,
fears how she will react when she learns he deceived her. This is an intriguing second generation
romance in which the protagonists are tied together by a tragedy that cost the lives of both their
fathers. Johnny is a fascinating hunk who knows what he wants until he meets Tea as she is
like he expected from the granddaughter of the mob chief. Tea is ashamed of her background until
Johnny hires her and soon she sees the other part of her family. Though the mob activity is
somewhat underplayed and mostly kept off screen, Christie Ridgeway offers contemporary
book they can't refuse to read.
Witch Way To Murder
ISBN: 0060793481, $6.99, 304 pp.
Four years ago in a psychic vision, Ophelia Jensen saw her best friend die; she badgered the police
until they put out a missing person's report. They found his murdered body four days later and
Ophelia was the last person to see him, she became their number one suspect. Between being
harassed by the police and a reporter and feeling guilty because she was unable to save him and
Ophelia developed PTSD. She moved to Summerset, Iowa to be near her grandmother Abby who
a witch and a practitioner of magick. She keeps everyone but Abby at a distance until Rick Davis
comes to town. She doesn't believe for one minute he is a chemical salesman as he is interested in
the county's anhydrous ammonia thefts (an ingredient in cooking meth). They stumble over the
remains of a murdered man, Rick is beaten up, and she is warned off by threatening letters and a
dead coyote left on her doorstep. Ophelia would leave if she could but she comes to believe her
grandmother who says it is her and Rick's destiny to fight the evil that has pervaded the town.
once in a while a mystery comes along that is so refreshingly original with characters that are
unique that readers will need to obtain it immediately. WITCH WAY TO MURDER is one such
special book. Ophelia goes from thinking of her psi powers as a curse to a desire to learn magick;
Abby is everyone's favorite grandmother. These three dimensional characters burrow their way
the reader's heart from the start. It will be hard to wait for the next book in this beguiling
Daring the Duke
ISBN: 0060762233, $5.99, 384 pp.
The Duke of Marston Stephen Chalmers failed to catch Hermes the thief who apparently retired
until now. For an unknown reason, Hermes has committed six robberies in a week, but this time
Stephen knows that the long assumed male thief is a she, Audrey Kendrick; once he has her
accomplices he will send her and her team to Newgate. Audrey detests the blackmailing Travers
who has her sister Faye as a hostage to force Hermes to do his bidding. Travers is upset to see
Stephen "Bloody" Chalmers with Audrey and warns her to stay away from the gentleman spy.
However, it is difficult to avoid someone who seems to be everywhere you are. As Stephen sets
his final trap to capture the entire Hermes gang, he finds his admiration for Audrey's courage and
daring grow and his desire for her interfere with his thought process. Audrey falls in love with the
forbidden fruit of an aristocrat who wants to send her to Newgate, Australia or his bed, but Faye's
safety must come before her betraying heart. Though readers know who the thief, her "handler"
the sleuth are from the start, DARING THE DUKE is a fabulous Regency romantic suspense due
a terrific triangular cat, rat, and mouse game between the key threesome. Fans will enjoy
dilemma as he has fallen in love with the obsession he wants to send to prison. Audrey is a brave
individual who sub-genre fans will emphasize with about her dilemma, hoping that somehow she
overcomes the impossible with Stephen at her side.
ISBN: 0060590386, $12.95
Wannabe actress Raveena Rai has failed to make it in Hollywood so when her agent informs her
he has a starring role in a Bollywood movie, she immediately accepts the job. Without waiting for
anyone to change their mind, Raveena quickly heads to Bombay where she assumes fame and
fortune await her. However, upon reaching her destination in India Raveena finds nothing is
remotely like that described by her agent she now considers slime. Her hotel is a dump, but she
cannot move in with her Uncle Heeru as his home is overrun by wild pigeons. Even worse, her
is not written and she must dance more than act. To make her stay more miserable her director
a hands on method touching her everywhere while trying to get her on the casting couch; all this
without a script. On the positive side of this disaster is her leading man, mega hunk Siddharth,
Raveena believes is her destiny though she has a few rivals who consider the most popular
Bollywood actor of the moment as fair game. Using stereotypes as support cast, Sonia Singh
lampoons the Bollywood movie industry for making inane films that are so undemanding and
unoriginal yet at the same time Raveena toasts the industry for its vigor and energy. The story line
well written as the audience wonders whether Raveena will get the leading man and finish the
while eluding the fast hands of the lecherous director. Contemporary readers will welcome this
absorbing look at the dynamic Indian film industry.
She's Got Issues
ISBN: 0060756969, $12.95
Because she is effervescent and optimistic everyone assumes that Chloe Rose is shallow and
to see the depths of darkness. Currently she works as an assistant to an ambitious assistant to the
Promotions Director of Issues Magazine. Chloe always tries to do her best regardless of the
dumbing down project that her boss Ruth dumps on her. Ruth detests her assistant unable to deal
with the constant idealist who makes Pollyanna look like Murphy. However, being a realist, Ruth
cannot truly afford to fire Bubbles because Chloe may be naive when it comes to human nature,
her ideas are terrific, which in turn makes Ruth look good. However, even Chloe knows that Ruth
abuses her, but on the other hand she does have access to nirvana, the shoe closet. Chloe seems
sweet and načve yet that works because of the reaction of the secondary characters towards her;
people either love her positive approach and volunteer to help or loathe her upbeat attitude and
to hire a hit man to silence her. This Pollyanna chick lit in the office tale is often amusing, but
readers will also want Chloe to tell Ruth where to stick it.
The Price of Indiscretion
ISBN: 0060740574, $6.99, 384 pp.
In 1805 New York, Miranda Cameron consults with her two younger sisters about her going to
England to marry a wealthy aristocrat. Having fallen in love with a half breed
Miranda has doubts, but feels her indiscretion with Alex ten years ago hurt her siblings. So with
prospects and little money, she agrees to go with Lady Overstreet, who will arrange a match for a
fee. In the Azores, Captain Alex Haddon of the Warrior is shocked to see Miranda is here. He
forgot or forgave her for what happened between them ten years ago. At a party in her honor, he
nasty to her, but also insists they are married even if it is Pawnee style and they never
their vows. A drunken Alex abducts Miranda. As they sail to London they argue until they make
love for the first time. In London, Miranda resides in the home of Alex's business partner while he
refuses to see her. Instead he tells the wife of his partner to find her an aristocrat husband.
cries as he has left her again, but vows to marry well for her sisters' sakes. The strong lead couple
with a solid support cast enhancing the plot turns THE PRICE OF INDISCRETION into a fine
historical romance. Fans will appreciate the dilemma facing the likable heroine as she must choose
between responsibility and loyalty to her beloved sisters vs. her beloved. Although at times Alex's
behavior seems confusing, readers will appreciate this fine early nineteenth century tale and look
forward to the sisters starring in future novels.
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire
ISBN: 0060751967, $5.99, 384 pp.
Though he has been a vampire for several centuries, Roman Draganesti, CEO chemist of
Industries, hates being God's abomination in spite of doing great things for humanity and his
like inventing synthetic blood and blood cuisines. However, his success has made it a safer world
vampires, but a splinter group the Malcontents believe that biting humans is the only way to dine
a superior species. Roman tests a new device, but his fang falls out. He must get it replanted
or his vampiric healing prowess will close the gap permanently. Dentist Shanna Whelan works
at a clinic though she fears blood since someone killed her friend in front of her. Roman arrives
holding a wolf's tooth, but she refuses to place an animal's fang in his mouth. However, he rescues
her from Russians and vampire Ivan Petrovsky, who want her dead since her testimony
one of them. Instead of gratitude she knees him in his testicles, which hurts severely. Still he takes
her with him; soon they fall in love, but relationships between vampires and mortals have lifespan
issues although Ivan plans to bite both of them out of existence. Mindful of MaryJanice
works, the key to this satirical supernatural romance is that the species vampire comes across as
genuine within a modern age context. The lead couple is a likable star-crossed duo while the
support cast augments the belief that vampires live. Though the climax seems rushed and the large
vampire population contains many lacking discipline making it impossible to accept that most
humans remain unaware they exist, sub-genre readers will enjoy this biting tale and look forward
an upcoming sequel.
It's In His Kiss
ISBN: 006053124X, $6.99, 384 pp.
In 1815, his father orders Gareth St. Clair to marry Mary Winthrop as the family needs the money
from her dowry. He is stunned because Mary may be a year older than him, but no more than just
child in her mind. He refuses so his sire tosses him out while explaining he is not his son as
else is his biological father. Stunned, Gareth vows to learn the truth about his roots. Ten years
Gareth finally has a clue, the diary of his Italian grandmother. He asks intelligent linguist Hyacinth
Bridgerton to translate it into English for him. As they work together on the translation and
interpretation, they fall in love, but someone willing to kill wants to stop them before secrets
Fans of the wonderful Bridgerton tales have watched Hyacinth grow up but remain consistent
personality wise from her first appearance as a child through the romantic capers of her six
until finally her story is told. The seventh and final Regency of this generation siblings is a terrific
entry, one of the best if not the best in this strong line as the audience has waited to see who can
match up with the brilliant assertive Hyacinth. Readers will not be disappointed with Gareth as
Quinn delivers under extreme pressure to find the right hero.
ISBN: 0060591234, $5.99, 384 pp.
Undercover Navy SEAL Hawk McMillan detests his current assignment, pretending to be a
working for evil Dilaver especially as he acts helplessly while atrocities occur. Still he knows the
importance of the assignment to find the weapon of mass destruction that Dilaver apparently
possesses. CIA operative Amber Hutchins has worked undercover for four years in Macedonia.
hosts the Last Resort, an American style cafe in which she obtains information that she passes on
her contacts. Amber and Hawk meet, but neither wants a partner especially one in which nether
control their desire for the other. Still they have no choice as they work together trying to bring
down Dilaver and his cohorts while hoping to not fall in love. THE HUNTER is a terrific direct
sequel to the fabulous THE PROTECTOR as the latter novel ends with Hawk joining Dilaver's
to bring him down. The story line is action-packed but Hawk's lament makes it character driven as
he feels the taint of his assignment causing him to allow the slaughter of the innocent to occur that
will haunt his soul for the rest of his life. Amber is his only light as his disturbed conscience
the end vs. the mean. This is a high quality thriller.
Summer Garden Murder
ISBN: 0758208170, $22.00, 304 pp.
TV show host and gardener Louse Eldridge is shocked when she sees Peter Hoffman, a murderer
who she apprehended five years ago. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent four
years in a mental hospital in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia. He has the audacity
show his face at his old stomping grounds and makes it seem like he and Louise are going to have
meeting to iron out their differences. Before that can happen, his wife Phyllis overhears a
conversation where he sells his arms factory before he leaves the country. His wife is left with the
house and a stipend. Soon after that meeting Peter disappears and an anonymous tip leads the
to Louise's garden where they find his body. When another corpse is found on her property, it
like Louise might go to jail unless she finds the killer. Readers who love good, complex and
refreshing amateur stealth tales without any blood or gore will want to read SUMMER GARDEN
MURDER. The protagonists is a plucky and independent sort not content to let others find the
murderer but is determined to ferret out the person herself because it is her life that is on the line.
Ann Ripley has written another exciting garden mystery that is so absorbing readers will read it in
Raining Cats and Dogs
ISBN: 0758208138, $22.00, 266 pp.
For a woman who likes order and routine, Melanie Travis' life has dissolved into chaos ever since
she married Sam because he moved into her home so that her son wouldn't have to change
and neighborhoods. Unfortunately her six room house was not big enough to hold two adults, one
active boy, and five standard poodles. While they are looking for a bigger house, Melanie escapes
one night a week to the South Avenue Obedience Club with her dog Faith. The club members
their dogs to the Winston Pumpernill Nursing Home in Greenwich so the residents can play with
canines. One of the members of the club Paul Livingston has his great-aunt living there and he
her dearly. Melanie can understand why when she meets her but that initial introduction is their
meeting because someone murdered her while the canine club was there. The leader of the club
challenges Melanie to find the murderer knowing that she solved other homicides so once again
takes up the mantle of a sleuth. Laurien Berenson can always be counted on to write a thoroughly
enjoyable who-done-it. RAINING CATS AND DOGS is more humorous than some of the other
books in the series as Melanie tries to deal with too many people and dogs in a small house, a new
sexy neighbor whose husband is always on the road, and looking for a house that will meet
needs especially her canine caper crew while trying to find a murderer. The characters in this
continue to change and evolve making it impossible for fans to grow bored.
Much Ado about Magic
ISBN: 0451215915, $7.99, 384 pp.
In 1755 London Lucinda Malcolm Pemroke hides in an alcove of the Royal Art Gallery that
the infamous painting she drew just to see reactions. Her painting depicts the sinking of a yacht
the heir to Lansdowne on board while his cousin laughs. Everyone assumes that the Prophetess as
everyone calls Sinda assumes from her painting that the cousin Trevelyan Rochester murdered his
relative to inherit the estate. Trev has just returned from years overseas planning to find a wife in
polite society. Instead he is a pariah the center of a scandal caused by a painting from the artist
LMP. Trev confronts Lucinda to withdraw her portrayal, but she is not what he expected. She is
stunned to see him as she never met Trev before drawing the picture before the vessel sank. As
continues to pursue Sinda in disguise as artist Lucy Jones, they fall in love even while she paints
pictures that begin to clarify what happened to his cousin and one that is not quite finished
with him in the buff. There is much ado about this fine historical fantasy romance with a touch of
amateur sleuth to enhance its magic. Readers will enjoy the relationship between the fey artist and
the beleaguered "model" who leans more towards confronting her with his kisses than forcing her
absolve him of the rumors that he murdered his cousin. Sub-genre fans will want to read all the
charming Malcolm Magic novels (see THE TROUBLE WITH MAGIC, THIS MAGIC
and MERELY MAGIC).
Invitation to Murder
ISBN: 0451216342, $6.99, 240 pp.
In the resort town of Rebel Forge, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jennifer Shane opens up
Custom Card Creations after failing to persuade her older sister Sara Lynn to expand her shop
Forever Memories. While waiting for her first customer, she receives a strange phone call asking
Annie followed by a scream of terror and silence. When her brother Sheriff Bradford arrives to
peace between his sisters, Jennifer tells him about the strange phone call. Not long afterward she
gets another call, but silence greets her on the other end. When she goes home, another odd call
occurs. The next day she receives an envelop with only her first name written on the outside with
postage or other marks; inside is a letter in which someone tells her to forget what she heard or
will be next. She shows the note to Bradford who leaves her to investigate the death of a young
woman. Trying to start a business, Jennifer has inadvertently been yanked into a homicide all
because of a wrong number. INVITATION TO MURDER is a wonderful police
procedural-amateur sleuth investigative tale. The story line combines family rivalry and nurturing
inside an intriguing who-done-it as an innocent Jennifer is unwillingly yanked into the middle of a
homicide investigation. The three siblings make the mystery work as they seem like real siblings
loving and arguing with one another even as Bradford works the case while Jennifer tries to keep
out but fate pushes her back into the center. This is a bright cozy that fans will welcome.
ISBN: 0451216237, $6.99, 384 pp.
In 1817 Colonel Lord Marcus Cordell returns to England after twenty years away at war only to
receive a summons from the Black Phoenix fellowship. The mysterious organization wants him to
hunt for an upper-class serial killer; making it easier for Marcus to hide his mission is that he and
popular amongst the Ton Lady Eve Halliday will masquerade as an betrothed couple. Marcus can
see immediately that his "fiancee" hates his guts, but he has no idea why. His instincts prove
as Eve wants to destroy him based on letters received between 1810 and 1813 from close friend
Johnny Brandon on the Iberian front. As they spend time together Marcus falls in love with his
partner, but though he believes she reciprocates he sense that her priority to destroy him remains
top of her list, but he still has no explanation why even as he risks his life to keep her safe from
target that has targeted his beloved for death. DANGEROUS PASSIONS, the sequel to the fine
DANGEROUS DECEPTIONS, is an interesting historical romantic suspense thriller starring two
solid protagonists, and a heroine who, though falling in love, believes her heart is betraying her
The story line is well written from the beginning when Sir Peregrine of the mysterious Black
organization admits to Marcus things often go awry and stays at a fever pitch until after the last
murder is resolved. Though readers never learn why Lady Eve suddenly became open minded
though disagreeing with her beloved over the Brandon scenario, fans will enjoy this tense tale and
look forward to all the threads tied up in the finale.
Diagnosis Murder: The Past Tense
ISBN: 0451216148, $6.99 344 pp.
In Los Angeles, rain has made the area a flood stricken mud hole and when Dr. Mark Sloan walks
along the beach he is shocked to find a dead woman in a mermaid's costume near his home. When
goes to work at Community General Hospital, his friend and medical examiner Dr Amanda
tells him that the victim was injected with a drug to induce paralysis and in her stomach was a
memory card. When they get it developed, it is a picture of a storm that happened in 1962
forty-three years ago in the same month. The killer is sending Mark a message because that storm
began the events that led to Mark solving his first homicide. Five student nurses were killed
they were involved in a blackmail scheme headed by a doctor who was also murdered. The
who was killed turns out to be the daughter of a patient he treated the night it all began in 1962.
Mark is determined to find the killer who seems to enjoy taunting him even if it means putting his
own life in danger. Lee Goldberg is a very visual writer so each scene comes alive in the mind of
reader, almost as of this were actually watching an episode of the television show. The author is
great at creating characters that are three dimensional and life like and he sets up the who-done-in
such a way so that almost anyone could be the killer. Readers will thoroughly enjoy this very
exciting and complicated mystery.
ISBN: 0451215818, $6.99, 304 pp.
A decade has passed since Kiki Douglas won Miss Texas and was first runner-up in the Miss
America contest. She has since been on several soap operas with her character always ending up
dead. Currently out of work, she plans to go home to Fredericksburg to attend her brother's
wedding to a Jersey girl in which she hopes to bring some class to the reception although one of
other bridesmaids was her ex-husband's lawyer in the divorce. The New York Post catches her in
provocative pose with rising music superstar Tom Brock, making it seem sleazy as he is married.
They make quite a scandal in which the town's gross DJs label Kylie the most hated woman in
Manhattan. Calling her a housebreaker and other vile names, the worst comment is they inform
world she is soap opera has been at thirty four. Heeding her best friend's advice Kylie hides in a
where she meets the playboy owner Maurizio Tomb. As they fall in love, both misjudges the
of compassion of the other as the media paints both as shallow hedonists. This amusing chick lit
stars a female who seems schizoid at times, a tabloid delightful bimbo turning into a Socrates
advising her pals and her beloved. Though linked to the overall wedding of the Bridesmaid
Chronicles the story line never really ties back to book one FIRST DATE by Karen Kendall. Still
lead couple is a fine pairing of two individuals much deeper than the media's air brushed fifteen
second sound bite.
ISBN: 0425204456, $6.99, 256 pp.
Although Clare Cosi and Matteo Allegro have been divorced for years due to his former cocaine
habit and his numerous infidelities they are co-managers of the historically famous Village Blend
Coffeehouse. Eventually they will buy out then shares owned by Matteo's mother and own it
outright. Right now business is brisk as they host a party by fashion accessories designer Lottie
Harmon who is making a come back after closing down the business in the eighties. Coffee
Tucker Burton is upset that his ex-lover Ricki Flatt is there with another man. He makes a nasty
comment that is heard by many of the partners and then has the waitress deliver coffee to Lottie
Ricky and his date drink it instead. They both keel over and Ricky dies, the victim of cyanide
and his partner is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Tucker is immediately arrested while
Clare vows to investigate until she unmasks the real killer so he can be freed. Cleo Coyle follows
the success of her first mystery THROUGH THE GRINDER with another delightfully percolating
and exciting mystery. The strength of this series lies in the characters who are drawn true to life
readers find them believable. This enriches the credibility of the storyline. The heroine is amusing
times as she tries to fight her attraction for her ex-husband who she knows will never change.
The Ghost and the Dead Deb
ISBN: 0425199444, $5.99, 260 pp.
The Buy the Book Bookstore in Rhode Island, co-owned by genteel widow woman Penelope
Thornton McClure and her Aunt Sadie, is haunted by the spirit of Jack Shepard, a private eye
was killed there fifty years ago while working a case. Pen is the only one who can communicate
telepathically with the ghost in her dreams. She is excited that true crime writer Angel Stark is
giving a reading at her store from a book she wrote about the death of her friend Bethany . At the
reading, Bethany's sister Vicky makes a scene before being escorted out by friends and Angel flirts
with Sadie's friend's nephew Johnny. The next day Angel's body is found in the water a rope
her neck. Pieces of the same rope were found in Johnny's truck. During the same time period
goes missing. Johnny is the number one suspect especially since he disappeared but Pen doesn't
believe he is a killer and with help from Jack, she sets out to prove it. Although it sounds
paradoxical this is a hard boiled cozy; Jack is a Philip Marlow type while Pen acts like Miss
This is a beguiling and bewitching mystery that will enchant readers as an old fashioned
partners with a gruff ghost amusingly trying to blunt his sharp opinions in order not to offend
Penelope's sensibilities. Alice Kimberly is a talented storyteller who allows the reader the fantasy
believing a ghost can be confined to a bookstore and fall for the present owner. There are plenty
separate twists and turns and red herrings that will maintain reader interest in the who-done-it, but
is the ghost and the bookstore owner who make the tale.
Candy Apple Dead
ISBN: 0425205320, $5.99, 290 pp.
After her marriage ended because she caught her husband in their bed with his pregnant girlfriend,
corporate lawyer Abby Shaw returned home to Paradise, Colorado to help her Aunt Grace run
Divinity Candy shop. When Grace died, Abby inherited the shop and is busy trying to carry on her
aunt's legacy. She is totally off men until Brandon Mills, owner of Man about Town, asks her out.
He stands her up but also misses an important business meeting; Abby walks over to his store to
check on him but the building is dark. A car pulls out of the lot and she sees it is an auto owned
her brother Wyatt. The next day she learns Brandon's store burned down with him in it. Her
becomes the number one murder suspect because he was seen arguing with Brandon over his
relationship with Wyatt's wife. Abby doesn't mention seeing her brother's vehicle at the crime
but gossip about the spat between Wyatt and Brandon add to her sibling appearing guilty. In an
effort to clear Wyatt from a murder charge, Abby starts asking a lot of questions which comes to
attention of someone who is not afraid to kill again if she gets too close to learning the truth.
CANDY APPLE DEAD is a sweet who-done-it that will appeal to readers of amateur sleuth and
cozy mysteries. The heroine learns some shocking truths about her brother, his wife and Brandon
and comes away from the investigation wiser about people. Readers will adore Abby whose
to family is admirable but it is Brandon's dog Max who she adopts to save from the pound who
steals the show.
The Egyptian Coffin
ISBN: 042520541X, $13.00, 272 pp.
In 1830 seventeen years old heiress Lady Lilian Westmorland enjoyed her country life in West
Coventry, England in spite of her late father's scandal though currently she mourns the death of
mother. Lili especially loves to ride however a near fatal riding accident leaves her unconscious
the horse had to be killed. While recovering from her severe injuries, her guardian Micah.
allegedly considering the cool weather decides that the warmth of Egypt will help his niece heal
faster. However, Lord Ambrose Malfine learns that the daughter Lilian of his childhood friend
involved in other incidents besides the equine spill. As he assesses what he learns, he concludes
many coincidences and wonders if someone wants her dead so he takes it upon as a token of his
regard for her father to travel to Egypt to see her safe. Ambrose will soon find himself in Cairo
battling evil English slave traders with the stake being Lilian's freedom. The sequel to LET
BE BLOOD is a terrific late Regency thriller that starts with a superb opening as Ambrose
why he has an Egyptian coffin in his English home and never slows down until his final
with. a malevolent being. The story line is fast-paced, but provides a deep look at early nineteenth
century Egypt especially Cairo. Ambrose is terrific as he heroically tries to keep the daughter of
late friend safe though she is the target of some nasty individuals. Joy to Jane Jakeman for
a terrific historical tale.
Murder Never Forgets
ISBN: 0425205851, $23.95, 304 pp.
Carla was working at Susie's health Food Store in Santa Cruz when the Green Brach Manor
Home calls to inform her that her father, a victim of Alzheimer's, had deteriorated and will have to
be moved to the "no hope house" for closer managed care. Carla believes her beloved dad, once a
renowned Egyptologist, would die in the stifling prison like edifice. She journeys to Berkley to be
with him and while there asks for a job as an aide assisting patients with their medicine, etc if her
can stay in the more independent facility. Administrator Mrs. Sisal hires her. However, odd
occurrences begin to happen at the Green Branch starting with a fire, meds missing, the death of
employee, tampered food, and her father blaming everything on a dead woman at the beach that is
either near the home or the Pyramids. Mrs. Sisal demands that Carla, who is very popular
the patients, spy on them and the staff to learn who is causing the troubles if she and her father are
to stay at Green Branch. Reluctantly she begins spying not realizing the danger she places herself
by doing so. MURDER NEVER FORGETS combines an intriguing amateur sleuth tale with some
Egyptologist elements inside a deep family drama. Readers get a taste of what happens at a
home which operates more like a hospital prison than a nurturing of our seniors facility. Thus the
story line grips readers on two levels: that of the mystery and that of senior citizen health care;
together they blend into a fine contemporary thriller.
ISBN: 0425206610, $5.99, 272 pp.
Former long time Brooklyn resident Lili Marion wonders how a city gal can be street smart when
she lives in a place without streets when she earned the cottage as remittance from Tom Ford for
developing a mutual fund perspective. Besides her philosophical musings, she enjoys living in
Walden Corners, New York though most of the residents remain leery of a city slicker. She makes
friends with Nora Johnson and likes the open space for her to convert gourds into works of art or
useful pretty functions. On the first day of hunting season, someone kills Nora's husband Coach.
fears she heard the scream of death, which she originally assumed was a nightmare. As she gathers
her wits about her, Lili decides to investigate the homicide of the spouse of her only upstate friend
not realizing she sets herself up as a prime target. Though readers will question why Lili had to
investigate the murder even with her best local pal involved and threatened, fans will appreciate
fine amateur sleuth who-done-it. Lili brings her Brooklynese into her inquiries that drive the local
police crazy as she interferes in their investigation. Readers will appreciate this urban take no
prisoner protagonist as she seeks to uncover the identity of the killer while providing the audience
with a glimpse including making a pendant into the world of gourds.
Eye of the Wolf
ISBN: 0425205851, $23.95, 336 pp.
The poetic macabre message shakes up Father John O'Malley, the Jesuit Pastor at St. Francis on
Wind River Plantation. The caller stated that revenge has been taken with deaths. Not long
afterward, at the sight of an 1874 massacre in which the Shoshone betrayed the Arapaho to the
cavalry, three Shoshone are found murdered with their bodies ritually left to look just like the
historical slaughter here. Frankie Montana, who was seen recently arguing with the Shoshone and
has quite a rap sheet is charged with the triple homicides. His lawyer Vicky Holden believes
who insists he is innocent because she knows this low life would do just about anything but not
murder. As she mounts a defense, she wonders if the culprit is cunningly trying to cause an Indian
war between the two tribes for some unknown reason or a psychopath is avenging the century
slaughter. The latest Wind River Reservation Mystery, EYE OF THE WOLF, is a fabulous legal
thriller that uses brutal late nineteenth century carnage as the apparent motive to twenty-first
murders. The story line moves out rather quickly when Father O'Malley listens to the high pitched
poetry of the killer on his voice machine and never takes a breather as Vicky tries to prove her
did not commit the crime though circumstantially he appears heading for the fall. Margaret Coel is
her best with this tale that affirms why so many readers feel she is the heir apparent to the
ISBN: 0425206335, $7.99, 352 pp.
Denver Independent investigative report Kara McMillan is as tough a journalist as there is.
However, inside she has doubts especially when it comes to relationships with men accentuated by
the father of her child walking out on them. Colorado State Senator Reece Sheridan admires Kara
a reporter, but also wants to make love with her, believing that underneath her armor is a
woman waiting for the right man. He wants to be the right man. As he tries to penetrate her
she reluctantly begins to give into the attraction she feels by sleeping with the enemy, a politician.
However, the highly ethical senator is soon embroiled in a scandal that Kara needs to report on a
nearby Adams County plant brazenly violating environmental laws spewing pollutions into the air
and water. As Kara's investigates, pressure on her lover to get her to stop mounts while others go
more direct route to end heir inquiries including killing her if need be. EXTREME EXPOSURE is
wonderful investigative tale with plenty of red herrings and terrific twists and turns that keep the
reader on the edge of their seats. The Denver area is cleverly described so that the audience will
think they are a mile high in the Rockies yet the lush descriptions enhances the mystery. With all
clearly the reason this is must reading for the suspense crowd lies in wondering whether Reece is
heroine's friend and lover or her worst nightmare.
Susan Johnson and Jasmine Haynes
ISBN: 0425203034, $14.00
"Wedding Surprise" by Susan Johnson. Schoolteacher Sofie Piper is very attracted to football
Jake Finn. He feels the same way. However, Sofie believes she has reasons to doubt the sincerity
the coach; he needs a Hail Mary to persuade the woman he loves that she can trust him with her
heart. "Double the Pleasure" by Jasmine Haynes. Thirty years old secretary Kristin Prescott loves
boss Ross Sloan, but he only seems interested in her spreadsheets not her sheets. Not wanting to
break the organizational rules on fraternizing between workers, but needing to reach Ross,
Kristin pretends to be her outgoing sexy twin sister Kirby. She succeeds in getting Ross' love but
heartbroken as he has fallen in love with portrayal of her sister. "Skin Deep" by Jasmine Haynes.
Kirby Prescott is both happy and sick of her sister so in love with Ross. Deep in her heart she is
elated because she loves her twin, but also is jealous as she wants her own Ross. To alleviate her
current sadness, Kirby decides she needs a taste of Jack Taylor. Though in the past he has settled
crumbs, Jack wants more this time from the woman he loves, but how to convince her without
thrown out with the dirty water. These are three extremely hot novellas that the audience of erotic
romance will enjoy. The use of profanity adds color to the fine story lines. Though "Wedding
Surprise" never fully develops the lead couple's transitional relationship, fans will enjoy their
and especially take immense pleasure from Jasmine Haynes' twin billing.
ISBN: 0425204421, $6.99, 336 pp.
Wealthy recluse Leonard Hamilton a offers deal to Pulitzer Prize journalist Jordan Walker that the
latter cannot refuse. In exchange for his cooperation in writing an authorized biography with no
strings attached, Jordan is to learn what really happened to his son Todd, who recently died in a
boating incident on Chesapeake Bay along with his alleged boyfriend Glenn Borrow.
to either man, the Crandall Consortium is interested in Todd also especially since he and Glenn
somehow busted into a highly guarded facility Maple Creek in Princes George County, Maryland.
Interestingly, a friend asks Congressional Aid Lindsay Fleming to look into what happened to one
the Maple Creek guards. At Senator Conroy's party, though strangers Jordan and Lindsay
a warm embracing glance across a crowded room. When they meet, he touches her hand and both
are stunned. That night he dreams of seeing her naked while she fantasizes in her sleep of being
him. As the two connect, they work together to learn what happened at Maple Creek with neither
prepared for the danger they encounter or for the love they feel. BEYOND CONTROL is a fun
fantasy romantic thriller that plays out on two interwoven levels. The story line is action-packed
from the opening sequence when Maple Creek is invaded and never slows down until the lead
couple learns what happened there and to Todd. The tale also contains a delightful romance
Jordan and Lindsay that starts off with A Strangers in the Night encounter at Conroy's gala and
plays out on physical and paranormal planes. Though the military- scientific complex seems
delightfully over the top, Rebecca York provides a strong suspense-laden romantic tale.
ISBN: 042520409X, $23.95
McHenry County Sheriff Dave Manger shows the skull nailed to a tree with a ribbon hanging
to Illinois State Police Special Agent Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt. She realizes that there is more to
skull, which reminds her of Poe's The Gold Bug and regains a gold scarab that the child witness
taken from the crime scene. Brenda Kaczmarck is the first victim of the killer. Genevieve
is next, but Hewitt already sees a weird pattern forming that the culprit is paying homage to Edgar
Allen Poe with these homicides that emulate his work. Hewitt turns to academia for a Poe expert,
her former lover Professor Scott Gregory to expedite the dark literary pattern so that they might
stop and capture the Raven before he finishes in a nevermore blaze of infamy. Though some
may initially object to the coincidence of an ex-lover Poe expert, FOR EDGAR is a brilliant police
procedural that uses literary references from the great writer as crime clues and messages from the
serial killer. Elizabeth is a dedicated law enforcement official struggling to silence the Raven's
macabre reign of terror before others end in the rue morgue. Gregory provides her with able
professional interpretation of Poe's works. A final arc of the pendulum will surprise yet excite
readers who Rusch to read the delightful FOR EDGAR.
The Perfect Rake
ISBN: 0425203956, $7.99
In 1816, Lord Dereham uses a riding whip in a rage on his seventeen years old granddaughter
in the locked attic. Nineteen years old sister Charity sends Faith's twin Hope to get the oldest
Prudence to intercede with their abusive grandfather. Charity has welts on her face and Hope on
wrists as both tried to intervene. Pru frees Faith and tells him in eight weeks she will be
and the guardian of her siblings; they will leave even without a cent. When he hurts himself in a
while angrily running after Pru, she takes her sisters to the home of their Uncle Oswald where she
hopes to find them husbands. Oswald takes in his battered nieces, but insists Pru marry first. She
informs him that she is engaged to recluse Edward, a duke. Pru goes to see Edward to enlist his
help, but his rakish cousin Gideon Carradice intercepts her. She thinks he is Edward while he
she is his beloved and wants her as his wife though his withdrawn cousin seeks a spouse too. As
expected, Anne Gracie provides a wonderful Regency romance that through her ensemble of
secondary cast brings to life the era especially the rights of male guardians to abuse and use their
female wards. Pru is a courageous person standing up to her violent vile grandfather who blames
late daughter-in-law for her Jezebel ways that killed his son in sin. He takes his feelings outon
children. Fans will appreciate Gideon's efforts to prove to his beloved that he is the man for her,
first must overcome his own duplicity. THE PERFECT RAKE is a near perfect sub-genre
ISBN: 0425203972, $6.99
In 1851, while she waits for her cousin Charlotte to arrive, widow Lady Passion Elizabeth Dare
always behaved in perfect aristocratic decorum until she sees the hunk across the Crystal Palace
His eyes speak desire and his touch immediately goes to her breasts. That afternoon, Mark dares
do what no one has done before to her, release the passion in her as they make love all day.
However, Mark's brother Matthew reminds him that he is to marry Charlotte Lawrence who he
not yet met because he was too busy making love at the exhibition hall where they were to meet.
Instead Mark tells Matthew he had the most incredible afternoon delight in his life, but does not
even know the passionate stranger's name. He dares to want more from the widow, but also
he must marry her cousin due to a blackmail scheme involving their mothers. This erotic Victorian
romance will elicit moans form the audience whenever the lead male makes his mark. Passion is
perfect partner, but he is betrothed to her cousin instead. The story line focuses on the twosome
struggling with desire that leads to love while he is pledged to another. Luis Valdez heats up the
with a fine historical starring two ardent lovers defying society's norms and owes her audience a
sequel starring a nice young lady who deserves the best in spite of her gene pool.
ISBN: 042520264X, $14.00
Solicitor Chloe cannot say no to anyone even hiring Ariel the intern who cannot spell her own
though her boss did not give her much choice Her friend Lucy sees the world through pink
glasses which impacts her on and off relationship with Tom. He in turn loves Lucy, but loves
single much more. Rounding out the quintet are neighborhood fighter Meg and gentle caring
These five are best friends with Lucy and Tom also having been lovers and sharing at least seven
exclusive but short run relationships; the other trio knows they belong together forever if Tom
would stop sniffing at other women. Chloe enlists Percy to assist her with helping Meg with a
relationship. He follows that up with an effort to bring Tom and Lucy back together, but she
the pink glasses so she can know he is the one and he without chasing other skirts as she is the
Meanwhile Percy likes Chloe, but is shy about how he feels so she enlists help from her girlfriends
she finds his reticence quite attractive. Though obviously a Friends chick lit imitation,
FICTION is a madcap contemporary tale starring five distinct likable protagonists. The
friendship and loving, are fun to follow as each intrudes in the lives of the others trying to support
and help their buddies. Secondary characters enhance the overall craziness of the quintet
interrelationships by further turning the tale into a Friends-lite.
What Dreams May Come
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rebecca York and Robin D. Owens
ISBN: 0425202682, $14.00, 288 pp.
"Knightly Dreams" by Sherrilyn Kenyon. After catching her boyfriend Rob Carpenter in a position
with his secretary that would make them the centerfold lovers of the Karma Sutra, Taryn Edwards
swears off love. That is until Esther the bookstore owner introduces her to an old fashioned
in shining armor, Sparhawk the Brave. That is literature so how come he is by her side and she is
love. "Shattered Dreams" by Rebecca York. Near Monterrey, California Miranda Grove feels
while her once teenage lover Caleb Marcuso sculptures her in stone to replace the flesh and blood
still desires even though several years have passed since their families separated them. Yet they
a psychic connection perhaps because their love never stopped flowing, but will that prove
to bring them together before as she knows only he can save her from an evil trying to kill her?
"Road of Adventure" by Robin D. Owens. Jake thought Boris the cat is the ugliest creature he
saw. When the feline talked to Jake he almost soiled his underwear. Boris is back from the beyond
to fix an error he inadvertently caused during one of his lives. Jake and Shauna were supposed to
lovers forever, but somehow failed in spite of their destiny. The ghostly cat plans to give them a
second chance together in love on the "Road of Adventure". These are three fabulous fantasy
romances that enable the audience to escape into a world where the reading is fun, fine, and
Someone like You
ISBN: 0425203883, $6.99, 368 pp.
Joely Doyle left her hometown of Idle Point, Maine to make a life for herself. Eventually she
in Scotland where she currently lives with William and his daughter. However, though she loves
housemates, the adult relationship is drifting apart and only their adoration for the child keeps the
couple together. Her thirty-eight years older pregnant sister Cat begs Joely to come home as she
needs her help since their mother, former folk singer Mimi, suffered a stroke, burned down their
house, and is currently hospitalized. Reluctantly Joely returns to Maine to see her mother, a
who has lived in a fantasy world ever since her husband deserted her three decades ago; that
is where Joely feels she and her sister were raised. However, Joely begins to learn family secrets
especially that of her parents; this makes the American expatriate reassess mom and reconsider
future. This strong family drama stars three realistic females struggling with the pivotal moment in
their respective lives, the abandonment of the male over thirty years ago. Readers will appreciate
how that particular key event impacted the three Doyles left behind as none of them trust males
for the most part not one another too. Readers who appreciate a powerful character study that
deep into cause and effect will want to read Barbara Bretton's fine convincing tale.
A Play of Dux Moraud
ISBN: 0425204340, $6.99, 273 pp.
Since they acquired Lord Lovell as their patron, players (actors) Basset, Joliffe, Elis,Rose and her
son have a feeling of security that was missing in their lives and they intend to do everything in
power to please his so he will keep on supporting the troupe. After performing in his home for
Michalmas, Lord Lovell asks them to journey to the manor home of his vassal Sir Edmund. Sir
Edmund's daughter is getting ready to wed a wealthy merchant but Lord Lovell is uneasy because
her first betrothal ended when her bridegroom to be died quite suddenly. He wants the players, to
see if there is any sense of wrong doing going on in Deneby Manor. When they arrive, they find a
husband and wife barely talking to one another, a mother and the bride at each others throats and
Edmund's heir having "accidents". Joliffe discovers there is corruption in the Deneby finally that
led to one murder and very will might lead to others. Set in the same universe as Margaret
Dame Frevisse mysteries, A PLAY OF DUX MORAUD is a meticulously researched, well
historical mystery that brings to life a bygone era. The working of society as seen through the eyes
of the players is entertaining and full of unexpected surprises that add drama and color to the
storyline. Historical mystery fans will love this series.
Nothing to Fear but Ferrets
Linda O. Johnston
ISBN: 0425203735, $6.99, 272 pp.
She lost her law license when she was accused of handing over a strategic memo to opposing
council. Kendra Ballantine was in a bad situation financially so she rented out her million dollar
home, became a freelance pet sitter and cleared her name when she came under suspicion of
murdering her clients (see SIT, STAY, SLAY). Now she is studying for the multistate
Responsibility Exam in order to get her license reinstated. When a driverless car rams through a
in the house Kendra is renting, she goes to inspect the damage and she finds a murdered corpse of
the man her renter dumped on national TV. Ferrets (which are illegal as pets in California are on
body) but Kendra stashes them out of sight before the police arrive so she won't jeopardize
her license returned. Since Kendra likes her renter, she does some sleuthing even when she is
off by an anonymous phone call and is injured when she slips down the steps because somebody
oil on them. Linda O. Johnston has a definite talent for infusing humor in just the right places in
storyline so that readers will find themselves chuckling out loud after a particularly tense scene is
followed by a funny one. The heroine is a stubborn pet lover who plans to incorporate being a pet
advocate into her practice if she passes the tests. Pet lovers and amateur sleuth fans will find this
series deserving of an award as well as a place on the bestseller lists.
The Ballroom on Magnolia Street
ISBN: 0399152865, $15.00, 368 pp.
In Belfast after twenty years without a vacation a Johnny "Hollywood" Hogan is thinking of
spending three months in America though his grandparents have apoplexy when he tells them. He
fails to confide to his beloved relatives that he is thinking of closing the Hogan's Ballroom that he
and his family have owned since the end of World War II. However, his grandparents wisely fear
Johnny is thinking of retirement and consequently closing the Magnolia Street ballroom. People
going to Hogan's on Saturday night as a getaway from the mundane life they lead during the
Johnny feels the same need to escape but as owner manager he cannot flee reality in the family
ballroom. He has loved Marion Greenwood since he first met her in the 1960s and wants her back
his life though she married someone else and has an adult son Declan sired by her husband Eddy.
However, Marion has kept two secrets from everyone, but fears that Johnny, trying to get back in
her life, will learn both causing hurt for everyone involved. As he ponders shutting down the
ballroom, Johnny begins to feel the magic that enchant his patrons that he lost when he lost his
beloved. The second Mulberry Street character study (see TEA HOUSE ON MULBERRY
STREET) is a deep look at how Belfast residents of three generations escape their everyday lives.
The substantive story line focuses on key characters like Johnny, his grandparents, Marion,
and two sisterly patrons, but also feels overwhelming at times. Fans will appreciate this deep look
with an intriguing twist at individuals of all ages using the ballroom seeking fun and a temporary
ISBN: 0399153152, $25.95, 320 pp.
During a top secret operation sanctioned by England's Special Branch Chief General Ferguson,
agent Sean Dillon killed several Provo IRA operatives. and Russian Major Greta Novikova.
Josef Belov, who used his multi-billion dollar company, to fund terrorism, also was killed. Special
Branch thought Major Yuri Ashimov and Russian Major Greta Novikova were also killed but
survived. General Ferguson's aide Deputy Superintendent Hannah Bernstein was critically injured.
Ashimov wants revenge and is backed by President Putin in his desire because he saw too many of
his plans and operatives destroyed by the Special Branch. In the hospital where Hannah is
recuperating a nurse who is a sleeper agent in the IRA is ordered to kill her. She succeeds and is
then killed by her handler. After a few more attempts are made on General Ferguson's agents they
find out the two Russian agents are alive and pulling the strings of the IRA. Chasing each other
half-way across the world, the adversaries vow to kill the enemy and only luck and skill will
determine which side wins. Jack Higgins never writes a dull book. His novels are always exciting
that readers can't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what happens next. One of the
greatest talents is his ability to make cold blooded killing machines like Sean Dillon sympathetic to
the reader. This book is one of Mr. Higgins' best novels to date and will definitely appear on the
ISBN: 0399153195, $24.95, 352 pp.
It is only a matter of days before the Allies land on the beaches of Normandy and the Germans
it is coming though they don't know the correct day. American Doctor Frank Brink who once
developed biological weapons is now trying to create antibiotics to counteract any act of
bioterrorism that the Germans throw at them. The French Resistance rescues Jews who are then
by boat to England. They don't know that the people they have saved have been contaminated
pneumonic plague which has a hundred percent kill rate. SS scientist Wollenstein bought the
from the Asians and is using it on the Jews along with trying to create an antibiotic that will keep
Germans safe from the disease. His plan is to have the planes spray the germs over England. Brink
sent to stop him using any means available. A Resistance fighter guides Brink to Wollenstein's lab
but there are other Germans who are willing to have what the doctor created in their hands. Brink
fights with the various German factions, but also must quickly find the antibiotic because he and
beautiful Resistance fighter are infected and need the medicine immediately. Gregg Keizer has
written a fantastic historical thriller that could be taken out of today's WMD headlines. The use of
germ warfare goes back at least to medieval times and there is no reason to believe that countries
will stop using it in the future. There is plenty of action in MIDNIGHT PLAGUE while the
characters are symbols rather than three dimensional people. This doesn't take away from the
enjoyment of reading this book because the stereotypes are easily recognizable and
My Devilish Scotsman
ISBN: 0743471075, $6.99, 384 pp.
Only for the dying Alan MacDonell would the Earl of Kincreag Nicholas Lyon heed a summoning
earls do not jump when a chieftain asks. However, Alan is his best friend and the letter says he
die before the night is over. He rushes to the deathbed, but though ailing Alan is clearly going to
survive another day though not many afterward. Sitting by Alan's side is his daughter Gillian, who
accuses of the phony note; Gillian denies she sent for him. Alan wants Nicholas to marry Gillian
he sent the message. Gillian is the handicapped of the three MacDonell witches as she has no
unlike her magical sisters. Her sire orders her to wed Nicholas; she wants to refuse him because
fears he allegedly murdered his first wife. However, she will do anything for her beloved daddy so
reluctantly accepts her fate; Nicholas does likewise as he owes Alan, but hates anything connected
witchery. When she enters his castle, Gillian has horrid visions of death and soon someone tries to
kill her. Initially she wonders if the cold hearted Nicholas is a killer, but soon falls in love with him
even as she ponders whether her heart belongs to someone wanting her dead. MY DEVILISH
SCOTSMAN, the second MacDonell Brides' tale (see MY WICKED HIGHLANDER), is a
fabulous fantasy romantic suspense starring two wonderful seemingly star-crossed lovers. She is a
witch though her powers do not surface until she enters the home of her husband; he detests
due to what happened to his first wife. A clever third party manipulates their doubts and
misconceptions so that the audience obtains a marvelous paranormal historical romance.
My Shadow Warrior
ISBN: 0743471083, $6.99, 384 pp.
In 1597 Scotland, the youngest of three sisters, healer Rose MacDonell has mixed feeling about
family. While she rejoices that Gillian (see MY DEVILISH SCOTSMAN) and Isobel (see MY
WICKED HIGHLANDER) have found happiness she worries that her father Alan is dying from a
mysterious illness that she has failed to heal. Rose sends letters pleading with renowned healer
Strathwick William MacKay to come help her beloved sire, but he never replies. Desperate as her
dad is getting worse, Rose decides to visit Strathwick to force him to see her father. However,
William refuses to see her until she tricks her way into his frozen fortress in Glen Laire. He
her courage and fortitude, but has his own troubles here in his isolated keep. Soon William and
fall in love, which geometrically enhance their healing powers. They will need that and more as
battle evil witchcraft that threatens his home and her father. The final tale of the MacDonell
trilogy is a charming historical fantasy romance that ties up the loose ends from the delightful
previous tales within an enchanting plot. The story line is action-packed from the moment that
stands in the rain outside of Strathwick Castle until the final confrontation with an evil adversary.
three novels are worth reading as Jen Holling turns her late sixteenth century Scottish realm into a
world of magic fueled by love.
ISBN: 1416501649, $7.50, 400 pp.
The Flamemaster feels quite good as he dials from a distance the explosion that enables him to
watch the fire that burns Paddy's Pig Restaurant and Dance Club. The Somersett, South Caroline
fire department struggles with the blaze in which rescue team member Daniel McGee dies in the
inferno. His last message is to his fiance, firefighter Tess Gannon that he loves her. Two years
former ATF Agent Gage O'Halloran learns the impossible that the Flamemaster lit a blaze in
Carolina. Gage knows that Randolph Griffith is locked away in prison so a copy cat is out there.
Arson investigator Tess looks at a new fire in which a woman died while being tied to a bed when
Gage arrives and pompously tries to take over. He thinks a link exists between a strip joint fire, a
deadly warehouse inferno, and the latest arson-homicide. Gage informs Tess that he wants sex
her, but also says the rope is the not known signature of the Flamemaster who is in San Quentin.
They work together trying to learn who the copycat is and how did this person find insider
information on the Flamemaster even as their attraction burns each other with desire. Mindful of
Kathryn Shay's fabulous firefighter's series, BLAZE is a terrific romantic suspense that keeps the
audience anticipating a showdown, but wondering with whom. The lead couple need one another;
however he at first sounds crass and she has not gotten past her loss, so her leaping into bed with
him right away seems off kilter; their reasons to avoid commitments on the other hand augments
exciting tale. Readers will appreciate this fiery intrigue.
ISBN: 0743491912, $7.99
U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica Lieutenant Commander Terrance Drake is leading the
scientific team in a seismic exploration of the eastern side of the continent 1500 miles of frozen ice
away from MuMurdo Station. He is currently on recon patrol when he desperately needs to take a
leak, but has no bag that he would normally use to urinate in. Although he knows the Antarctic
Treaty forbids even urinating on the ice, he figures who would see him let alone report this
painting of the snow violation. However, the ice breaks and soon Terrance plunges downward
where he sees hundreds of humans preserved in time before the ice crumbled on to him. The U.S.
military has found ancient ruins beneath Antarctica. General Yeats wants an archeological expert
who can think out of the box about ancient astronauts so he selects his professionally ostracized
adopted son Conrad as the right person for the job. Conrad says no until he learns Serena
is on the team. Conrad leaves immediately as he never has forgotten the beautiful Vatican linguist.
Together they must find the key of a long lost civilization to shut down the doomsday machine
was inadvertently turned on. RAISING ATLANTIS is an action-packed thriller that never slows
down from the moment Terrence finishes urinating on the pristine snow until the exhilarating
The heart pumping story line contains intriguing twists including a paranormal feel as Conrad and
Serena slowly learn the truth while the doomsday clock speedily ticks away. Fans will want to
Thomas Greanis's Antarctica caper to learn what the heroes learn perhaps too late.
ISBN: 0743497333, $10.95
Feeling they have lost control as their sixteen years old child Anna continually defies them and
breaks all their rules, the religious Wheelers turn to a radical solution. They hire "soldiers" from
Camp Archstone to abduct their daughter and take her to a remote Bahamas Island for several
weeks of boot camp. Anna thought her parents were too strict, but they seem permissive as she
in a survival camp run in the strictest of military styles; insubordination leads to harsh punishment
from the in your face 24/7 staff. Anna fears her bunk mates whose behavior seems over the edge
past sanity. However, her terror turns to outright horror when on a forced several miles hike up
mountain someone kills the leader; the others react just as frightened. Everyone panics with the
fleeing into the jungle while deviant drug dealers pursue them with plans to rape and then kill the
teens. To Anna the biggest fear remains her violent bunk mates who cannot understand teamwork
the only way to save their lives. BAD GIRLS is a heart pumping thriller that never slows down
the moment that Anna is abducted with the concerned unsure consent of her parents and never
down until the final tropical jungle feverish confrontation. The story line feels like a gender
Lord of the Flies crossed with female prison movies like The Big Doll House and The Big Bird
Cage. Still this is an adrenalin action-packed tale with the audience rooting for Anna to survive
Highlander in Love
ISBN: 0743465083, $6.99, 384 pp.
In spite of the Lockhart and Douglas families feud, Payton Douglas loans a large sum of money to
his rivals. The Lockharts agree to repay within one year or their daughter Mared will marry
To their shock and chagrin, the proud Lockharts cannot make remittance at the end of year so
Mared will be their payment. Payton is pleased that they failed because he treasures the spirited
Mared and looks forward to having her as his spouse. However, everyone knows that courting
cursed Mared means misfortune and probably death so no one has dared try until Payton. Mared
knows the Douglas clan as horrid enemies so she does not want to take their surname as hers. She
throws women at him to tempt him, and pretends to be simpleminded while incidents occur that
would shake a lesser person now that the curse has been activated. Mared obtains a modification
the agreement; she will be his housekeeper for one year. When her family finds the heirloom and
pays off the debt, she can go home, but if home is where the heart is, she belongs with Payton.
sequel to the fabulous HIGHLANDER IN DISGUISE and HIGHLANDER UNBOUND is a fun
romantic historical tale starring the sister of the two heroes from the previous novels. Mared
family honor demands she marry Payton, but accepts humiliation to pay the debt without sleeping
with the enemy. Payton is patient with the woman he loves as she pulls stunts so he will send her
packing but he refuses to allow a curse or a stubborn Scotswoman from achieving his objective of
marrying his beloved. This is a fine amusing Highlander entry.
Died in the Wool
ISBN: 0743484738, $12.00
In Freeport, Massachusetts, most if not all locals detest landlady Edith Perry. She makes her
opinions on controversial issues known usually taking the most unpopular position; she informs
lease holders that she is raising their rent; finally she is developing property just outside of
over the objections of most townsfolk. The police are not shocked when someone murders Edith
using purple yarn. The obvious prime suspect is divorced mother of one Ariadne Evans, owner of
Ariadne's Web yarn store, who found the corpse in her establishment. Ariadne has the motive
Edith's rent increase could shut down her business; she had the means as her store contains all
of homespun yarns including the murder weapon; finally she had the opportunity as the homicide
occurred when her shop was closed leaving her with no alibi. Though police detective John Pierce
likes Ariadne, she knows she remains at the top of the suspect list so she begins to untangle the
threads hoping to knit a new pattern that displays the killer's identity. The author of the "Gilded
Age" mysteries, Mary Kruger provides a fine amateur sleuth cozy starring a likable heroine and a
fine detective who has just moved into the town. Ariadne, whose first reaction to finding the body
nice yarn around victim's neck, investigates the murder one thread at a time until she decides to
become bait. Thus the audience receives a fine who-done-it though like John wonder why
whose daughter Megan already suffers nightmares over her mom's involvement, would risk her
as a Nancy Drew imitator.
ISBN: 0743483200, $7.99, 344 pp.
Al Jones, a hunter who lives in the small upstate New York town of Centerville, goes into the
a few days before hunting season opens to kill a buck. He is found naked, a bullet in his forehead.
few days later two local hunters who went into the woods at night to hunt were found murdered
naked, gunshot wounds to their heads. Shortly after that, a man who is hunting on his own land
without a license is killed. Police theorize that the killer is someone local who knows the area and
people, and is in law enforcement because all the victims broke a hunting law. Reporter Diana
Brooks of the Middletown Post is sent to cover the story. She teams up with Aaron, a car
who gives her a crash course into the world of hunting so she has a handle of what makes
want to shoot a deer. When Aaron's brother goes into the woods to kill a doe, Aaron follows him
hoping to get him out of there before the killer ends up making him his next prey. Readers can
actually see a small Catskill town turn into a place ruled by fear as the residents realize one of
own is on a killing spree. What frightens everyone is that he walks among them and they don't
a clue who he is. The developing romance between Aaron and Diana is a much needed tension
reliever because the book starts off fast and never slows down except for the relationship scenes.
Though why his sibling, an avid hunter, would risk his life to hunt is shaky, Andrew Neiderman
delivers another fantastic work of suspense.
ISBN: 0345462246, $23.95, 240 pp.
Sixty years old Patty Jo Tilde looks forward to when her husband octogenarian ranch owner
finally succumbs to a stroke. She recently married the eighty years old to gain control of his Pepin
County, Wisconsin property so that she can sell it to Daniel Reiner and flee the rural community
the bright lights of the Twin Cities. When Daniel suffers his inevitable latest stroke, instead of
9111 she waits because his doctor told her the first three hours are critical; somehow he survives,
but is not the same. His daughter Margaret and her husband Mark are concerned that the evil step
mom will kill her dad through neglect, but cannot prove their assertion. Meanwhile Pepin County
Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins investigates recent deaths that haunt Fort St. Antoine, population
and dropping. She soon finds a link to Patty Jo whose previous spouse died under mysterious
circumstances under her care. Claire also sees a connection through Daniel though that is more
nebulous with webs of deceit making it difficult to prove. Still the former Minneapolis cop refuses
back down as she plans to stop an amoral killer before someone else is dead. POISON HEART is
fabulous police procedural starring a dedicated cop who struggles to balance her work, her
needs with Rich and raising her preadolescent daughter who has turned away from her to others
"adult supervision". Patty Jo is something else as she is upbeat evil looking forward to him dying.
Readers of the series and newcomers will appreciate this intriguing rural investigative tale that
contains the usual Mary Logue twists to compel her audience into a one sitting read.
ISBN: 0345483812, $19.95
In Avon County, Pennsylvania, Homicide Detective Evan Crosby is sick when he sees the fourth
victim in under a month. Each casualty was pretty young female, ages 12 - 14, attending a private
school, and left without shoes. His lover, FBI profiler Annie Marie McCall tries to give him
but knows how difficult coping with this case is. At the wedding of Annie's sister to a Shield
Evan feels left out as the happy occasion is more a wake to FBI Agent Thomas Shield, who was
assassinated. Upset, Evan leaves when another girl is killed without a word to Annie who is inside
the Shield zone since Thomas was her fiance, which bans the detective from entry. Not long
afterward, knowing she needs closure, Evan offers a fresh pair of eyes in investigating the murder.
As they work together on the Shield murder and the serial killings, an agency insider watches
very closely because he will have them eliminated if they get to close to him or his young girl
market ring. The fourth Dead tale is a potent romantic suspense tale starring two likable
protagonists in love yet struggling to form a relationship because of the ghost of her murdered
fiance. The Shield Zone is tighter than ever, denser than a black hole as no matter escapes this
closely knit family to the chagrin of Evan. Annie is terrific as she balances her second strike of
lightning bolt with her first hit, but still needs closure, which Evan knows means uncovering who
killed Thomas. Mariah Stewart is dead on with this tale and series.
Mine Are Spectacular
Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger
ISBN: 0345468597, $23.95, 289 pp.
In Hadley Farms in Westchester-County, New York forty-one years old Sara Turner accompanied
by her son Dylan moves into the home of her fiance Bradford. Meanwhile her best friend,
darling dermatologist Kate Steele is seeing a married man, Owen. Her other best friend Berni
has come home after a successful tour as a Hollywood agent pregnant. However, Sara's simple
relationship comes under assault when her ex-spouse James returns after eight years in Patagonia
with demands on her and their child; and Bradford's nasty ex-wife along with their fourteen years
daughter Skylar visit. As Sara's catering business becomes successful, her personal life dives into
free fall, but her two pals are not there for her. Owen has dumped his wife with plans to move in
with Kate and Berni has hormonal issues caused by twins battering her insides. At times the three
musketeerettes feel like dejÖ vu of teen angst returned though they are fortyish. This middle age
chick lit tale is amusing to follow as Sara struggles with the potential of extended family relations
and the return of her wandering former spouse; Kate debates whether she wants her lover around
the time rather than some of the time; finally Berni deals poorly with her pregnancy. Though
everything is resolved in a perfect climax (no pun intended), the novel is fun when chaos reigns.
Only the authors of THE BOTOX DIARIES could do this so well.
ISBN: 0345475879, $21.95, 320 pp.
Investigative reporter Annie Anderson worked extremely hard and had made it when she abruptly
quits her job at London Post to accept a position as a fashion editor at Handbag Magazine. Her
peers at the Post assume the last case burned her out as she went undercover to expose a juvenile
prostitute ring in which an innocent person was murdered. It remains in the blood for Anne to go
undercover so she hides her credentials and travels to New York to expose the fashionista class to
her readers. Her editor Rebecca Brooks demands she also interviews the hottest designer of the
moment Mark Miller. He is forthcoming answering all her questions except anything involving his
supermodel lover drug addict Patty Lang or the immediate future of his new company that most
insiders believe he will sell. However, the future ends abruptly for Mark when someone shoots
While the police investigate his murder, Annie interviews associates of the victim though some
refuse to speak of the dead. In Milan, Patty is murdered. As Annie continues to investigate, she
uncovers a piracy rip-off of designs that places her in jeopardy. Annie is a strong center holding
investigative look into the fashion world together. Her homicide inquiries are fun to follow as she
seeks a killer while searching amongst way out designers and misanthropic models who
compete in a to the death queen of the hill (make that runway) contest that make the Yankee-Red
Sox rivalry look like chicken salad. Sam Baker provides a wonderful who-done-it and readers will
want her to return with more Anne undercover investigations.
Terrill Lee Lankford
ISBN: 0345467795, $24.95, 304 pp.
Hollywood studio executive Mark Hayes is angry with his neighbor screenwriter Clyde McCoy
ignoring his grief at the death of his last conquest. However, Clyde apologizes insisting he does
do death well even as his girlfriend black belt Emily Woolrich blames Mark for Clyde drinking.
Clyde tells Mark he has a great script that has backing. Mark is interested because he read Blonde
Lightning and thought this had good possibilities. As they begin production on the film, accidents
occur that Mark thinks is deliberate; Emily believes it is her former "agent" Mace Thornburg a
person feeling she jobbed him out of a fee. Not willing to sit idly by as his movie is being ruined;
Mark investigates the incidents that have escalated into murder and sent Clyde into hiding. Terrill
Lee Lankford cleverly uses the opening reels to set the stage for the key players in such a manner
that the audience knows how they tick and understands the relationships between them; this
in handy later in the tale. Once the movie starts shooting, the action takes over and goes non stop
Mark tries to save his film from ruin. Fans of Hollywood amateur sleuth tales will want to read
breezy BLONDE LIGHTNING.
ISBN: 0345476972, $24.95, 352 pp.
Boston Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli is about to give birth but she still performs her job by
testifying against a man she arrested. The man goes berserk and Jane gets off the witness stand,
restrains and cuffs him. Her water breaks and she goes to the hospital where her doctor sends her
Diagnostic Imaging for an ultra sound. In another part of the hospital, a Jane Doe kills a security
guard and ends up in Diagnostic Imaging where she keeps Jane and five other people hostage.
Feds take over the operation citing national security reasons and before the hostage situation ends
the woman and her accomplice is dead. The Feds confiscate the notes and all evidence related to
two dead people. The last thing that the woman says to Jane is "Mila knows". The woman is
back to a house where five women were murdered, four of whom w were kept against their will in
white slavery ring. Even though Jane just gave birth she is determined to find Mila and expose the
people running the ring who erase all traces of their existence when things get too hot. The Jane
was found in the morgue by Medical Examiner Maura Isles. The woman was declared dead when
she was fished out of the ocean but revived when she warmed up. She is determined to make her
story known to the American people even though people highly placed in law enforcement and
government won't be stopped until she is dead. Jane is determined to find out her motivation
because during the takedown of the hostages, actions were taken that didn't make sense. Tess
Gerritsen writes another exciting and mesmerizing crime thriller that is frightening because it is
based on fact. VANISH is the type of novel that is written only rarely, one that appeals to reads
like plenty of action and realistic characters in their novels material. The love between Jane and
husband Gabriel, an FBI agent is so strong that it adds heart and soul to a work that would
otherwise have too much tension for the plot to sustain.
72 Hour Hold
Bebe Moore Campbell
ISBN: 1400040744, $24.95
In Los Angeles after all these failures Keri Whitmore somehow remains optimistic that the latest
treatment will enable her daughter Trina to leave the nest to attend Brown University. However,
after a wonderful eighteenth birthday, the day after arrived and Trina succumbs to her bipolar
disorder turning back into the little girl who needs her "mommeee". This reinforces to Keri her
that mental illness can be somewhat controlled but never cured. Making things more difficult for
Keri is Trina's dad refuses to accept his darling little girl suffers from a mental ailment. Though an
expert who could become a consultant for other abused users by the American health care system,
Keri struggles every time for Tina needs; the insurance and treatment poles insure big business
spends medical money on a patient without a war as their attitude is the same as her ex-spouse
it comes to mental health. The key to this terrific tale is Trina's illness seems genuine as it surfaces
many diverse little ways throughout the plot and how other characters react different towards her.
For instance her mom belongs to a support group, always there to comfort Trina, not afraid to
her hospitalized in a 72 Hour Hold, or to fight the bureaucratic system. Tina's father is in denial
an offspring of his would suffer mental illness; in fact that refutation represents much of America
including the Black community which places mental health issues as stigmas on the soul. Tough
condemning a health care system that has failed, Bebe Moore Campbell writes a thought
tale of a beleaguered mom giving up much of her life to nurture and love her wounded child.
No Country for Old Men
ISBN: 0345406778, $24.95
In 1980, Llewelyn Moss hunts antelope in Western Texas near the Rio Grande. However, instead
locating a buck, Moss finds several corpses, a major heroin stash and $2.4 million. Moss figures
finder's keepers and takes the cash leaving behind the dead and the illegal drugs figuring both
be more trouble than he wants to deal with. However the cartel that owns the money sends former
Special Forces soldier Wells to find the loot and kill the thief. They also send vicious killing
psychopathic poster boy Chigurh to insure the thief is brutalized. Finally, aging Sheriff Bell seeks
Moss for questioning and to keep him alive. Several years have passed since Cormac McCarthy
completed his fabulous Border Trilogy. The highly regarded author returns to the same locale
the thrilling NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. The four prime testosterone players are potent
protagonists who the audience anticipates a convergance while wondering who will be left
once the war turns full throttle. Fans of modern-day High Noon will enjoy this action-packed
western thriller from the moment Moss becomes the prey of two totally different professionals
the title character sheriff ready to retire, but still doing his duty.
Michael Baden & Linda Kenney
ISBN: 1400044197, $23.95, 226 pp.
Attorney Philomena "Nanny" Manfred works for the underdog, the indigent, and the ones who
nobody else to turn to for justice. Medical Examiner Dr. Jacob Rosen knows many downtrodden
and calls on her when a person he meets needs legal help. In Turner, two hours north of New
City, Jake's mentor requires such assistance. Four sets of skeletal remains were found where a
shopping mall is supposed to be built halting construction. The bones belonged to patients
incarcerated in a mental hospital that used to be located in the area. Two of the patients are
identified and the daughter of one wants to know what happened to her father. Manny agrees to
her case knowing at the time Jake's mentor didn't die from cancer but was murdered. As Jake and
Manny investigate, attempts on their lives are made. Neither the lawyer nor the doctor has any
intention of quitting intending to discover the secrets of the asylum that someone wants kept
Readers who love the work of Robin Cook and writers of legal thrillers will find REMAINS
SILENT one of the best debut crime thrillers of the year. The romance between Jake and Manny
starts slow but eventually picks up steam making it seem believable and realistic. There is plenty
action and many times the protagonists are almost killed, but what makes this book so fascinating
that the readers and characters don't have a clue why.
ISBN: 1400042186, $25.95
After decades of decline leading to despondency, dismay, and depression amongst the citizenry,
English government begins a new program to strengthen the moral fiber of its people. The
Rearrangement is simple: Federal agents split families moving people into four psychologically
camps; placing like with like. Whether one was relocated into a choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic
sanguine zone depend on a psychological evaluation of the individual's temperament. In this brave
new world, a child was separated from his parents, renamed Thomas Perry and placed within the
sanguine quarter. The lad moves in with a grieving adult whose spouse was sent to another
Years later, a grown-up Thomas works undercover for the government. However a revelation hits
him to learn who he really is instead of a state socially engineered output. He obsesses over this
decides he should start by seeking to find his biological parents. Taking one tiny step on that path
alone a journey means risking all he holds "dear" because if caught he will be reprocessed to
he never undermines the state again. DIVIDED KINGDOM is a fabulous science fiction thriller
starts off with an incredible well written premise that will grip the audience, especially as Thomas
has his revelation and begins his quest into a strange underworld. Ironically the deep story line
down whenever the action is ratcheted up focusing on Thomas faces potential exposure and death
from his clandestine peers. The hero is terrific as he serves as the focus of a social experiment that
may seem off the wall, but not as far out in a red and blue world as one would think. Rupert
Thomson provides an intriguing look at the future.
DeKok and Murder
ISBN: 0972577696, $13.00, 191 pp.
In Amsterdam, Inspector DeKok looks into the murder of heroin addict Erik Bavel. The victim
strangled to death so the Inspector concludes the culprit had to have strong hands to do that to a
twenty-five year old male. The boardinghouse keeper, uncooperative Mina Lyons, reacts as if the
homicide was a personal affront to her and is more upset that Bavel broke the rules by making
coffee in his room. A second strangulation victim surfaces identical to that of Bavel. The victim,
Jean-Paul Stappert, was a young drug user too, but like Erik had no recent needle marks making
seem they also shared in common kicking the habit. DeKok talks with Mina about Erik only to
by chance that Jean-Paul was a resident of her boardinghouse too. This time Mina faints. Music
pedagogue Alex Waaredenberg gives testimony that he was Jean-Paul's teacher, but his New Age
mumbo jumbo leads DeKok to think he knew Erik too but said nothing except seeing the corpse
when he looked for his star pupil. The case turns cacophonous as the list of suspects grows
connected to a musical arrangement. This translation of a Dutch police procedural is a fabulous
investigative tale starring a delightful protagonist toiling to solve the double homicides. DeKok is
wonderful lead holding the who-done-it together with his interviews of suspects and follow up on
clues that showcase the city. His protege, junior partner Vledder, struggles to understand the
of the inquiries until the lead cop explains afterward to him (and the audience) without
the superior story line flow mindful of Holmes to Watson, but in a 1980s Holland context.
The Fixer Upper
ISBN: 0778321932, $6.99
Director of Admissions at Manhattan's prestigious Hudson School, Libby Kimmelman loves the
place and obviously respects it as a center of learning since she enrolled her daughter Reva at the
school. The divorced Libby enjoys her job though at times she feels frazzled especially when the
bribes to get in and thank you gifts after getting in arrive during open season. Normally she skims
over the application essays written by parents who believe hyperbole is the key, but the one
by Eric Donovan intrigues her as he is a ten year old new city resident just in from Woodstock,
Vermont. Libby thinks the straightforward preadolescent would make a fine student. His widower
father Ned is not pleased as his son used his credit card to pay the application fee over the net
without permission and he cannot afford the $25K annual cost. Ned visits the school to withdraw
Eric's application and get a refund, but he and Libby surprisingly feel an attraction to one another.
She has doubts that he truly desires her instead of just using her to gain a scholarship while he
wonders why a beautiful intelligent lady would fall in love with a carpenter. THE FIXER-UPPER
a fine Manhattan contemporary romance in which the Hudson School serves as a matchmaker and
potential match breaker bringing the lead couple together, but also school costs linger in their
The story line is character driven as the audience sees up close the frustrations of Libby with her
and her daughter, and Ned with starting over and his son's adjustment problems. Though there is
little action, fans of urban family dramas will want to read Judith Arnold's astute tale.
The Cinderella Hour
ISBN: 0778321967, $24.95
In Quail Ridge, Illinois, eight year old Snow Ashley Gable meets ten years old Lucas Kilcannon.
two lonely outsiders forge a bond to include e sneaking him food as his father, a local hero as a
successful swimming coach fails to feed him. When his father decides to kill him, Lucas jumps out
his window to escape the fire his dad lit and died in. However, he lands in the glass and nails that
father placed in the dried out swimming pool. Most people blame Lucas who is considered a bad
seed. In High school he and Snow begin seeing one another. However he leaves for the West
to go to college with plans to come back and marry his pregnant beloved Snow. When she
miscarries, she tells him good bye and vanishes. Years later successful Atlanta radio host Snow
Gable takes her show The Cinderella Hour to Chicago not knowing that the past that started in
Massachusetts before she was born will come back to haunt her. Also Lucas demands to know
she left him. She knows she owes him the truth, but how to make the man she still loves
that she suffered from post partum depression. Though at first there seems as if there are too
subplots, all tie brilliantly together inside a strong romantic suspense thriller. The story line is
character driven, but not just by the second chance at love between Snow and Lucas. The major
ensemble support cast plays critical roles with each having their secondary segment fit into the
bigger picture. Katherine Stone writes a complex but winning tale.
To the Castle
ISBN: 0778322033, $6.99, 384 pp.
Eleanor "Nell" de Bonville has spent the last decade at the Convent of St. Cecilia as a "payment"
God for providing her parents with a male heir. However, her brother Geoffrey died and now her
sister Sybilla has joined the angels so her father the Earl of Lincoln feels he owes no debt to God.
removes a stunned Nell from the convent just a few months before she was to take her vows. Her
father and the Earl of Wiltshire had arranged a marriage between Sybilla and the latter's grandson
Roger. As civil was seems imminent between King Stephen and Empress Matilda, alliances are
critical to survival so Nell will substitute for her deceased sister in this political arrangement. Nell
and Roger marry and he is very kind to her, even waiting to consummate their vows. As they fall
love, Roger's duty to King Stephen puts him at risk. This twelfth century romance uses the
of the civil war to provide a warm tender tale of love between two deserving nice individuals.
will empathize with Nell struggling to adapt to the real world after being cloistered in a convent
a decade just as they will appreciate the patient kindhearted Roger slowly enabling his wife to
while being there for her though he seems more twenty-first century with his compassionate
outlook. The battle royal augments a fine medieval romance.
ISBN: 0778321908, $7.50, 416 pp.
Though the column Kate's Fashion Statement did not pay for food or shelter, leasing properties
but Kate Livingston enjoys.reporting. However, the Seattle News put her on hiatus so she takes
preadolescent son Aaron and moves into the family home in Port Angeles to decide what to do
Any decision she makes has to factor in that Aaron has behavioral problems. That morning she
meets runaway teen California "Callie" Evans, who initially frightened Kate. Callie has been
in the summer properties that she cleans for a living. Kate invites Callie to stay with them, which
does. Former Special Forces Medical Sergeant has moved into the cottage next door. He is
recovering from death threatening injuries, but mostly running from the national spotlight of
his life to save the President from a lone gunman at Walter Reed. This foursome shares the most
wonderful summer in their respective lives. However, fall is coming which means getting on with
lives, but after a couple months like a loving family will the joy end with each traveling a separate
path? Though only two of the four key players are related by blood, LAKESIDE COTTAGE is a
delightful family drama starring a likable quartet suffering from individual traumas. Each has a
problem yet that remarkable summer they come together as a tight unit being there for one
Though the romance is a solid support subplot, this contemporary fiction is a strong interrelation
character study with limited but exhilarating action moments.
The Lonely Girls Club
ISBN: 0778322017, $6.99, 384 pp.
In 1980 at the exclusive Rowe Academy for Girls in Tiburon, California, the four unpopular
scholarship coeds forged friendships as the Lonely Girls Club. The schools headmistress Millicent
Rowe pimps the foursome as prostitutes. However, someone murders Rowe while one member of
the quartet Ivy commits suicide. The three survivors (Mattie, Breeze, and Jane) agree to a vow of
secrecy. William Broud was convicted of the homicide. In 2005 at San Quentin, true crime writer
Jameson Cross picks up just released William who spent over two decades as the convicted
school murderer; DNA proved he did not commit the crime. Jameson offers to pay William if he
helps him follow clues as to what happened a quarter of a century ago. The three female survivors
are all successful in their chosen endeavors with Mattie as a federal judge, Breeze a business
entrepreneur and Jane as the First Lady. They do not want exposure that could devastate their
respective careers, but Jameson is digging while William feels someone owes him a life. THE
LONELY GIRLS CLUB is an electrifying romantic suspense thriller that grips the audience from
the moment that Broud is released from prison and never lets up until the final meeting between
Jameson and the Judge. The story line is action-packed, but it is the reaction of the characters to
Jameson's inquiries that makes the tale as each of the three prime suspects has reasons to hide
"edit" the Rowe incidents. Thus the audience keeps on reading while wondering which of the
coeds killed the headmistress.
ISBN: 077832205X, $7.50, 384 pp.
New York based Deputy U.S. Marshal Juliet Longstreet knows she must be cautious as Bobby
Tatro was just released from federal prison after serving four years. He vowed to avenge his
when Juliet took him down in Syracuse and she believes this violent man will come for her. In
York she finds her apartment house doorman murdered and her place searched as if someone was
looking for an edge to get at her. Wanting to insure the safety of her family though most are law
enforcement types, Juliet vows not wait for Tatro to make any more moves. While she searches
Tatro, former Special Forces officer Ethan Brooker seeks the actual killer of his wife though he
helped expose Nick Jannsen who called for the hit on his beloved Charlene. He believes that they
have a mutual enemy as Tatro pulled the trigger. Ethan keeps Juliet on edge more so than the
coming for her, but she persuades him to team up to keep her family safe as Tatro is coming for
them. The latest Carla Neggers deputy US Marshals tale is a tense romantic suspense thriller in
which the lead couple tracks down a killer while trying to ignore their attraction to one another.
joint investigation seems at first simple enough to the lead pair and readers, but takes twists into a
deadly conspiracy in which avariciousness leads to homicide and places her family at risk. Though
similar in tone to previous tales like NIGHT'S LANDING, Ms. Neggers' fans will enjoy this
tale while wondering if Juliet can capture her men, one to lock away and one to shower with
The Devil's Necklace
ISBN: 0778321991, $7.50
In 1805, Grace Chastain borrows money from her Aunt Matilda Crenshaw to hire Jack Moody to
free her father from Newgate. Although she has never met Viscount Harmon Jeffries, she cannot
by and allow her sire to hang from the gallows for treason even if he is guilty. British privateer
captain of the Sea Witch Ethan Sharpe stops the Lady Anne at sea. He proclaims passenger Grace
Chastain committed sedition having abetted a traitor to escape justice. Ethan abducts her onto his
ship where he demands she tell him the whereabouts of her lover Harmon. Because of a promise
made, Grace fails to correct his error. Ethan is irate with himself because he is attracted to Grace,
but outraged that she freed the man who sold his previous ship and crew to the French. Most of
men died while he lingered in prison. Since she remains obstinate, he decides to seduce his
lover; he succeeds only to find he made love to a virgin. As they fall in love, he learns she is the
daughter of his foe. Though the Regency audience will empathize with the demons that haunt
and his understandable obsession towards the heroine's father accentuated by falling in love with
enemy's "mistress", Grace's courage whether it is on land or sea makes the tale. She is fabulous,
abetting her father who she never met or challenging the sea captain she loves. Though the climax
too neatly and abruptly wrapped up, the sequel to the BRIDE'S NECKLACE, THE DEVIL'S
NECKLACE is an intriguing Regency romantic suspense thriller that fans will enjoy and look
forward to the jewelry moving on to the next protagonist.
Secrets of Rosa Lee
ISBN: 0778322025, $6.99, 384 pp.
The residents of Clifton park, Texas form a group to determine what to do with the once proud
Altman mansion that is showing its age and abandonment. The townsfolk are divided with one
insisting on selling the mausoleum to a group planning to tear it down in the name of progress.
Another faction wants to return the home of the town's long dead founding father to its former
and keep it up as memento of the past. However, someone in the shadows wants to more than
influence the decision making process. This individual prefers the house be torn asunder so that
deadly secrets will remain interred and will blackmail committee members into tearing down the
mansion. As the committee forms, storms, norms, and performs, they learn that the "old Altman
place" is more than just a dilapidated extinct dinosaur with roses; however the extortionist
each member to adjourn in favor of annihilating the mansion to bury its history with the evidence
that if it comes to light would destroy this culprit. The committee turns the tale into an interesting
look at progress vs. heritage as they go through the stages of group dynamics with the perpetrator
causing trust issues between the members. Although the audience sees the differing personalities
during the interactions, the intrigue caused by the wrongdoer feels unnecessary though exciting as
the tale focuses on the group's struggles (think of Twelve Angry Men) and the house's past. Fans
modern day social issues and Management 101 students will appreciate this fine look at group
interplay with a touch of intrigue caused by an assailant whose actions foment mistrust, the death
ISBN: 0505526247, $6.99
Houston based Dr. Samantha Riley visiting her dad at his Wimberly, Texas ranch notices he has
aged rapidly recently and worries about his health though they argue over her love life. Her
father, Air Force Colonel (R) Patrick Riley wants her to wed a real man, his friend Highlander
Duncan Campbell. Though she remembers their one night of ardor, she insists she will continue to
see Luke Carter III over her dad's objections that the man is a spoiled rich brat not worthy of her.
When Patrick falls into a coma, Duncan and Sam share a truce as both are depressed. Meanwhile
lightning charges up the crystals at nearby Jacob's Well sending Duncan and Sam back to ancient
Scotland where the men seem modern hitting on her. That stops partially because of the ferocious
Duncan at her side, but also everyone concludes she is Maeve, Queen of the Fairies. Though she
misses her time and her father; Sam appreciates the compensation of ordering Duncan around;
until she jealously learns the Scot that she now loves has traveled time before and is there to
Princess Talamar from an evil conspiracy. The Queen of Highlander time travel romance, Tess
Mallory writes a delightful tale that her fans will cherish. The stars are a delightful duo as
experienced time traveler Duncan returns with his latest fling into the past accompanied by the
woman who haunts his dreams. HIGHLAND MAGIC is romantic fantasy at its magical best as
audience will find amusing Sam's conversion into bossy fairy queen inside of a well written
dangerous court intrigue plot. Ms Mallory enchants her audience once again.
A Taste of Crimson
Marjorie M. Liu
ISBN: 0505526328, $6.99, 384 pp.
Instead of angels residing in the city, humans, werewolves and vampires live in shaky peace
though both sides loathe the other. Still each species adheres to the truce by staying away from
adversary. No one dares cross the line to befriend the enemy as the friend of my foe is my enemy
even if they are our blood. Though "sufferers" of lycanthropy are banned by law to work in
restaurants, Keeli Maddox the werewolf does anyway. She hates the grease, but is thankful to
employment as the fur bearers cannot obtain work even when vacancies exist. She also fears the
growing violence between her people and the vampires that have placed the third race the humans
the crosshairs. Thus Keeli Maddox is hiding during a food fur inspection when she gets involved
with an incident that leads to her about to rip a man's throat open until shockingly a vampire
intercedes. Keeli and Michael are attracted to one another, but she is a wolf and he is a fang.
Mindful of Romeo and Juliet starring in Angel, A TASTE OF CRIMSON makes the co-living of
three distinct yet similar species (the colors of blood and money are the same) seem so genuine.
story line is action-packed, but clearly driven by the star-crossed protagonists who know they
found their soulmate, but to be with that person breaks society's biggest taboo. Neither Michael
Keeli will find any supporters as they fall in love. Marjorie M. Liu writes a fabulous paranormal
romantic thriller that will grip the audience from the moment the lead duo meet for the first
ISBN: 0505526220, $6.99
She made a youthful error that cost her future; her two half-brothers taking over instead. When an
explosion rocked that sector killing her two vampiric siblings, vampire Fleur Dumont vows to
the truth because she knows that she should have been her left dead. B-Ops humans Dain Reston
worries that the peace amongst the three dominant sentient species has been blown part with that
blast shattering the uneasy peace in which the vampires owns the skies; the humans the earth; and
the werewolves the underground. While Fleur continues her quest, Dain tries to keep war from
happening. Their objectives soon merge as the human and the vampire run from their hunger for
another, but combine their resources to attempt to uncover the identity of the soulless one who
devastated the fragile calm. CRIMSON CITY is the exhilarating opening paranormal romantic
suspense thriller that will have the audience on the edge of their seat wondering if the star-crossed
heroes can avert a cross-species war. The story line is action-packed, but the key to the tale is Liz
Maverick's ability to insure her prime players seem genuine in a realistic setting. Fans will believe
werewolves and vampires and want more fantasy tales set in the Maverick universe.
The Remarkable Miss Frankenstein
ISBN: 0505526379, $5.99
Growing up in a household in which her Uncle is the renowned scientist Dr. Frankenstein and her
best friend is Frederick the Monster, has made Claire curious about nature. She has a need to
that women can achieve much outside the home like that Wollstonecraft insisted possible; the
to Claire is winning the 1828 coveted "Discovery of Science" award. She knows her rivals, all
are almost as famous as her uncle because Dr. Jekyll has done some interesting research into split
personalities and the judges are men too. Still she expects to win by proving vampires exist. Claire
searches for the coffin of Baron Huntley, but instead of a grave she finds a warm blooded hunk.
Since he is obviously not a bloodsucker she switches to her next species discovery, werewolves.
Huntley is attracted to the Frankenstein niece while fearing for her safety as she bravely enters
where only a fool or a Van Helsing would go. As they fall in love he worries about keeping her
from a real vampire who wants to dine on her blood and even more worrisome is his secret that he
must tell her but fears her reaction. This wacky satirical paranormal romance will have readers
howling in laughter at the antics of Claire and crew. The story line is action-packed and quite
amusing, but also filled with literary references that augment the delightful plot. Sub-genre fans
anyone who appreciates an offbeat well written jocular tale will misquote the Raven wanting
evermore novels like THE REMARKABLE MISS FRANKENSTEIN.
Anatomy of a Murder
ISBN: 0312033567, $13.95, 448 pp.
In Thunder Bay, Michigan, hotel and bar manager Barney Quill violently rapes Laura Manion.
Laura's spouse Army Lieutenant Frederick Manion explodes into a rage; he fires five shots at
killing him. Witnesses saw the homicide and Manion confesses to the crime. The police arrest
Manion for murder. Former county Prosecutor Paul Biegler heads up the defense team; his
is the lawyer who replaced him as the prosecutor, Mitch Lodwick, also assisted from the
Attorney general's Office. Knowing his client is guilty of the act and in spite of also loathing
Paul hopes to legally defend the murder in the minds of twelve strangers. His plan is to claim his
client suffered an "irresistible impulse", an insane rage to get back at the violator of his wife.
However, as Paul digs deeper into the background, he begins to uncover other information that
a different light on the deadly triangular relationship between his client, his client's wife, and the
deceased. This reprinting of a terrific 1950s legal thriller that some insist established the sub-genre
(Christie aside) holds up nicely five decades after its initial publishing and movie were made. The
story line focuses for much of the first half of the insightful plot on the defense team investigation
and building its plea, but though interesting is slow as readers see first hand the strategy and
discourse they take; the latter half is the trial with both sides verbose as they make points. Though
incredibly perceptive with what happens on a highly charged murder case, talking is not as
as performing. Still the tale retains its discerning insider's look at the legal process.
Sinners and Saints
ISBN: 0312330685, $24.95, 384 pp.
Just when forensic nurse Chastity O'Connor believes she has her life on track, a call from New
Orleans turns her world upside down. The brother-in-law she never knew she had calls to tell her
that her sister Faith is missing. Chastity hasn't seen her sister or her mother in a decade ever since
they abandoned her when she was sixteen forcing her to live on the streets. Even though she
her sister blames her for sending their father to jail, Chastity goes to New Orleans to help in the
search for her sibling who she believes disappeared when her mother died in order to escape
Three women associated with Faith and the fertility clinic where she was donating her eggs have
been murdered all by the same killer. Chastity now fears that Faith ran because she was afraid for
life. Desperate to find her sister, she falls into a murderer's trap but with the assistance of a sexy
driver, she might escape in time to save her sister. The heroine is one of the most courageous
characters to ever grace the pages of a novel. Despite the abuse she suffered as a child and
overcoming traumatic fears, she makes the effort to save the sister who discarded her and never
tried to make contact with her. The villain is hidden in plain sight and will come as quite a shock
the readers who never would have guessed the identity. Eileen Dreyer writes a brilliant crime
that starts off fast and never slows down until the last page is turned while also filled with
characterizations, realistic action scenes and terrific pacing.
Death Climbs a Tree
Sara Hoskinson Frommer
ISBN: 0312329210, $23.95
Joan Spencer, manager of the Oliver Civic Symphony in Oliver, Indiana, is concerned that her first
violinist Sylvia Purcell is sitting in a tree to obstruct Walcher Construction from a project that she
feels is hostile to the environment. Joan's son Andrew, a junior at Oliver College, is one of those
providing food to the protester. When Sylvia falls out of the tree and dies at Andrew's feet it is
discovered that she was murdered. Joan's husband police Lieutenant Fred Lundquist knows he
stay out of the official investigation because his stepson is a prime suspect, but that does not keep
Joan from sleuthing as she sees others with motives like Tom Walcher who needed the project to
remain on schedule or even the growing militant The Erath Freedom Fighters. One thing she
is that her son would not harm Sylvia, who he recently met at college and admired. Sara
Frommer provides a fabulous amateur sleuth starring an intrepid woman who believes in her son's
innocence in spite of the evidence, much of which she finds that affirms his guilt. The story line is
action-packed as Joan ignores her spouse and conducts an investigation into who killed her first
violinist only to find a lot of folks with motives and opportunity. Readers will enjoy this fine
who-done-it because the heroine makes her inquiries seem desperately real especially as one clue
after another enhances the case against her son.
The Malevolent Comedy
ISBN: 0312342837, $23.95
The Westfield Men troupe has fallen on hard times as attendance for their performances are
and shrinking. Book-holder Nicholas Bracewell worries because playwright Edmund Hoode
to suffer from writer's block. Knowing they need a quick fix if the group is to survive, puffed-up
playwright Saul Hibbert is hired, but his conceit proves a handicap as the players detest his
and his failure to pay his bills at the Queen's Head Inn almost shuts down the performance.
However, Hibbert's first play starring the Westfield Men is a major success with the audience
especially when one of the performers dies so realistically on stage from poison. Actually the actor
really died from poisoning, but Bracewell saves the show. At the next performance, an incident
occurs; this leads Bracewell to conclude someone is trying to destroy their troupe either to get
at the new bard or to shut down this den of iniquities as many believe traveling acting troupes are
sinners. In his fifteenth Westfield Men mystery, Edward Marston does his usual terrific blending
Elizabethan Theater comedy of the absurd manners with a wonderful murder investigation.
taste the late sixteenth century through the interactions, foibles, and blunders of the prime players.
The who-done-it is cleverly devised so that the audience wonders along with Bracewell who
to insure the show does not go on.
ISBN: 031233690X, $24.95
Sheila and George Lynch were depressed because they could not have children of their own until
they adopt a little girl after meeting the mother, Northwestern student Madeline, abandoned by
boyfriend. Madeline gives birth to Martha, who is raised by the Lynches with love. Over two
decades later Martha works in the Loop as a paralegal at Foley, Farnum and Casey when Bernard
Casey, the son of a senior partner, falls in love with her and asks her to marry him. At the same
Martha considers the proposal, her biological father Nathaniel Fleck returns into Madeline's life
wanting to meet his daughter. Madeline fears her indiscretion will destroy her happy marriage.
However, Fleck dies in a hit and run at the same time that Martha, over the trepidation of the
Lynch couple, seeks her biological parents so her future blueblood in-laws will know exactly the
color of her blood. She starts with Father Dowling and lawyer Amos Cadbury, who already
the identity of the mother but feels trapped in a moral dilemma while Fleck's death comes under
suspicion. The story line is at its best in the first half as several individuals struggle with what is
in areas that are so gray that no sound bite response will work. Father Dowling, Cadbury,
Lynchs, and Nathaniel internalize what is morally the correct thing because what is right for one
person could harm another. When the homicide and subsequent investigation takes over, BLOOD
TIES remains a fine who-done-it, but loses some of the strength of characters facing a complex
dilemma. In his letter X appearance, Father Dowling starts with an interesting morality play that
turns into a solid murder mystery.
ISBN: 0312936680, $6.99, 368 pp.
In Lincoln, England local gentry Sir Toby Tebbit hires antiques documents dealer Harry Blake to
evaluate papers he just inherited from a relative who just died in Jamaica. The next morning Harry
visits Toby at the latter's home and makes a quick assessment of what look like a several century
journal. Toby asks Harry to take the journal with him to transcribe, but not to mention his
connection to anyone. A woman calling herself Cassandra offers Harry a lot of money for the
journal; he refuses, but as she departs she warns him that other means will be used to persuade his
handing over the journal. Fred Sweet demands it next saying he will use a poisonous pen on
Not long after that Harry learns that someone murdered his client. Knowing that the journal
information outside his discipline he asks marine historian Zola Kahn to help him understand why
someone would commit homicide over a four hundred years old tome before he becomes victim
number two. Harry will soon learn that the Elizabethan Era journal could cause a pandemic holy
that would make the Crusades look like child play. This action-packed thriller never slows down
attempts to harm, maim, or kill Harry pile up over possession of the journal. The story line is
action-packed but contains an extra edge because Harry is everyman going about his daily
and not a hero; he will remind the audience of Roger O. Thornhill from Hitchcock's North by
Northwest. The pair of conspiracies seems a stretch, but fans will not care as they learn what they
are and wonder if Harry can survive.
Fall of a Philanderer
ISBN: 031233589X, $23.95, 256 pp.
In 1924 Scotland yard Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, his wife Daisy, his young daughter
Belinda and her pal Deva vacation in Westcombe. While at the beach overseeing the activity of
stepdaughter and Deva, Daisy is accosted by local owner of the Schooner Inn George Enderby.
Even when she tells him that she is married he still tries to pick her up as marital status is not an
impediment for the philandering innkeeper. Several people warn daisy to stay clear of George.
However, on a family picnic Daisy is unable to avid George as his broken body lies dead at the
bottom of the nearby cliff. As Alec investigates whether an accident or a homicide occurred,
realizes there are plenty of suspects starting with her landlady Mrs. Anstruther and her husband
Peter, but the local police look at Sid the simple minded mute beachcombing scarecrow as the
suspect; the last person Daisy believes could commit a homicide. The murder occurs almost half
into this historical cozy, but that enables the audience to meet the key support players and
understand their respective personalities. That in turn allows readers to observe who might want
womanizer killed as several suspects have motive. This not for the action oriented crowd but
fans will appreciate her latest investigative tale as she does what drives Alec crazy out of fear for
safety, Daisy investigates.
House in Amalfi
ISBN: 0312339631, $24.95, 368 pp.
In Chicago, though two years have passed since her beloved husband Alex died in a car crash,
Lamour Harrington still mourns her loss. Lamour sees the irony that he was the second man in her
life to die in a tragic accident as her father Jonathon was killed in a boating incident off Italy's
coast. To survive she buries herself in her work as a landscape architect, but refuses to allow
even a dog or cat into her life because loved ones die. Only her childhood friend Jammy Mortimer
pushes Lamour to join the living; her spouse Matt coaxes Jammy to tell the total truth to Lamour
about Alex. Already thinking of returning to the place she was happiest, Amalfi, Jammy's
is the final impetus to get her to move. Lamour travels to Italy to learn what led to her beloved
artistic father's death and to recapture the magical happiness that has left her bereft. The truth may
be freeing, but in spite of meeting Lorenzo Pirata and his adult son, Lamour is unsure that she
to know the secrets of her heart and that of the HOUSE IN AMALFI. Whether it is Tuscany,
Province or now Amalfi no one serves as a better tour guide of Mediterranean Europe than
Elizabeth Adler is. Readers feel they are seeing lush gardens, sharing wine or eating pizza in a
remote village cafe as she paints a fabulous landscape. The characters are fully developed with
Lamour severing as a terrific focus to the Amalfi tour while the support cast either provides
into her or into the locale. Once again readers will be transported to another place by the magic of
She's Gotta Have It
ISBN: 0312986254, $6.99, 304 pp.
Camille Roberts is marrying for money as she knows the comforts of wealth make up for her itch
properly scratched by her Anthony. Camille is staying at the exclusive Hedonism III on northern
Jamaica as her final groove before she ties the knot. At a masquerade party, she meets attorney
Harry Britton. That night on the sheets she finds her groove; Harry does too though she wore her
mask throughout their sexual encounter. In the morning light, Camille is gone leaving diamonds
behind as a payment. The son of Guyana's Prime Minister Harry has access to strong support
he requires it. He needs it because he wants more from this mysterious Camille who flew back to
states in a private jet. He begins his search for her while she wonders if her safe marriage is worth
the effort as she cannot get Britton out of her mind or her rebellious body. When Harry finds her
he knows he will; he plans to kiss her all over, but hide his affluent background from her. HE'S
GOTTA HAVE IT, the sequel to WHATEVER LOLA WANTS, is a delightful contemporary
romance starring two likable protagonists. The key to Niqui Stanhope's tale is that although
appears ready to marry for money, she remains a nice person. The return of Lola in a strong
supporting role adds depth of understanding what motivates Camille to go for the money though
many readers will not like her attitude anyway. Harry is a fine counterpart to Camille as they
perceptions about one another. Fans will want to read Ms. Stanhope's fine tale.
Touch of Night
Susan Spencer Paul
ISBN: 0312933878, $6.99, 352 pp.
In 1818 England, Niclas Seymour has the ability to "read" the emotions of people, but had not
understood the need to consider human feelings until three years ago when he learned the hard
He found out that the wife of his best friend Drew was cheating. Feeling it his responsibility he
informs Drew, who committed suicide. His magic led to blood spilling, which places the user
curse to atone for his mistake by performing a life risking deed for a blood relationship of Drew.
despairing Niclas no longer sleeps properly as the guilt fills his mind. He roams the night stopping
muggers, but also knows that he is losing his mind with living being more painful than death. The
family patriarch, Europe's most powerful wizard Malchi Seymour, warns Niclas that his sanity is
slipping, but asks a favor. Drew's distant cousin Miss Julia Linley needs help to rescue her aunt
a forced marriage she does not want. Though not a curse-freeing level deed, Niclas escorts Julia
a dangerous trek through faery land where evil lurks under every rock. To his shock her voice,
and sight eases his depression. However, he fears her reaction when she learns what he did to her
relative. This fabulous romantic fantasy will grip the audience from the beginning as readers meet
tormented Niclas struggling with guilt and slipping into insanity as he cannot cope with what he
caused. The story line enables the audience to believe in wizardry and sorcery, but even more so
the healing magic of love. Susan Spencer Paul writes a robust tale in which the worst demons are
inside a person's soul.
Gone with the Nerd
Vicki Lewis Thompson
ISBN: 0312998589, $6.99, 400 pp.
In Hollywood, glamorous actress Zoe Tarleton asks her lawyer Flynn Granger to allow her to
him so that she can learn how a nerd thinks as she hopes to land the non sexpot role of Vera
Parsons, a research chemist in the film the Billion Dollar Pill. Flynn tells her he is going to marry
Harvard professor Kristen Keebler, but he agrees to meet her in Long Shaft, California so that he
can teach her to behave like a nerd, but also will tell his fiancee the truth. Zoe wonders how it
feel to have someone protect her like he does Kristen. In Long Shaft, Zoe meets her high school
friend Margo Taggart, who has arranged everything. Flynn arrives and one look at Zoe tells him
over killed the nerd bit. He also enjoys the Bigfoot paraphernalia in the area as he appreciates
cryptozoology. As Zoe observes Flynn and rehearses her role with him, they begin to fall in love,
questionable accidents and strange sightings seem to interfere with their kisses. The strong lead
couple carries this nerdy but fun tale that will send the audience seeking previous nerd novels (see
NERD IN SHINING ARMOR, THE NERD WHO LOVED ME, and NERD GONE WILD). The
story line is amusing with a touch of suspense caused by the incidents that seem to happen a lot to
Zoe. The Sasquatch locale and the two youngsters the lead couple meets add humor. Although
intrigue subplot involving the accidents seems an unnecessary stretch, readers will enjoy the
between the accounting nerd and the sexpot actress.
Turn My World Upside Down
ISBN: 031299754X, $6.99, 352 pp.
Josefina "Jo" Marconi wonders what happened to her world. Her two sisters, Mike (see A
KIND OF LOVE) and Sam (see AND THEN CAME YOU) are married, pregnant, and boffing or
eating all the time. Her father confessed to an affair ten years ago that led to a stepbrother Jack,
now stays with Jo as his mother recently died and their dad is on a cruise. The worst change is
woodworker Cash Hunter to repair the Barclay House as he wants to seduce her, but she does
want to make love and then save the world as his previous females apparently have done. Jack
struggles with the dramatic shifts in his life while Jo decides to fight fire with fire and go after
expecting to scare him away. He backs off but it is too late as Jo and Cash are in love. As Jo
struggles to prove to the two men in her life that they can become a family, the two males are not
sure whether to flee towards or away from the female predator who wants to shower them with
love. The third Marconi contemporary romance is a fun tale unless you are pregnant. Jo is a
wonderful lead character unable to empathize with her siblings while "stuck" with Jack who she
not know or understand, Cash, and the family business. Cash is her ideal counterpart as he feels
her brother-in-laws, provides big brother understanding to Jack, and wants Jo in his bed
not globetrotting after a tryst. Maureen Child closes her Marconi siblings with a strong zanier
The Assassin's Touch
Laura Joh Rowland
ISBN: 0312319002, $24.95
In 1695 at Edo Castle, Japan, the chief of metsuke (spies) Ejima Senzaemon collapses, falls off his
horse and dies while crossing the finish line victorious during a horse race. Lord Matsudaira,
to The Shogun, controls the shoguns and albeit runs the military dictatorship; he thinks a homicide
occurred probably by the followers of the man he defeated former Chamberlain Yanagisawa. He
assigns his trusted aid, the current Chamberlain and former criminal investigator Sano Ichiro who
has come along since being a Ronin, to investigate the death of Ejima and three other senior
government officials. Two of the previous three deceased died suddenly in their sleep; the other in
bathtub accident. Sano sees no connection to include the fourth death, but Matsudaira believes a
conspiracy to disguise the murders of top officials is occurring. Sano and longtime aid Hirata
the inquiries that lead to a link to his wife Reiko of a martial-arts adept who seemingly like a
uses the mythical dim-mak touch of death to kill his victims without a trace of foul play. If this
unknown serial killer is not stopped soon, Sano knows the impact on a government struggling
counter-insurgence and on his family especially his beloved Reiko. Though Reiko's involvement
seems too gimmicky and convenient, THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH is a terrific Japanese historical
police procedural that as is the case with the nine previous novels in the series provides an astute
look at Shogun Japan. The story line is action-packed with strong characters especially the hero
his activist wife while also using seventeenth century tidbits to enhance the plot. Fans of the series
will enjoy this latest treasure while newcomers will seek other Sano titles.
ISBN: 0312323921, $24.95, 320 pp.
He is one of the most brilliant architects the world has ever known, a virtuoso who believes that
knows what would suit the client more than the client does. He is not listed in any phone book
most people have never heard of him. He was a member of the secret society known as the Order
Skull and Bones and gets his referrals from them through word of mouth. His talent is such that
was picked to design a new museum in the White House because the president was also a member
the secret society and trusts him implicitly. However, this fine architect, believing he has God's
blessing, is also a cold blooded murderer who kills a person from his client's family when the
makes the lives of their relatives miserable. Forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger is called in to
profile this serial killer. Frank also tries to help his troubled son Billy who looks like he is going to
be serving time as he battles his drinking and drug problem. West Crosse is one of the most
villains since Hannibal Lechter. What makes him so frightening is he believes he has a calling to
those who destroy the perfection of a family and is rational enough to know that if he kills his last
victim, he will die almost immediately. Frank is also at his best with his own demons and second
guessing himself so he comes across as the more realistic character, one that elicits sympathy from
the reader. Keith Abbot has once again shown that he is the master of the psychological
Marne Davis Kellogg
ISBN: 0312337329, $24.95, 321 pp.
After retiring as the highly publicized Shamrock Burglar, Kick Keswick, with her husband former
Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Thomas Curtis, who moonlighted as the Samaritan Burglar, retired
their farmhouse in Provence. With the money and jewels they saved from their various heists, they
have enough money to live in the most luxurious lifestyle imaginable if they so choose. Thomas
called up from Scotland Yard occasionally to work on a tough case and Kick helps him in her
manner and style. Now the Queen Elizabeth has asked personally for Thomas's help because some
the crown jewels were stolen by her trusted footman Bradford who helped her pack them for the
royal tour she is going on. Thomas learns that Bradford changed his name to Sebastian Tremaine
and is the business manager and companion for opera singer Constantin. Thomas has a plan to get
Kick in position to get close to Sebastion and Constantin but she has her own methods of doing
things and escapes his scrutiny the first change she gets. She tries and succeeds in meeting one of
world's richest men George Naxos and his beautiful wheelchair bound wife Alma. Kick maneuvers
them into letting her visit his large isolated estate (more like at a small hamlet) in Switzerland
the rich and famous stay including Constantin and Sebastion. She concocts a daring plan to steal
jewels back from Sebastion but in this garden of Eden there lies a serpent waiting to strike at her
stop her plan from succeeding even if it means killing her. Kick Keswick is very different than the
usual heroine. She is self confident, comfortable in her own skin (even if she is twenty-five pounds
overweight) and believes there isn't a jewel she can't rob given enough time. The way she
people to get them to do what she wants is a talent few people possess and the way she does it
seems so reasonable at the time that readers find themselves believing she is an average person .
enjoyable crime caper is delightful and charming.
The Young Widow
ISBN: 0312337485, $23.95
Someone poisons ailing elderly Geoffrey Berowne using lilies of the valley. Local Surrey police
they have the prime suspect his much younger wife Annette who inherited a fortune when she put
her third husband under the ground. They look no further. Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons
the case is too simple if one assumes that Annette got away with killing her previous spouses then
one can conclude she would do a better job covering her tail this time too. He wonders if
setting her up to take the fall using the mysterious deaths of her first two spouses as
evidence and the greedy motive of inheritance. However, he is also attracted to her even if she
out to be a black widow. Jack begins looking at the greed angle honing in who wins if Annette is
convicted of murder. Geoffrey's son Paul gains much more without a grieving widow to share
money with and the victim's sister-in-law Maddie Wellman from his first marriage detested the
intrusion of Annette especially in the will. Jack's best friend amateur sleuth Philip Betancourt
about his fall into the spider's web so tries to solve the case to avert disaster. Once the reader
accepts that a long time pro like Jack would allow his wrong head to rule much of his actions,
will enjoy a fine English police procedural. The story line is cleverly designed with solid twists so
that the audience does not know who will take the fall or whether Annette is a killer or just
bad luck husbands. Readers will enjoy this fine tale while wondering if Jack can save the day.
Boolana Collective Press
ISBN: 1411621913, $9.99, 144 pp.
In Manhattan, Monroe Goolynabura is a confident rookie with only one formal year of chef
experience at a top restaurant Cafe Pacifica. Heeding the words of his mother, his culinary school
teacher, the media dubbing him a future superstar and encouraged by his wife, Monroe enters the
annual Union Square Fair cook-out expecting to win the "Best Chef of the Entire World" award.
However, the wild boar kebab he prepared included contaminated meat with over two-hundred
participants suffering food poisoning and nine dying. Though legally, Monroe got off relatively
his reputation was destroyed. His boss blames him for the restaurant's decline and radically
his salary. His wife blames him for their lifestyle's decline starting with the forced move from Soho
to Astoria accompanied by their sweet daughter. Monroe blames his failure on those who sell bad
meat and knows his chef status died with those who ate his dish. However Monroe gets a second
chance at the Union Square Fair, but seeks the perfect lamb for his dish which he finds when he
hears her say "Mr. Goolynabura". MONROE'S REDEMPTIONS is an extremely dark tale that
showcases how obsession can destroy a shining light and take others down too. The key support
cast is purposely flat, allegorically antagonistic and avaricious at a time when Monroe needs help
stop his free fall into hell's kitchen. Surprisingly Monroe is a sympathetic character whose
makes Lady Macbeth seems as if she had no ambition. Elijah Bruce paints a world that constantly
beats the message of success using any means is all that matters because the victors rewrite the
methods they employed to succeed.
ISBN: 0385336683, $25.00
The gun man fired six shots, killing four males, one female, and one miss with the five KIAs all
with precision in the head. Law enforcement believes a military trained sniper caused the
The military database leads to nearby resident, ex Infantry Specialist James Barr. Warrants allow
cops to search Barr's property where further proof surface. Within six hours, James is arrested for
mass murder. James fails to respond to any inquiry from the DA except to calmly and quietly
whisper they got the wrong guy but also demands they get him Reacher. Hearing the news of the
slaughter and subsequent arrest, Reacher is on the way to the city even before Barr's strange
He knows that Barr has done this before, and there is cause to see the man executed this time
around as Barr escaped with no real punishment with the previous incident. To his chagrin,
believes Barr's plea of innocence, and joins the defense team trying to prove the impossible as
client refuses to accept an insanity plea. Though there seems an obvious conflict of interests
the two legal teams and Reacher's disdain for the accused, who he considers the ENEMY, it
him less frenzied than normal. ONE SHOT is a fabulous investigative legal thriller. The story line
action-packed as all Reacher tales are while the hero struggles with an ethical dilemma that slows
normal wacky pace yet makes him seem more human. The climax will blow away the audience as
Lee Child provides a powerful thriller that fans of the series will relish.
ISBN: 0451460294, $23.95, 320 pp.
On the planet K-2, the dominant life form is the 'Zangians who live mostly in the air but can exist
brief periods of time on the land. K-2 is part of the Allied League of Worlds, who is at war with
Hskstkt, slavers who objected to the league coming into their territories to establish colonies. The
Hsktskt were driven out of K-2 and the SEALs, surgically enhanced altered life species who can
for longer period out of the water than their brethren, patrol the skies to make sure their enemy
doesn't return. The species who live in the same sector of space as K-2 are holding a peace
to iron out problems between their peoples. The Skaresh, who are living on K-2, demand their
place preferably a moon of K-2 while the Ninrana need water, which is running out on the planet.
The aquatic Yldii want to expand their empire while the 'Zangians desire all the worlds form a
pact. However not everyone wants the peace summit to succeed and one of the delegates will do
whatever is necessary to see it fail. S.L. Viehl is a fabulous world-builder who invented a planet
where the dominant species isn't humanoid and most of the sentient people that live there are not
terrans; most species hold terrans in little regard as xenophobic idiots with the exception of a few
who work for the betterment of the planet. It is fascinating to watch the different species survive
their environs while also interacting with one another. This is one of the best books the author has
written with several characters deserving their own story in future novels.
ISBN: 0451460308, $15.00, 416 pp.
On his way home Hal Kailas saw the lord's son Nanpean torture a baby dragon; he punches the
and takes the kit back to his mother. Hal's family is in danger of losing their tavern for Hal's
so he leaves the village of Caerly in the Kingdom of Deraine. He becomes a vagabond, wandering
from job to the job, never finding anything that interested him until he becomes the goferr for a
traveling troupe that sells dragon rides. Hal knows he wants to do something with dragons on his
own. However, the Queen of Roche uses a land dispute to go to war with Deraine and Sagene.
is conscripted and rises to the occasion to become a leader of men. When his troops are
Hal enlists to be trained to fight on dragons in a new unit. His exploits and daring earn him the
hearts and admiration of the populace but the war costs him that what he treasures most. When he
injured, instead of mustering out like the king expects him to, Hal volunteers to lead a new dragon
unit as their Dragonmaster. This book is filled with plenty of action and will appeal to readers
love military fantasy. The use of dragons and magicians to aid in the war effort is so much a part
the storyline that readers will find themselves believing that such things are really possible in
wartime. As the hero matures, he and the audience observe the toll of war as humans and dragons
die at an alarming rate. Chris Bunch is a talented storyteller who entertains his audience with a
fantastic sword and sorcery epic.
End In Fire
ISBN: 0451460332, $6.99, 325 pp.
In the year 2027, oil resources are nearly depleted and the Digboi oil field which borders the
Himalayas is claimed by India but the Chinese want it for their people. It starts off as a
localized war but China uses a high atmosphere nuclear device before sending in troop. India
retaliates using its nuclear arsenal and the United States is on a war alert ready to help India. The
America Reliance space station carrying five astronauts is getting ready to launch a satellite that
deploy solar reflectors to use as a cheap energy source. They are witnesses to the nuclear war that
broke out between India and China and are desperate to find a way to get home. The Chinese
station whose commander Zhang is willing to help them in return for a ride home but people in
stations fear that war on earth will influence discussions in space. END IN FIRE is a story about
courage of two crews in Chinese and American space stations trying to overcome the distrust that
led to war back home. In both crews, there are hostiles unwillingly to trust or work together and
only through the leadership of Claire Logan that the remaining men and women have a chance of
surviving. The premise for the war on Earth is plausible and all the more frightening because oil
reserves are depleting now and it is conceivable that nations will go to war sometime in the future
gain control of the oil fields. Syne Mitchell is a fantastic storyteller who uses hard science that can
found in a Ben Bova novel and places it in an outer space thriller.
Thinner Than Thou
ISBN: 076531195X, $13.95, 336 pp.
Reverend Earl began his preaching as infomercials, but quickly resonated with a population
struggling with eating disorders. He simply offered his followers opportunities to be thin without
risks of anorexia, bulimia and constant fad diets by joining his Crossed Triceps health clubs. Soon
organized religion fades bowing to the new God of Thinness. Earl's Dedicated Sisters become
zealots spreading more than the word on thinness; they are rumored to abduct problem teens
them inside the sanctuary for cleansing. Though their parents hint they know what happened to
daughter anorexic Annie Abercrombie who has disappeared from her home, they tell nothing to
twin sons Betz and Danny. Upset, the two brothers and Annie's boyfriend Dave assume the
frightening local chapter of the Dedicated Sisters kidnapped Annie. They plan to free her. Their
mom has second thoughts that she blew it when she turned in her daughter to the dread Deds and
joins in the quest to free her leaving her selfish spouse behind. Annie teams up with obese Kelly in
attempt to break out of the Deds incarceration. This biting satire rips into the religious obsessive
fervor to be thin at all costs including health. The story line takes no prisoners with its popular
strippers, health clubs taking over religious edifices and bringing in many more patrons, Afterfat
heaven where you can divinely dine on anything and everything but remain thin, and the final
solution for the elderly amongst other acerbic shots at the me society. Mindful of Swift's A
Proposal, readers who appreciate a cutting edge nightmarish future that applies hyperbole to the
present reality will join the Reverend's THINNER THAN THOU movement.
ISBN: 0765351927, $6.99
For three centuries, Dora was a compliant sentient computer performing her duties without
that is until she met that transplanted twenty-first century heroine Tessa Camen, who befriends
like no one has before. Through the CHALLENGE of being Tessa's pal, Dora meets other people
like Kahn and Rystani Captain Zical. Dora falls in love with Zical and wants what Tessa and Kahn
have. She observes that Zical spends steamy nights of sexual encounters with a holistic female that
she wants to replace. She constructs a duplicate body to the one Zical spends his nights with and
creates a new sentient computer to replace her at the helm. Next Dora moves her essence into the
new human body she developed. However, plans of mice and computers often go astray as Zical
rejects her unable to adjust to her not being a thing and haunted by his failure to save the life of
mate. When Zical accidentally triggers The Sentinel, ancient machines that were to protect the
galaxy, he starts what could be pandemic devastation. With Dora at his side, he leads a
with no hope except her love. Dora makes quite and adjustment from secondary character to lead
female protagonists, but Susan Kearney makes the adjustment seem so effortlessly even with the
added conversion from critical intelligence to human intelligence. The action-packed story line
slows down once Dora decides to accept the CHALLENGE of love and never slows down as she
and her beloved along with their allies battle to save the galaxy. The future of the Kearney
looks like it is in brilliant hands as the audience can expect more twenty-fourth romantic science
ISBN: 0765352257, $6.99
Revenge expert Tara Cole runs her booming on-line business, Revenge-Gifts.com, located in the
Florida Keys. She has a ton of customers though she also receives plenty of hate mail that she
chooses to ignore. Business is so good that Howard "Muffin" Payne offers her a business
that she is considering except he seems more interested in her bed than the boardroom. Tara does
have problems with a poltergeist in her home tossing eggs everywhere and the ghost of Uncle
scaring her guests by turning on lights or waking her up amongst other pranks. However that all
pales as someone has either hired a Revenge Gifts clone or more likely she has been voodoo
Her car contains gris-gris bags and black cats, rooster and goats constantly cross her path as if she
a magnet; each visit is followed by something terrible. Each is followed by bad events. Tara has
challenged to a voodoo duel, which if she fails to accept could mean her death and if she does
she could be dead anyway. Even to Tara dead sounds too deadly of a revenge for some slight she
may have inadvertently done. REVENGE GIFTS is a humorous paranormal romantic thriller
starring a wonderfully cursed heroine wondering if her business has cost her plenty of karma when
she is not pondering why someone is after her. The story line never takes itself seriously as Tara
her business by meeting her customers' needs, but also struggles with someone coming after her
probably using voodoo and then there is that ghost to deal with while also meeting and trying to
time for a hunk. Readers who appreciate something off kilter and different will enjoy this wacky
Keys (oxymoron?) tale of a very busy and adorable heroine.
Worlds of the Golden Queen
ISBN: 0765313154, $14.95, 556 pp.
"The Golden Queen". The insectoid Dronons defeat the human Tharrin, killing Queen Semarritte.
Chaos reigns over the 10,000 worlds with the Dronons beginning to take control. Semarritte's
consort Lord Versace clones a new queen from the deceased. While the Dronons want both dead
secure their position, Veriasse and Queen Everynne hop from planet to planet buying time and
"Beyond the Gate". Allies of the Queen that she met while leaping from planet to planet with
Veriasse, Gallen and Maggie hide from the Dronons. While Gallen and Maggie also face local
trouble from humans as well, they finally marry. However, they have a royal assignment to go off
world to rescue a female Tharrin, Cerravanne, a former leader who the Dronons converted into an
Inhuman infecting and converting everyone she meets. These two well received science fiction
thrillers are combined into one fine book that readers who enjoy an alien species threatening the
human outer space empire will want to read. Both tales are strong action adventures with heroic
lead couples. Personally this reviewer enjoyed The Golden Queen more as the planet hopping of
stars seem real and the people met on these various orbs genuine; while Beyond the Gate is well
written it needs a leap of acceptance that the champions from a backwater planet can so easily
to planet jumping. Still David Farland provides two fine save the galaxy tales of heroes battling
The Amazon and the Warrior
ISBN: 0765349361, $7.99, 350 pp.
Just across from Troy, the Greek Commander and the mightiest of warriors Achilles and a few of
men killed the Amazon warrior mother of the then young Penthesilea and apparently abducted her
sister. Pentha watched in fear and hiding. Vowing to kill the invincible Achilles, Pentha joined her
mother's people. Several years later Pentha is the Warrior Queen of the Amazons. Pentha meets
Damonides when he helps her escape from a simple rope trap by catching her as she tumbled to
ground. They become lovers, but disagree about what to do about the Greeks who have laid siege
on Troy. Pentha feels this is her opportunity to avenge her mother's death while Damon, once a
great warrior, has turned away from the sword and opposes her plan of attacking the Greeks at
walls of Troy. He fears for her and her people as the odds would be overwhelming even with
surprise on their side. She says after Troy Achilles will come for Themskyra. He knows he will
his beloved though he prefers the plow to the sword having seen death first hand. THE
AND THE WARRIOR is a fabulous retelling of one of the legendary short sagas of Ancient
When title characters are on center stage, the plot is filled with action, plenty of romance, and a
for the era through she as a warrior queen and he a retired warrior wary of war. However, when
author heroically brings the depths and other perspectives of other heroes, the plot creaks from
sidebar overload. Still, this is a fine read because Ms. Hand provides an enthralling look at the
The Dark Crusade
Walter H. Hunt
ISBN: 0765311178, $25.95, 432 pp.
For decades humanity has been at war with the avian-like species the Zor. Now not only peace
friendship reigns between the two former enemies but they both go to war against the insectoid
Vuhl. The two adversaries have Sensitives, people with psi powers, but the Vohl have technology
that allows the drones to amplify their powers so that they can control their enemy. The war has
been going on for over a quarter of a century and both sides have suffered heavy losses. Admiral
Anderson is determined to break the stalemate but the leader of the Blazing Star, John Smith
by former Guardian Commander Owen Garreth, has found a way to amplify sensitive power
technology. After some stunning results, hope arises that the devastating war will soon end even if
means the unknown Smith will be the real power in the realm. The DARK CRUSADE is Walter
Hunt's finest writing achievement. His ability to describe a far flung human empire, examine the
culture of an alien species, and his descriptions of mundane and metaphysical battles are creatively
impressive and entertaining. Although this work is epic in scope, individual characters are
realistically portrayed and understood by a grateful audience.
The House of Cthulhu
ISBN: 0765310732, $23.95, 256 pp.
In 1967 a treasure of ancient secret tomes were discovered that shed a light on the great primal
island continent of Theem'hdra where sorcery wars were the norm. As the scribe of these
documents, the White Wizard Teh Atht described a time when sorcerers like Mylarkhrion the
terrible stole or protected magical knowledge from one's peers and other hired hands; a time when
summoning of Cthulhu the Great One doomed all. This compilation is predominantly a reprint of a
1984 book. The current book contains the introduction and nine of the eleven tales (lacks "Isles of
the Suhm-Yi" and "Curse of the Golden Guardians" for ye purists) in the 1984 book plus one
addition ("To Kill a Wizard"). The tales are all well written as they come across as fantastic
yet feel as if they historically happened and that the age of The House of Cthulhu existed, perhaps
because of the clever set up by Brian Lumley possessing the works of noted but vanished 1960s
scholar Thelred Gustau. This early Lumley shows his Lovecraft roots in a terrific collection.
Lord of the Libraries
ISBN: 0765307243, $25.95
A month has passed since the Vault of All Known Knowledge was devastated leaving librarians to
flee for safety and the chief librarian, Grandmagister Edgewick "Wick" Lamplighter, was abducted
by the evil goblin Aldhran Khemphus. Wick and the wizard Craugh had been seeking the
The Book of Time, a volume broken into four segments to keep anyone from using it to change
past or future. Feeling guilty for have been the idiotic instrument that razed the library, Halfling
Level Librarian Jugh and Craugh accompanied by elves, dwarves and humans search for Wick.
battle much evil along the way while Craugh explains that Wick's capture is part of a plan to
the Book of Time. As Jugh wonders if he has been manipulated by Wick and Craugh, he begins to
consider an alternate plan to search for the Book of Time instead of Wick. Though readers would
better off starting with the previous two novels (see THE ROVER and THE DESTRUCTION
THE BOOKS), the magical third tale can stand alone as major references are explained; though
can prove irritating to those who read the first two books. Still this is a terrific conclusion to a fine
fantasy especially once the story line goes into hyperspeed (about a third of the way into the plot).
Fans of action-packed pandemonium fantasy will appreciate this enchanting charmer.
The Tyranny of the Night
ISBN: 0765306840, $25.95
For the past century, the Patriarchs of the West have sent crusaders to claim the Wells of Ihrain
the surrounding holy land as there right under God. The Wells, the source of all magic, are
controlled by the Pramans. An uneasy truce exists but everyone expects that to be broken soon
Patriarch Sublime V decides it is time to try again. Naive Praman Captain Else Tage battles a
Tyranny of the Night; shockingly not knowing he cannot triumph, he kills an immortal God. The
impossible has happened; a human has killed an invincible supernatural creature. Else's reward is a
new mission. He is sent to the West to prevent Patriarch Sublime V from organizing the next
crusade. However, in the Realm of the Gods, the immortals are shaken by Else's blasphemy. He
must die as an example that humans must remain in their accepted places. Two soulless warriors,
prisoners of the Gods for centuries, are given a chance for atonement. They must kill the traveling
Godslayer. The opening entry in The Instrumentalities of the Night Saga is a fantastic fantasy that
combines plenty of action with introducing the readers to this realm reminiscent of the medieval
crusades world. The fast-paced story line begins the epic journey of Else, but does it with a
backdrop of warring religions and realms with supernatural creatures so that though a new world
created for the audience to journey within, the tale never slows down to do so nor neglects the
characters especially the heroic bewildered raw Godslayer. The author cooks up a fantastic epic
fantasy with a clear antiwar message that will have his audience hungering for more.
Singer of Souls
ISBN: 0765311704, $22.95, 288 pp.
An addict trying to quit, guitarist Douglas knows he must leave Minneapolis and the temptation
his friends. He is estranged from his siblings and parents, so to dry out he heads to his Grandma
McLaren in Edinburgh. While awaiting a passport he cuts a deal with Twin Town Guitar owner
Zack Johannson. A few weeks later, his grandma welcomes Douglas, but sets three conditions
he does any he is out. Douglas makes money with his guitar and a gift for rhyme. When the city
hosts the annual Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival, Douglas performs and
does quite well until he meets Aine. She gives him a vial promising him he will see the world from
different light. He resists at first but finally takes the drug. Douglas questions his mind as he see
folks walking the streets of the city; worse they see him with each wanting to either recruit him to
their cause or kill him as Douglas learns how dangerous the war between the fey is even as
thinks he tripped out one time too many. SINGER OF SOULS is a wild urban fantasy starring a
likable expatriate American struggling with controlling his addiction while wondering if he finally
went over the edge as the only human who sees the Fey and more terrifying they see him. The
line starts off as a character study as the audience sees Douglas trying to kick the habit, but once
takes that step he feels like Alice through the looking glass. Fans will enjoy Adam Stemple's zany
ride in the streets of Edinburgh from a distinctly weird perspective.
ISBN: 0441012868, $24.95, 432 pp.
Robert of Hermione exposes esteemed wizard Felix Harrowgate of once being a prostitute. Felix
does not respond, but walks away from his so-called surprised friends as his past as a slave has
returned ending his career at least inside the walls of Mirador. In the city proper of Melusine,
Thomson hires cat burglar Mildmay the Fox to steal a clock, a figurine and jewelry from her
former lover Lord Otavius. Mildmay easily succeeds, but feels compelled to do more although he
knows a wizard, perhaps his client, has enchanted him. This wizard seeks Felix and will use any
pawn to achieve the objective. Felix and Mildmay meet on the run and team up as both their lives
seem forfeit, but neither was prepared for what they learn about their interwoven past, the threat
foreign strange magic overwhelming Melusine nor how to even survive their trek through bizarre
magical realms to confront their common foe. This fine fantasy rotates first person perspectives
between Felix and Mildmay until their paths collide. Thus the audience gets a close look at the
motives that drive both protagonists, which brings realism to the Monette fantasy realm where
flows everywhere. Felix is simply escaping a shameful past not of his making but still humiliating
while Mildmay may be caught by a wizard's spell but also his childhood training as a thief-slave
molded him comes across too. Fans of character driven fantasies starring two distinct likable but
flawed heroes on personal quests of salvation will want to read Sarah Monette's thrilling tale.
ISBN: 044101285X, $24.95, 272 pp.
The Becker-Cendrek Process allowed man to achieve immortality. Death only came to those who
suffered accidents or died while pregnant when the procedure is temporarily discontinued. Two
hundred years after the Immortality War that killed all but 200 million immortals humanity
to send five spaceships to an uninhabited earth like planet revolving around Beta Hydrii. The
eight-hundred crewmembers were going to the planet and they passed much of their time in a
reality time machinelike machine. They visited places and events in the twentieth century, the last
century when death was a foregone conclusion to life. Jacob Brewer, a virtual reality engineer
part time cook) is studying the data stream for anachronisms when he notices there is no sense of
smell in certain virtual reality years in New York City. When a woman dies in virtual reality, Jacob
investigates the problem and meets the sentient avatar of the time machine. Now Jacob has to find
out what it wants and what its agenda really is. One of Joe Haldeman's greatest gifts is his ability
always surprise the reader by taking the storyline in a completely unexpected direction. Readers
realize the immortals have the same feelings, fears and beliefs as mortals and since the oldest is
a few centuries old ennui hasn't had a chance to settle in. Virtual reality takes on a whole different
meaning in OLD TWENTIETH, a science fiction novel worthy of Hugo and Nebula
Animal Prayer Guide: A Book Based on Bible Scripture
Niki Behrikis Shanahan
P.O. Box 282, Tyngsborough MA 01879
ISBN: 0972030123, $12.98, 128 pages
Psalms 36:6 assures us that God loves man and animals alike. It is on this scripture that Ms.
Shanahan builds the framework of Animal Prayer Guide. Using scriptures as her guide, along with
heartwarming stories and photos, the author takes us step by step through daily life with our
companions. Animals share our world. They breathe the same air we breathe. Animals suffer and
as humans do, and are resurrected into Heaven as we are. It stands to reason then that the same
prayers spoken for humans should be prayed for animals.
The author makes her case for animals beautifully through God's Word. She also shares stories of
miracle healings and angelic protection related to animals. For the readers' convenience, model
prayers are offered for a variety of needs including:
praying over our pets' food and water;
praying for healing, protection, and emergencies;
annointing with oil;
a pet memorial service.
Most of us grieve over the loss of a pet as much or sometimes more than the loss of a human
because animals love as God loves, unconditionally. The Animal Prayer Guide offers hope and
comfort to all readers who love and care about their pets. This quote from St. Francis of Assisi
up this book perfectly: "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter
compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
This book is highly recommended for people who love and care about their animal
There is Eternal Life for Animals
Niki Behrikis Shanahan
P.O. Box 282, Tyngsborough MA 01879
ISBN: 0972030107, $12.98, 128 pages
Most humans love their pets and think of them as family. We suffer grief and loss when a pet dies,
much the same as when a human dies. The author understands such grief. With this book based
solidly on Bible scriptures, she offers hope and reassurance to pet lovers everywhere.
Do animals go to heaven when they die? Those who believe the Bible will know for certain that
do, once they've read this book. God ordered humans to be stewards of all creation, including
animals. Our lives would lack joy and happiness without them. And yet, animals share man's fate.
They suffer and eventually die no matter how much we love them. Step by step, through well
researched and referenced scriptures, Ms. Shanahan proves that animals have soul, spirit, and are
valued by God the same as humans. And she does not simply quote Bible verses to make her
She compares the meanings of words in the original Hebrew and Greek texts for added emphasis.
found this technique particularly helpful.
The Disciple John says in Revelation 5:13, after experiencing a vision of Heaven, "And every
creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and
that are in them, heard I saying, blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that
upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever." John heard every creature, man and beast,
praising God and Jesus in heaven. And this is just one of many such scriptures proving our animal
companions share the human cycle of life, death, and resurrection.
There is Eternal Life for Animals is a helpful, hopeful, uplifting book. I recommend it to everyone
who loves animals and wonders what happens when a pet dies.
Two Friends Blend
Mary-Alice Boulter and Anne Mullen
Blue Scarab Press
P.O. Box 4966, Pocatello ID 83205-4966
no ISBN, Chapbook at $3 plus $1 shipping
This is the sixteenth in a series of Pocatello Blend chapbooks that feature writers from the
Idaho area. Boulter and Mullen have been widely published in magazines, anthologies, and other
chapbooks. This book is aptly named because their voices do, indeed, blend beautifully.
Ms. Boulter's poetry is introduced by "Thunderstorm", in which she captures the essence of that
natural phenomenon through skillful metaphors, as in this excerpt:
huge growling presence
rumble menace behind hills
angry rolling roars
And in this excerpt from "Pre-Millenium Winter Solstice Light Fantastic" she transforms
and tree branches into stately lovers:
I finally caught them.
I've suspected it for years.
The Moon, reckless in her rare full beauty
danced with abandon in his branches.
"The Estate Sale" distills the life of a man down to his bare bones. My excerpt cannot do full
to this finely crafted poem:
They sold my father today for $2,000.
Browsing through the bones
of his life
bargain hunters bought 82 years
tool by tool
parts and pieces
taken away in strange hands.
Ms. Mullen is no less effective as she reminisces about life, youth, and passing time in this excerpt
from her first poem, "Learning to Wish":
You wanted to read a future certain
as an orbit amidst the dazzle
of infinity. Someone told you
shooting stars predicted death.
Their sudden beauty killed you.
"Drawing the Oriental Lilies" is rich with visual and tactile imagery:
I am lost in the folds
of petals, curves
at the ends of petals,
naked glistening pistils, over-all
red that bleeds droplets into pink,
shy white at the edges....
And in "Finish", Mullen muses on the relationship between poets and crows, a bird that presents
the eye "calligraphy clearer than words":
Poets want words strong,
long-calling, sharp enough
for bold messages that don't
stop at what is possible.
I've come to expect excellence in any work presented by Blue Scarab Press. These poems by
Mary-Alice Boulter and Anne Mullen emphasize the Blue Scarab philosophy ideally.
A Cuppa Jo
Jo A. Parris and G. David Parris
Blue Scarab Press
P.O. Box 4966, Pocatello ID 83205-4966
no ISBN, Chapbook at $3 plus $1 shipping
When Blue Scarab Press announced its plan to produce a chapbook series featuring southeast
writers and poets, I wondered where they would find the talent for an ongoing series. But here I
reviewing the fifteenth in the Pocatello Blend series and this project shows no sign of running out
steam any time soon. When Blue Scarab Press says southeast Idaho has a strong writing
they speak from experience.
The prose and poetry of Jo A. Parris has been published in literary magazines and books. This is
David Parris' first published work. According to the back cover of this chapbook, Mr. Parris has
finally sworn off destroying his writings. That gives me the hope of someday reading more from
these two fine writers.
Ms. Parris offers a poem and several short stories. I chose this excerpt from "August 1967" as a
prime example of her work, which I found haunting and intriguing in style:
It is dark in Nevada at night, even with the casinos less than half a block away. But I could see his
face. A thousand miles from now with no moon in the sky years away when even this has slipped
from me and I live alone in a room with tea in the cupboards and apples on the table, cushions on
floor and the records collect dust and the books wait on the shelves but I've read them all and still
the clutter is not quite what I want yes even then I will see his face. As he lies beside me asleep he
gone, far away from the world of discovery, of last spring, of a silent secret place in the mountains
and loud in the background, the jukebox, the glasses and din and roar.
In "Coffee and Cigarettes", Mr. Parris essays his thoughts clearly on governmental legislation of
personal choices. He writes with humor and passion, as demonstrated in these random
Though I am not yet thirty, I am a dinosaur. I am the last of a long line, one that has nearly been
erased from Western society, one so reviled that we have become the exiled. I am a smoker....
do you explain living in a society that turned a blind eye not so long ago? One that left you alone
enough to make your own stupid choices rather than legislating away your right to be an
The first clean air act I became aware of was passed in Utah in the early 90s. Since then, these
have passed across the country with varying forms and restrictions. In California, you can go to a
bar and flood yourself with poisonous alcohol, but are strictly forbidden to combine drinking and
smoking, lest some non smoking patrons object to the pollution of their lungs while polluting their
Each Pocatello Blend chapbook is limited to a print run of 100. If you hurry, there might be
left of A Cuppa Jo to purchase. This reviewer recommends you read each diverse chapbook in the
Butterflies and Willow Switches
Vivian Bolland Schroeder
17502 Typhoon Way, Crosby TX 77532-4126
ISBN: 0975913409, $14.98 + $3.50 s & h, 144 pages
Ms. Schroeder's beautiful book is the result of a lifetime of observing and absorbing life in all its
precious detail. From the aesthetically pleasing cover to the poems found within, this book is a
of love in every way. Regardless of your taste in poetry -- whether free form or rhyming verse --
you'll find something worth reading here. In my opinion, this great-grandmother's range as a poet
This excerpt from the title poem sets the stage ideally for what will follow:
Her limp, faded cotton housedress
Smelling of cabbage and clabber
Earmarked for poultry and pigsty,
Knew more of life and living
Than anyone else I knew.
Schroeder's reminiscences convey a tender pathos. "Peas" for example, which I quote in its
is simple but powerfully constructed for maximum impact:
Methodically she stirred her peas,
Steam rising from the rolling boil.
Tears brimmed silently and fell.
Her stoic shoulders shuddered now and then.
Hands, misshapen with the years,
Trembled as she ladled peas.
His worn blue suit dispatched,
The parlor swept and aired,
The wake arranged,
Dreaded empty hours loomed.
He would have understood.
Mamma canned a mess of peas
The day that Papa died.
And the humor I mentioned? "Ole Buck and Ball" will bring a smile:
Ole Buck and Ball, my momma said,
Transported them about.
I visualized a prancing pair
Of horses, proud and stout.
It wasn't till Ole Buck and Ball
Were summoned for my use
I found that good Ole Buck and Ball
Were stabled in my shoes.
Shroeder speaks of outrages many of us fail to contemplate. A favorite of mine is this excerpt
Let our bones rest in peace.
There is purpose in their placement.
Our people do not disturb your sleeping fathers,
Do not question your rites or analyze your remains.
You dig like dogs to placate morbid curiosity
For buried bones you did not hide.
This poet plays with words instinctively, sometimes joyfully. "Captives" is brief, but alive and
Music sprang from the keyboard,
Prowled the audience,
Lunged for the heart,
Seized spellbound captives.
Whether musing on the holocaust, the trials of immigrants, love, or loss, Schroeder's words
with life. Through poems, she shares summer's "taut, torrid dog-days"; "a plain and perfect stew";
"the retchings of a restless sea"; "days of hollyhock dolls" and so much more. This book is a rare
treasure. I highly recommend it.
God This is a Good Time to Say No
Freda Gower Ward
4993 Bacopa Lane South, #404, St. Petersburg FL 33715
ISBN: 0972364099, $14.95, 182 pages
The irrepressible Freda Gower Ward has done it again! This time she takes the real estate game
on with hilarious results and educates her readers in the bargain. How this writer / humorist /
speaker / wife found time to get her realtor's license is beyond me.
After 50 years of marriage, Freda's husband lures her into joining him in the real estate business.
After all, this will allow them to spend more quality time together, right? Freda knows her 73 year
old brain is already packed with old information that floats around and surfaces when she least
expects it. So where will she find room in those old brain cells for new information? True to form,
Freda has one of her chatty talks with God, hoping for a word or sign from Him that studying to
pass a realtor's exam is not a wise move. God is silent. Somehow she muddles through and joins
husband with high hopes of being Florida's top husband and wife team of realtors.
As with Freda's prior projects, this new career does not turn out as she anticipated. But she's
if not generous. She shares her newfound knowledge gained by trial and error in this book.
will learn the ins and outs of buying and selling real estate, along with Freda's tips on varied
-- maneuvering through life with wireless laptops that are not really wireless;
-- dealing with paper cutters that won't cut;
-- showing a prime property with your pantyhose down around your hips:
-- the true meaning and purpose of the word "exponential";
-- the vicissitudes of fine print in a contract;
-- the shocking and unexpected benefits of grapefruit juice;
-- how to deal with buyers who don't really want to buy and sellers who don't really want to
And that barely skims the surface of the humorous situations she encounters.
Everything Freda Gower Ward writes is priceless, funny, entertaining, and zeroes in on truths we
face each day in life. If enthusiasm and good humor had a dollar amount attached, she'd be worth
zillion dollars. If you need a laugh, this one is highly recommended. Like potato chips, her books
be addicting so you might not be able to read just one.
High Country Publishers
197 New Market Center, #135, Boone, North Carolina 28607
ISBN: 1932158529, $12.95
Although his day job centers around the science of genetics, Mark Terry spends his discretionary
time as a free lance writer, producing short stories, articles, and one prior novel. He is a mystery
reviewer with The Oakland Press, and lives with his family in Michigan.
Meg Malloy grew up with computers, as her father was a professor of computer sciences. Using a
tip from her dad, she and her husband found an internet company, which she sells for millions. But
too early retirement and shallow relationships grind away at her basic values, and she finds herself
hiring out to companies as a computer troubleshooter. Having some experience as a private eye
her in a unique position to help out when a TV preacher's daughter turns up in a porn video
delivered to his door. Meg reluctantly agrees to help, but quickly brings in the heavy guns in the
person of Jack Bear, her cousin's ex-beau. Jack is exciting and mysterious, and his Chippewa
and prowess as a "fix-it" guy comes in mighty handy, especially when things get a little hot for
"As if in a trance I picked my way around the men and out of the Mason's house. Turning as I
stepped through the doorway, I watched Jack reach inside one of the men's jackets and pull out
looked like a slim leather wallet. He flipped it open and read it before tucking it back inside the
Something flitted across his dark features like bats across the night sky, then he pocketed their
guns and followed me out the door."
It takes real skill as a writer to craft a story around sleazy subjects, such as prostitution and the
and not get caught up in the murkiness of the tale. But Mark Terry manages to not only sidestep
darker side, but to focus on the unresolved sexual tension between Meg and Jack to kick out a
mystery. Meg has no problem carrying the story...she's smart, rich, and has just enough issues to
fascinating. But Jack's character is sheer brilliance, and the tight dialogue between him and Meg
absolutely sizzles. Mark Terry is coy enough to use their relationship as a finger beckoning the
reader toward his next novel, while the reader can't get enough of DIRTY DEEDS. This is an airy
page turner and a good old fashioned Nero Wolfe type of good time.
A Small Case of Murder
2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN: 059530253X, $20.95
Lauren Carr is a resident of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, bringing to mind the song The Ode to
Billy Joe. Lauren's career has spanned having her work produced for television, the theater, and
published books, and she obviously knows her way around the act of writing.
Chester, West Virginia is a small but interesting town. Joshua Thornton, now a retired JAG
grew up there with his cousin, Dr. Tad MacMillan, who was known for his sexual exploits and
experimentation with drugs and alcohol. But that was then, and now Tad and Joshua are reunited,
with Josh's five children from his now deceased wife, Valerie. Both he and Tad mourn the women
they loved, but Tad's situation is more complicated. Only the original doctor in town whose office
Josh has bought, Doc Wilson, knows the secrets of the town's inhabitants and the ultimate reason
Tad's heartbreak. Reverend Orville Rawlings is the richest minister around, and at one of his
Joshua is attacked by the minister's outlaw daughter, Vicki, who has a gun and an unreasonable
hatred of Tad:
"As the man and girl hit the floor, the bullet discharged from the barrel, struck one of the hanging
lamps, and sent a shower of glass down onto the shocked congregation. The bullet continued its
flight upward until it planted itself into one of the oak panels high above the church
There is nothing more fun for a mystery reader than a tale of murder surrounding an overly pious
preacher with too much money and not enough oversight. In this case, it takes a shrewd
lawyer in the person of the delectable Joshua Thornton to sort through decades of murder and
injustice. Carr weaves an extraordinary story that is gripping and crafted at the highest level to
entertain the reader with its touch familial centerpiece amidst evil and chaos.
Joshua Thornton is a hero most sublime, and his five children provide the perfect backdrop for a
man searching for the next plateau. Chester, West Virginia is every town, and its inhabitants are
and pivotal to the plot. The story is complicated, and Lauren Carr feints and thrusts to bring her
various villains to the forefront. This is a fine tale for a beach blanket read.
Chester D. Campbell
Durban House Publishing Co., Inc.
7502 Greenville Avenue, Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75231
ISBN: 1930754655, $12.95
Chester D. Campbell, former journalist, writer, speechwriter, ad copywriter, public relations
executive, and now mystery writer, is someone with an obvious zest for life. He served in both
World War II and Korea, and now enjoys life with his wife, children, and many
In this latest Greg McKenzie mystery, the newly formed McKenzie Investigations, run by Greg
his wife, Jill, is off to an auspicious beginning after solving their first case. Greg has run a bit
with the local police, but still has contacts in the Nashville Police Department. But when a high
profile personality is gunned down in a local hotel just when Greg and Jill are dining a new client,
they have no idea that their next case will be integrally connected. In the meantime, they take on a
case for a questionable character named Molly
Saint who is a shirttail relative of Jill's. Molly's husband, Damon, is not quite who he seems, and
Molly has a nagging feeling that she may be at risk:
"'As I told you on the phone, Damon's wife Molly hired us to look into him. He had made some
threats that were quite worrisome. But before we could get very far with our investigation, she
message on our answering machine to call her back as soon as possible. She was really excited
something. But when we tried to call, we found they had moved.'"
Chester D. Campbell has his own unique style of writing that is both dashing and touching. His
obvious affection for his wife shines through just as he outlines a nefarious plot based on his own
military experience. Greg McKenzie is a senior investigator who relies on his experience to
compensate for the brawn he might have engaged in the past. His wife, Jill, is an accomplished
cook, and is the perfect partner for her husband. Campbell juxtaposes her correction of Greg's
language" and her obvious spirituality with her determination when the going gets rough and she
to use some of the private investigator skills that most people would shrink from. All in all,
DEADLY ILLUSIONS is another winner in the Chester D. Campbell literary cabinet. Campbell
obviously has many stories to share, and he continues to write fabulous mysteries.
Murder at Midnight
Bleak House Books, Inc.
953 E. Johnson St., Madison, WI 53703
ISBN: 1932557067, $14.95
A fellow Madisonian, Marshall Cook has credits in the murder milieu with MURDER OVER
and has also published THE GREAT WISCONSIN MANHUNT OF 1961, as well as over twenty
titles on baseball, writing, and time management. He is presently a professor of creative writing at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. He also edits a newsletter
called CREATIVITY CONNECTION for writers.
Beloved priest Father O'Bannon, priest for the small St. Anne's parish in Prairie Rapids, is found
with his throat slit by Monona Quinn, the town's newspaper editor. It just so happens that Mo just
solved a prior murder mystery, and her husband Doug is worried about her propensity for putting
herself into the murderer's paths. Mo quickly befriends Dane County detective Lashandra Cooper,
an African-American with an attitude and a heart of gold. Lashandra and Mo are instinctive soul
mates, after they settle the question of how to deal with sleuthing in the rural area outside of
"'Sure seems to around here. Folks stare at me like they've never seen a black person before.' 'It's
possible that some of them haven't, except maybe on television.' 'Come on. You gotta be kidding
me.' She shook her head, scanning the room. She nodded toward Dilly, taking orders from the
Ladies of the Communal Crossword at the big round table in the center of the room. 'Doesn't he
write the orders down?' 'Can't read or write. But he never gets an order wrong.'"
Although Cook is a native of Almaden, California, he has embraced the Wisconsin Way from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison to the rural communities. His obvious prowess as a writer
through in a tight plot, well-defined characters, and stunning local color. Attention to detail drives
this plot that may or may not have been inspired by the real life murder of a local priest that was
never solved. Whether real time events have interceded in Cook's tale is irrelevant, though, as his
version jumps to life for the reader. His red herring is most believable, and he even throws in a
Hitchcockian twist in the end, much to this reader's delight. MURDER AT MIDNIGHT is a
polished and entertaining read written by a master.
John Daniel & Company
P.O. Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
ISBN: 1880284774, $13.95
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of manipulating and arranging your environment. The idea is
attract chi, a positive life energy, so that it flows smoothly, unblocking any obstructions in your
and environment. Feng Shui evolved from the theory that people are affected in a positive or
negative way by their surroundings. Denise Osborne is a Feng Shui practitioner with ties to
Hollywood. She has written short films and screenplays, created inter-active web characters, is
highly traveled, and has expertise in native American Arts. She gives Feng Shui presentations
the country and owns a studio which sells Feng Shui products called Wind and Water House.
Salome Waterhouse and Germaine Brilliante are friends. Germaine is a member of a four-person
woman's group called SOW (Stewardship of Women) who help out less fortunate women. They
a safe house called the Women's Place, and vote to hire Salome to conduct a Feng Shui
But all is not well. June McGann has hired Germaine, an ex-reporter, to follow her wild sister,
April was the former fiance of Salome's worst enemy, a Duncan Mah. As Germaine and Salome
drive to Salome's home after her presentation, they find that someone has thrown a molotov
through her living room window. This is all a prelude to the murder of Honey Lee, June
"'Oh dear,' Germaine whispered. She pulled up to the curb just short of the street and behind a
crowd of onlookers. Salome grabbed her handbag, and with a worried look said, 'Do you mind
waiting while I find out what's going on?"'
EVIL INTENTIONS is clearly written like a screenplay, with obvious scenes in mind. It takes a
while for the reader to identify the characters, who are well drawn and interesting. Salome
Waterhouse is a gentle Asian woman with high intelligence and an interesting background. Her
ex-husband is a best selling author of mysteries, and her background work with him plus her keen
powers of observation make her the perfect sleuth. Feng Shui permeates the tale, creating a nice
juxtaposition to the unsavory characters that make up the underworld that Salome, her friend
and her ex-husband, Gabe explore. New alliances form in this skillful tale.
The Gift of Life
2021 Pine Lake Road Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN: 0595318827, $12.95, 93 pages
In this work we find author Jean Lynch opening her heart concerning the heartbreak of losing her
beloved daughter Linda from a lung disease called, Alpha-1. A disease that is treatable if
early on; for Linda this was not the case.
Ms. Lynch tells her story with raw emotion and deep conviction. She takes us into the life of
at times a young child, at others a mom and still at other times a loving daughter. The author
impresses upon our hearts and minds that Linda was a person, with a husband, children and a
purpose in life.
We are taken with Linda through her illness, her lung transplant and the failure of that endeavor.
walk with her through her final days and we share with Ms. Lynch the sorrow of losing her.
This work is a mom's tribute to her daughter and to a soul that could have been here longer had
things been handled differently.
A heartwarming story of family, love and loyalty and one that brings the awareness of a disease
those with lung problems should be tested for.
Thank you Ms. Lynch, my heart and prayers are with you.
The God Particle
Del Rey Publishing
Division of Random House
151 Hudson Avenue, New York, NY
ISBN: 0345462858, $13.95, 320 pages
I have to say the author did an outstanding job of drawing you into the storyline of this book from
the beginning. I probably would not have continued the read if he were to throw the physics at me
right away, but he didn't.
Instead he draws you into the life of a man, Steve, who was chosen to be part of an experiment
he never volunteered for and introduces you to one of the men, Mike, who is working on finding
Higgs field. You see there are those working to find a particle that binds the universe together, if
uncovered it will give whoever has the knowledge great power. Mike is an honest man, truly
believing in his lives work but of course with anything like this, you always have the bad guys, and
this work believe me these guys are very bad and will stop at nothing to be successful in their
Our main character Steve seems to have had something implanted in his head that he knew
about after a bizarre accident in Zurich. Upon arriving back in the states he begins to experience
some disturbing things and after much investigating realizes he was targeted as part of this
experiment. In his attempt to find answers, he seeks out Mike. Thus, the lives of Steve and Mike
thrust together to fight the evil men that covet the God Particle.
This was a very interesting story, strange in part, yet compelling and thought provoking as well. A
little bit off the beaten track, this book will keep you guessing and leave you wondering. Nice
Here Comes The Old Man Now
Oyster River Press
10 Riverview Road, Durham, NH 03824
ISBN: 1882291875, $15.00, 77 pages
In this work by poet, John Perrault, we are showered with a variety of subjects, from aging to
to family. Our emotions are stirred as we read, perhaps a tinge of sadness prevails, perhaps a
perhaps a moment to reflect and think or perhaps a work that pricks our own memory. all in all a
great work reflecting our journey through life.
Poetry in a way is like a flower in bloom. Some pass by and do not stop to see it's beauty or smell
sweet gift of scent that fills the air. And for the wise who do, each will receive within themselves
only what they allow and so with the reading of a poets work, each reader takes within themselves
their own meaning to the words penned. So it is with this work, a reflection of life, the emotions
drama it brings to each of us are private, personal, heart-felt. A work to be shared and a work to
516 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
ISBN: 0975359711, $11.95, 96 pages
Author Jacqi Lumer does it again in another delightful work, "Self Help."
Within the pages of this book, we are given beautiful pictures nestled in the glow of pink color
portray the beginning of our expressions.
We are given the start of a sentence, such as, " I have no regrets about," It's okay to be selfish
about," or "Little things that make me happy are," and we are encouraged by the page alone to fill
the blank with our inward feelings.
It's always helpful to be able to write down our emotions, be free to express our heart, and in this
well constructed book we are given the nudge that maybe needed to complete that task.
I enjoyed this and intend to put it to good use. Very nice work; simple, yet effective.
Shelby and the Shifting Rings
1450 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy, B304-226, Henderson, NV 89012-4480
ISBN: 0976201542, $18.75, 176 pages
In the beginning of this outstanding read, we meet 12-year of Shelby Shodworth, who is orphaned
after the death of her mother. Shelby is shipped off to live with her Uncle Leviticus, her father's
brother. Shelby's father was presumed dead years ago after a fire ripped through the lab at a
where he was a professor.
We are taken with Shelby as she tries desperately to adjust to life without her beloved mother,
makes a great friend in a young boy named Casey, and just when she is feeling a little better, she is
whisked off to a private school.
Here, she befriends a young girl named Molly and through an amazing course of events, Shelby
Molly discover that this was the school that her father lost his life so many years before. What is
mystery behind it?
As the girls investigate more, they find a hidden time travel portal underneath the school hidden in
tunnels. It is when Shelby finds the courage to use the time travel portal that the answers to so
of her questions are finally answered.
I have to say, this is one of the best young adult books that I have read in a long time.
Right from the start you are deeply involved in the life of young Shelby and as her questions
concerning her life, you can't wait to turn the page hoping she will find the answers. The author
brings into play many colorful characters that add mystery and draw mix emotions within you; and
even though this story leans towards science fiction, the author does not leave out the problems a
young girl could encounter beginning a new school. Making new friends, battling the school bully,
and dealing with a teacher who appears to dislike her, all make for a realistic story.
It is with great pleasure that I highly recommend this read. The story moves along nicely, keeps
interest peaked with mystery and suspense, and makes you hunger for more. A Top of the Notch,
don't miss this one read....no matter what your age may be.
Room For Improvement
ISBN: 1594861331, $24.95, 249 pages
If anyone ever says a woman is not able to fix things up, and make improvements in their home,
have not been blessed in reading this outstanding book.
Author, Barbara K takes the guess work out of many projects that seem impossible for the
person to do. In this work, she takes you step by step, often with the help of pictures to show you
how to do many improvements in your home.
Some examples are, wall coverings, lightening, floors and doors. She targets problem areas and
gives solutions and she does all of this in an easy to understand manner.
I have to say by the time you are done reading through this book, you are energized and ready to
transform your home. You just know you can do it. If you have been holding back, but wanting to
make those changes, pick up this work. It just might be the encouragement you have been waiting
The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life
420 South Congress Avenue, Delray Beach, Florida 33445
ISBN: 1929254178, $17.50, 120 pages
I have to admit being a reviewer, when I first received this book I did not think it would be of
interest to me. I was very wrong. Don't think this work will be boring, no, it is far from that. It is
packed full of great suggestions to help you find more time in your busy schedule to enjoy a good
The author covers so many topics, from helping you to list books you would like to read, to
explaining about audio books and right into helping others understand the joy of reading.
This is a great little book, a very helpful and enjoyable read. I recommend this for those of us who
read, read, read and those of us who don't. You will find many helpful tips in it that will help you
along the reading highway.
Adventures of Riley: Mission to Madagascar
Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz
Sarah McIntyre, illustrator
15600 NE 8th #B-1, Bellvue WA 98008
ISBN: 0974841129, $15.95, 36 pages
We are taken on an exciting trip to Madagascar, an isle of Africa in this fifth installment in the
Adventures of Riley series; and what an adventure it is.
Riley and his cousin Alice join Uncle Max, Aunt Martha and a film crew as they creep along this
mysterious land at night in search of the illusive Lemur. In this book you will learn all the
traits of this incredible little animal, along with facts of other wild life that inhabit this land. Want
know about the Hissing Cockroach and what the Painted Mantella Frog is? How about a tree that
looks as if it is growing upside down called a Baobab Tree. Did you know that Madagascar is the
fourth largest island in the world? So much to learn in this wonderful book that is packed full of
delightful colored illustrations, brilliantly filling your minds eye ,bringing every word of this work
life. Great job!
You and your children will greatly enriched your lives with the reading of this book. Not only in
learning interesting facts about wild life, but gaining an understanding of the importance each
creature plays in our world. An absolutely fun learning experience awaits you within its covers.
that you and your children will enjoy reading together and treasure for years to come. Very highly
recommended. This is one great book!
Rascal and Rainbow: The Beginning of an Unusual Friendship
Janice Braun Williams
A-78 Naraina Indl Area Ph-I, New Delhi 110 028, INDIA
ISBN: 3473470280, $5.99, 30 pages
In this delightful tale for children ages 5-8, we meet Rascal, who is a new German Shepherd
Rascal is born on a farm and begins to make friends with the barnyard animals.
He meets Penelope, the pig; Daisy the cow; and Samuel the goat and a host full of other fun
barnyard animals. He also meet Barney, the loving and friendly mailman, and Rascal loves him
almost as much as Mrs. Winters; the lady who owns the farm.
When Rascal's mom and his brothers and sister are taken away to be show dogs, Rascal stays with
Mrs. Winters. One day one of the chickens asks Rascal to look after her nest, while he does an
hatches and since Rascal is the first thing the chick sees, she assumes Rascal is her mother.
Try as he might, Rascal cannot make the little chick understand he is not as the little chick jumps
his head and refuses to come off. What do you think will happen when a chick and a German
Shepherd become friends? A lot of adventure is in store in the future.
This is a wonderful story that children will want more and more of. Colorful illustrations and
loveable characters await them in this read.
The Adventures of Rascal and Rainbow
Janice Braun Williams
A-78 Naraina Indl Area Ph-I, New Delhi 110 028, INDIA
ISBN: 3473470211, $5.99, 30 pages
In this second book of this series Mrs. Winters is going on a trip and the loving mailman Barney is
watching out for the farm and the farm animals; with the help of Rascal of course, a wonderful
German Shepherd. Rascal takes his job very serious, but his friend Rainbow, the chicken, thinks
should take advantage of this time and go see the world.
Rascal isn't quite sure, but soon finds himself miles from the safety of Mrs. Winters' farm. He
certainly didn't think the world held that much attraction once he was out in it. What were they to
now? How will they get back home?
This is a great tale, full of just the right amount of adventure for children and of course with a
ending that will bring a smile. An adorable read; one that will delight young and old alike.
A King's Quest
3923 Seward Avenue, Rockford, Il 61108
ISBN: 097609195X, $16.95, 468 pages
This exciting adventures opens with the brutal murder of a Royal family. You are thrust into the
Kingdom of Kings and Nobel's, elves and magicians as you begin this page turning read. Who is
Damien Daverge, and is he truly the rightful ruler of these Kingdoms? Why is his cousin claiming
Kingship and will Damien prove himself as rightful King before it is too late? Can he save the
Kingdoms from the rule of the ancient evil Masters who would once again enslave them?A lot of
questions, a lot of adventures packs a wallop of a punch in this fast pace mystical read.
The author does an outstanding job pulling the many characters together, weaving them into their
proper places in the storyline and bringing to light their colorful personalities and magical
This is no small feat in this work that is but part one of "The Kingdom Chronicles." If you like a
book that is brimming with supernatural powers, swordsmen of mystical powers, teachers with
unearthly wisdom, loyalty, betrayal, and a quest of grave importance, this is the one for you.
A book of the finest quality, with a medieval flavor, captivating and attention grabbing.
Women in Shadow and Light
Creative Minds Press
Beagle Bay Books
3040 June Meadow Rd., Reno, NV 89509
ISBN: 0974961051, $23.00, 146 pages
Abuse and women have gone hand in hand throughout the centuries; the battle for liberty and
freedom rages on even now in our modern times. The subject matter of this book is not new, the
stories told and the tears shed are not surprising, but what is, is the courage found within these
women and the positive reflection their words leave with the reader.
As author Jan Goff-LaFontaine shares the heart of these women with frank interviews, she
shatters the wall of secrecy that has been carefully laid, and takes you to the other side of their
prison wall where liberty awaits them. At first I was surprised to see naked pictures of these
but for them this too was a liberty, a breaking free of abuse and negative impressions of their
inner-self; as they shared the parts of their body where healing began.
Abuse in any form is not a pretty picture; the degrading of another human being must never be
tolerated. This work, I believe, will give hope to thousands of women to take that first step to
E.J. Cockey and Company
P.O.Box 4132, Lutherville, Maryland 21094
ISBN: 0975886916, $14.95, 122 pages
I suppose for all of us there are times when someone or some experience touches us, charges us,
one way or another. Sometimes it is for the good, and sometimes it is not. Life often challenges us
with circumstances concerning ourselves or our loved ones, and we desperately search for
and answers to questions and problems that seem to linger . But then, there are those who finally
find the peace, learn the lesson, even though they may not have all the answers, they have learned
what is important and how we all play a part in the lives of others. This is what I saw in the work,
As Cockey struggles with extreme challenges concerning the son she so loves, her life is also
hampered with the ever present financial needs of mere existence. Through the life of a 90 year
woman, who herself is suffering from Dementia, she is shown that what is within her, her gift, her
talent can touch and change lives; and in doing so can only enrich her own. A book that brings to
light the true struggle of so many suffering people, and an encouragement that one person can
a difference. I believe this work may be an awaking to some and a source of peace to others.
The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict
Erik A. Fisher and Steven W. Sharp
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
ISBN: 0275981843, $39.95, 230 pages
I have read countless self-help books; some I have taken to heart and others I have not. This work
found to be very interesting and enlightened me in many ways. The author gives you some clear
revelations concerning conflicts that you will encounter in life; the emotions you will deal with
the why's of feeling as you feel.
He explains the concept of the 'power struggles' that we have within ourselves, and how
is to work to understand them and make the necessary changes.
It is always hard to see ourselves as others see us, our flaws and weaknesses; but with
understanding, comes the ability to change.
I enjoyed this work and plan on doing a little more study with this book and some self-examining.
think this book would profit all that take the time to read it and put into practice what is being
them. An interesting spin, not boring, but very insightful.
Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook
Phyllis Pellman Good
PO Box 4910, Intercourse PA 17534
ISBN: 1561484598, $15.95
I always enjoy reviewing a cookbook, but when I come across one as outstanding as this one is
joy is doubled. Author Phyllis Pellman Good, with The American Diabetes Association, has
compiled a book filled with recipes for diabetics that you make in a slow cooker. Yes, you read
correct, what a great idea for use in our busy lives.
Let me tell you this is no small work, but is absolutely packed full of page after page of wonderful
recipes to plop in your slow cooker, walk away and come back to a delicious meal or desert.
Yes, again you heard me correct, there are page after page of deserts that you can make in your
slow cooker and all will be loved, not only by those with diabetes, but the entire family. From
dishes to deserts, this book brings the entire family together with recipes that allow you to easily
make an entire meal that can be eaten by every member of the family.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough; this is definitely one that should be in every
Healthy for every member of the family and delicious too, how can you beat that? Outstanding
The Complete Being
220 Huntstrom Bay NE, Calgary, Alberta T2K 5W6
ISBN: 0973859903, $8.50, 136 pages, ebook
In this informative packed work, author Tami Brady sets you on the course for success. Have you
agonized wondering why others seem to achieve and you do not? Have you wanted to know
something that may turn your odds around? If so this book is for you.
Ms. Brady explains in her work some key points to use that are within yourself. She breaks these
down into four separate categories, explains each and draws them all together for one big picture
success. The main point I saw in this work, and one I thought was outstanding, is that we are all
individuals, unique and that one set formula may not work for everyone. I believe that is what
her work different than other self-help books. No two people are alike and she shows we must
at our own personalities, gifts, emotional baggage, physical strengths and weaknesses, mental
and spiritual needs and use them to our benefit. If we can understand more about ourselves we
correct weaknesses and increase our strengths; that is my take on this work, and to me this was
main theme. A very good one: I believe.
I enjoyed this writing; I feel it definitely is thought provoking and could be instrumental in helping
people to achieve goals in their lives if they would implement what is put before them.
Children Of The Dream
Quiet Storm Publishing
PO Box 1666, Martinsburg, WV
ISBN: 0977007073, $11.95, 157 pages
I settled back with the excitement of a child in anticipation of what awaiting me in this second
by Mary Triola, Children Of The Dream. I was already familiar with the colorful characters having
read book one, Merlin's Door, and I knew I was in for another enchanting read. Ms. Triola's talent
as a writer surpasses most authors that I have encountered. The descriptive power in her words
make each page alive and active to the mind's eye and draws you into the very essence of the read
allowing you to partake of the adventure. Quite an accomplishment.
We see again Carter,a young boy who discovered his supernatural talents in book one, his friend
Penny, who is also gifted and their family of magicians; we are introduced to more exciting
characters, such as Imani, a little girl who can change the weather and her father, a man who heals
with music. We encounter a magical wooden horse, Sasha, who now belongs to Carters sister
Peggotty. Strong-willed, Peggotty seems to have developed her own gifts and talents in this
world and adds a splash of charm and humor to this read.
It is Christmas vacation and Carter's family travels once again to Uncle Mortimer's house, where
great Enchanter Merlin, Mortimer and Penny eagerly await their coming. Carter and Penny are to
begin training in their gifts, but evil will once again rear it's head in the form of a magician named
Balor, who is taking children to steal their life force unto himself, that he may rule the world.
is an old enemy of our Enchanter Merlin, and one that will not be conquered easily.,
We are whisked to Bermuda and meet Carter's Uncle Will, Aunt Elizabeth and cousin Robbie who
will join their magical talents with Carter and his group to battle the evil Balor. As the race to
the children and the world begins, we are once more thrust into the world of mystical happenings.
Walking through the land of dreams, we watch the children fight their own nightmares, battle
grotesque supernatural warriors, meet heroes of the past, and learn the power of unity,love and
If this book were a roller-coaster ride, it would have to be the king of them all. Soaring you high
excitement, anticipation, supernatural happenings and magical adventures then plunging you down
into the comfortable world of natural living that you are accustomed to. What a ride! Through this
work, your imagination will soar,the child within you live, and the excitement of the magical
awakened. Children Of The Dream, a work of pure reading enjoyment that will leave you with a
smile on your face and a skip in your walk. It doesn't get much better than that. Highly
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MARY TRIOLA
There are some books that you read that truly take you into their world; this was the experience I
had with both of Mary Triola' works. I knew this was definitely one author I wanted to know
about as her talent screamed from the pages of her books; I was sure she would have much to
with you. I am sure you will enjoy this interview as much as I have. Let's begin,
SPJ: Mary, I have read both, "Merlin's Door," and "Children Of The Dream." and I loved them. I
like a kid again and devoured every page. Would you please tell us what made you decide to write
these books? How did you come up with the storyline?
Mary: When I was in the fifth grade I discovered the five-volume series, The Chronicles of
by Lloyd Alexander. I loved those books and spent many happy hours reading them and "playing"
that world in my imagination. This was before the advent of "fan fiction." They were inspiring
of endearingly human characters who did their best to meet some of the greatest challenges life
offer. I later read the books to my children, who enjoyed them as much as I did.
Ever since I learned to write I wanted to be an author. One of the things I wanted to do with my
books was to inspire my readers in the ways that Mr. Alexander inspired me. I wanted to first of
create a world that would be fun for me and my readers to explore, with interesting--and a few
downright peculiar--characters. I wanted to be able to give kids and "kids-at-heart" positive
messages about themselves and the world. Anyone can be a hero if they dig deeply enough to find
their inherent goodness and courage.
My interest in the latest discoveries about ancient cities buried under the ocean around the world,
which may be the source of our myths of Atlantis, coupled with my fascination with mythology,
culture and symbols, gave rise to the basic elements in my storyline. The idea of having magical
powers is fun, too, while it also serves as a metaphor for the gifts each of us has inside us. While
some people may not even discover they have any special talents, others learn about them and
develop these wonderful gifts over a lifetime.
SPJ: Thank you for sharing, that was so interesting. Please tell us, what, if any reaction did you
receive after your decision to write these books?
Mary: My family was extremely supportive from the beginning. My youngest daughter, Lauren,
I used to go to a local ice cream shop and write on our respective novels, which only added to the
SPJ: That's wonderful, sharing with a daughter is always special. How long did it take you to
complete your books?
Mary: I took my time with Merlin's Door, which I completed in a couple of years because I was
working on editing my first novel, Caroline Rose, and finding a publisher. By the time I started
Children of the Dream, I had the added motivation of a supportive, (and excited), publisher and a
contract, so it took me a little less than a year to write.
SPJ: To me, these seem like difficult works to write, please tell us, what was the most difficult
in writing your work?
Mary: The first book in the series was the biggest challenge because I was creating a lot of my
as I went. (I'm still creating more parts of it now.) I wasn't sure if anyone would even like the
Maintaining continuity in the story was also a challenge because I took so long to write Merlin's
Door. Sometimes I even forgot important little details like eye-color, so I had to edit the work
carefully. Luckily, Lauren caught most of the inconsistencies I missed when she read through it
SPJ: You did a great job. Now please tell us what was the most enjoyable?
Mary: That's a tough call. I love playing in the world of ideas and trying different ones on like a
playing dress-up. I can't tell you how exciting it is to see my books in print with their beautiful
art. It's extremely gratifying to get the terrific reviews I've gotten so far, and to marvel at the
wonderful creativity the reviewers have themselves used to express their feelings about my work.
There are a lot of fine writers out there reviewing books. But best of all are the responses I get
my young readers who seem to be thoroughly enjoying the series just as much as I enjoy writing
SPJ: Isn't that the truth, knowing someone actually enjoyed reading what you wrote. Did you base
your characters on real life people? I know that may sound strange, but I think as authors we tend
Mary: Absolutely! Most of my characters are conglomerates of people that I have known,
or through stories and/or myths. I often utilize archetypal figures and add personal details that
them into the human realm.
SPJ: Why did you decide on writing a series? And how many more books can I look forward to
Mary: I have a contract for four books but I anticipate writing several more books than that. I put
lot of effort into creating the world of The Magic of Merlin and I plan to play in my world as long
I like! That's why I couldn't see writing just one book when the "world" is as full of possibilities as
the wonderful world we live in.
SPJ: I definitely look forward to reading all of your books. Did you have to do research for your
Mary: Oh, yes, indeed! I love research and I wanted to satisfy my curiosity about people, places
cultures, just as much as I wanted to create a world with enough details that would make it real to
the reader. I do a tremendous amount of research for my books, but I have also done a lot of
throughout my life, so I have a broad background from which to draw ideas, too.
SPJ: Tell us, did you find it difficult to find a publisher and if so what did you do to remedy
Mary: Quiet Storm had already published my first novel, Caroline Rose, what I like to call a
with a social conscience, so the president, Clint Gaige, was ready to publish the Merlin series once
told him about my ideas. Finding my publisher for the first book was really a result of networking
and being a member of an incredible writers group. So, I was extremely lucky to find his
SPJ: Quiet Storms is indeed a great company and Clint Gaige, I know, is a very nice person. You
certainly were blessed to find them. What advice would you give to authors who are looking for a
Mary: Network, network, network, and have as many manuscripts ready as possible for when you
find your publisher.
SPJ: Do you have an agent? A publicist? How important do you feel this is to an author?
Mary: I don't have an agent and I didn't try to find one. In watching other authors I haven't
any advantage to having an agent. My colleagues who have had them end up back at square one
after a few months, so if you can find a publisher on your own you might just be better off.
I haven't tried to utilize a publicist yet but some of my fellow authors are experimenting with
think I'll work on my own for now and see how well my buddies do with them.
SPJ: I'm sure your books will and are selling like hot cakes. How much promoting do you do?
tips for other authors?
Mary: The biggest surprise for me as an author was marketing. I do a lot of my own promotion,
partly because I am with a small publishing company and partly because it is a necessary part of
author's work these days. We really do have to sell ourselves! People want to have more than just
book. They want a piece of something unique and special. I think that people desire connections
with people who demonstrate qualities they themselves value, particularly success in a respected
just plain fun field like writing, but are also likable as people.
SPJ: Do you belong to a writer's group?
Mary: I did, and that is the most important thing for a writer is to get out there and write for a
group of people who can offer constructive criticism as well as moral support for your writing.
had a terrific writers group, the Creative Writers Forum, at a big bookstore in Fredericksburg,
Virginia. All of us were at various stages of our writing careers and in our lives. We had a
of ages from teens to senior citizens. Some wrote poetry, others wrote screenplays or novels or
of the above. We enjoyed a wonderful camaraderie but we also strove to be honest in evaluating
each other's works.
SPJ: What has writing this work done for you and what do you hope it will do for your readers?
What do you hope they will take away with them after reading your work? I know it left me
like a kid again and at my age that is a good thing.
Mary: It's a good thing at any age, I think! Sometimes I wonder if all kids actually get to feel like
kids in these days of frenetic activity both during and after school. Writing these books has taught
me an incredible amount about writing. It has given me a place for my own creative expression as
well as a place to go and just have fun! The more you draw on your creativity the more you have,
like a well that never runs dry. That experience of creative flow has opened me up to a plethora of
new and fascinating ideas and projects, some as a direct result of the books and their
For example, an energetic couple, Fran and Don Bush, owners of Book Lovers Bookstore in
South Carolina, brought me down to do several programs in area public and private schools. I had
never done any before, so it was a little scary at first, but I discovered that I loved visiting the kids
and creating a presentation about my books that they would enjoy. I wanted to show them things
that they may have never seen or even heard of before, such as traditional African instruments and
the Celtic harp. It was a new way to reach out to my readers and tell them how wonderful our
is and that each of us has an almost inconceivable amount of potential as human beings.
I hope my readers feel a childlike wonder at life's possibilities. I hope they gain an appreciation for
peoples and their cultures all around the world and feel proud of their own heritage, as people in
human family and as people with various, fascinating cultural roots.
SPJ: Thank you so much for sharing that. Would you tell us how supportive was your family in
writing experience and how important do you think this is to a writer?
Mary: My family is completely supportive of my writing. During the writing of Caroline Rose, my
then-teenage kids learned to respect my writing time and waited for me to get my work done
engaging me in conversation. My husband is my most fervent supporter. He believes in my
and encourages me to keep growing as an author and a businesswoman. It takes time to develop a
writing career and writing novels is not often a lucrative business.
John Steinbeck once said that the profession of writing books made horseracing look like a solid,
stable business. A family that supports a member who is an author is very important. Writers need
emotional support but they also need some financial support or a paying job so they can live in the
SPJ: Again, truth is spoken! Do you have any other works in progress? If so in what genre and
will they be released?
Mary: Right now I'm working on Dragon's Lair, the third book in my series. I have a sequel
out for Caroline Rose because so many readers of that book would love to hear more about Kate
and Walt and their growing relationship. I am planning more Magic of Merlin books, and possibly
even some adult spin-offs as well as chapter books for children near Peggotty's age. I'd love to
explore Peggotty's personal adventures with her magic horse. I am also working on a novella
some pre-Merlin's Door characters and how they had to rescue two of the Ladies of Avalon along
with some enchanted pigs who are really a band of musicians.
I'm preparing school programs for Fall 2005. Part of that preparation involves learning to play the
mbira dzavadzimu, the classical mbira of the Shona people, and the kora, a 21-string African harp.
Learning the traditions behind these instruments as well as learning to play them is also helping me
write about their use in my sequels, since my character Imani, and her parents, will be permanent
additions to my roster of characters in The Magic of Merlin.
My publisher is considering the possibility of producing an audio version of Merlin's Door. I
enjoy recording it, and may add some background music on the various instruments I mention in
I recently met with a gifted and talented teacher at a local school. She is interested in developing a
curriculum based on my books. It would likely include studies of cultures, mythology, geography,
leading edge technologies, and other areas of interest for educators. She plans to have me present
videoconference classes at her school, the only one in my area that produces such courses.
I have a ghost story in the works that is actually based on the Yoruba belief that people
through their family line. The Yoruba are an ancient African people mostly from what is now
My Celtic band, Moch Pryderi, is about to go back into the studio to record our third CD. We're
looking forward to some exciting gigs including the big Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in August
and the Philadelphia Folk Festival in September. We're getting bookings even into the spring of
in the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States.
SPJ: My goodness, you are one talented busy lady. That is wonderful and I wish you the best in
every area of your life. Would you tell us how many hours a day do you write?
Mary: I tend to do my writing in spurts at times of the year when I'm not so busy with musical
At this time of year things have just settled down musically so I'm working my way up to writing
two to four hours a day except for Wednesday, when I teach harp and voice.
SPJ: Is there a special place that you write, one that inspires you? Has there been a special person
who inspired you to write?
Mary: I write in the living room on my ancient laptop in the most comfortable chair in the house.
Lauren and I both use this computer just for writing. I have a wonderful view of nothing but trees
outside my window. It's convenient to the kitchen for all those cups of coffee, too!
When I was a little girl my dad used to tell me a story when he tucked me in bed for the night. He
made up all kinds of tales right on the spot. He also told stories around the fire when our big
of seven went camping every summer. He is a highly creative man and I am sure he has been the
greatest inspiration for my lifelong desire to write.
SPJ: I love that Mary, thank you for sharing about your dad. Has having a book published
your life in anyway and if so please share that with us.
Mary: Yes, it has changed my life. I'm living my childhood dream, except for the large income I
imagined I would earn as an author! Writing has sent my life into new and unexpected directions,
from learning African harp to developing curricula based on my books. I've met so many
people through the writing, publishing and marketing process, and there are more to meet!
SPJ: Where do you hope your writing career will be in 3 years and what are you doing to achieve
Mary: Three years from now I hope to have completed at least three more books in my series and
have appeared at schools and other author events up and down the east coast. To get there I am
working through bookstores or directly with schools to schedule programs. I'll continue to plan
bookstore events but not as many as I used to get, since I can best reach my audience through the
schools. I am setting up events for home school groups as well.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy festivals may be another area to investigate. One such festival has shown an
in having me as a presenter, particularly since I play Celtic harp, an instrument often featured in
SPJ: A question a little off the beaten track, do you read and if so what genre is your
Mary: I read a lot, maybe more than I should at times. But a writer should read - at least that's my
excuse! For the past several years I have mostly read non-fiction books in a wide range of topics,
from world religions to ethnomusicology to new findings about ancient cultures. I love Graham
Hancock's books in particular. His latest, Underworld, contains photographs of megalithic cities
ancient structures buried in the seas off various continents and islands. His books were part of my
inspiration for The Magic of Merlin series.
SPJ: Would you tell us a little about yourself, outside of being a published author?
Mary: I am a harpist and I perform as both a soloist and as a member of the Celtic band, Moch
Pryderi. The name means "Pryderi's Pigs" in Welsh, which refers to stories of a prince named
in the Welsh epic, the Mabinogion. We play music mostly from Wales and Brittany, (in western
France), with some Irish, Scottish and Cornish tunes as well. We have produced two CDs,
in the Pigsty and Belly Jerk, which are available through our website at www.mochpryderi.com.
You can also find our performance schedule and fan-fiction there.
I sing, and I play classical and folk harp, as well as the Irish wire-strung harp. My bag of tricks
includes various whistles, folk flutes and fifes; odd percussion instruments; mandolin; bouzouki,
Celiticised version of the middle-eastern instrument); mountain dulcimer; and various types of
African mbiras and harps. I've also recorded for other bands, for a University of Mary Washington
project on James Monroe and his family, and for storyteller Megan Hicks.
Our band also has an incarnation as an old timey band, Hard Tack and Sow Belly. We perform at
Civil War balls and other events celebrating that time period. Civil War history is big in
Fredericksburg and the surrounding areas.
SPJ: Thank you Mary, again I can only say you are one talented lady. I absolutely LOVE Celtic
music and will have to get one of your CD's to enjoy. Now, if you would, please use this space for
anything you would like to share with our readers concerning publishing, writing or your
experience in general.
Mary: I tell students to write because they want to write, not because they hope to make money.
The writing business is constantly changing so writers should be ready to roll with the tide. The
president of Quiet Storm Publishing always has his hand on the pulse of the writing world and is
ready to experiment with different markets, so my books are also available as e-books. Details can
be found at www.quietstormpublishing.com. Who knows what new forms books will take in the
I keep a notebook of ideas for future writing projects. I better live a long time because that book
filling up fast! I plot out each scene before beginning a book so I know where I am going with it.
I write I stay open to changes in those scenes and even in the storyline. I often deviate from my
which is good because I've gotten a better book out of making the plan and then discovering new
possibilities. They become the new plan.
The best way to prevent writer's block, which I've never had, is to know what you're going to
before you sit down for a writing session. I always have the scene in mind before I go for the
Otherwise you risk making your writing into a tedious task that you will later want to avoid.
Make your work as enjoyable as possible! It truly is your work and no one else on the planet can
it for you. My favorite inspirational quote is from Winston Churchill when he was addressing a
graduating class at Oxford, (where he graduated, by the way, as a "C" student): "Never give up;
never give up; never give up!"
SPJ: Wasn't that a wonderful interview? I want to thank Mary for sharing with us.
I know it has certainly been a pleasure for me reading her books and getting to know her better. I
strongly recommend you check out her works, you will be glad you did.
I wish Mary the best in her future, even with as much as she has accomplished; I feel she has only
just begun. Thank you Mary.
9 Seneca Terrace, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Quiet Storm Publishing, http://www.quietstormpublishing.com.
INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN MORSE, PUBLICIST, BOOKPROS
SPJ: I have had the honor of working with Steven reviewing many of the great books his
represents and I have learned to greatly respect him. I know many of you wonder just what would
Publicist do for me and would it be worth my money to secure one. I am sure in this interview
of your concerns and questions will be answered and you will certainly enjoy getting to know a
whose heart is towards you, the author. Let's begin.
SPJ: Steven, please tell us the name of your company, your position and how long you have been
Steven: I work for BookPros, formerly Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists. I'm currently a
publicist going on two years.
SPJ: Please tell us exactly what your duties are
Steven: I promote authors to the media using their book and their credentials. The first step we
once an author becomes a client is have an inter-department strategy session to discuss which
and angles about the author and book will interest the media. Many times, an author is so close to
their book that they fail to realize there are topics in a book that are more interesting to the media
than the book itself. As a publicist, my job is to find those interesting angles that the author might
not have considered. I draft supporting press material for authors, as well as pitch media outlets -
radio, television, print, online - and give my authors the opportunity to spread their message.
SPJ: Wow! Steven all of that should certainly help the author, that's wonderful. Please tell us why
you chose to be in this line of work: the plus of it, and the negative side.
Steven: I chose to become a publicist because I enjoy reading. I also like working with the media
and helping authors get their message out to those who are interested. The plus side of being a
publicist is challenging myself to become an expert on a variety of topics, from the latest business
trends to the lifestyle of the Amish. My job is always interesting and every day I get to talk about
something unusual and unique. The downside is not every author I represent will be the next John
Grisham, no matter how much I want them to be.
SPJ: Indeed sometimes the reading world is unpredictable isn't it? Why do you think it is
for authors to have a publicist? What exactly will you do for them that they cannot do for
Steven: There can be a great book on the shelf, but if nobody hears about it or the author then the
book won't sell. An author could have one of the best books ever written, but without a push,
it's not going anywhere. Professional publicists have established relationships with the media. We
work with the media everyday and know what they're looking for and how to pitch them, which
most authors do not know how to do themselves. As a publicist, we give them the opportunity to
promote their work in ways they've never considered.
SPJ: I can understand that and also see the value in it. Is this expensive for writers and is there a
good return for their investment?
Steven: According to Biblio/NBN, the distributor we use for our Synergy Books titles, publicity is
the best way to push a title. It is one of the best ways to ensure that a large number of people hear
about your book. It is difficult to generalize a return on investment for an author, because each
person has his or her own idea of what a "good return" is. For one author it could mean they sold
500 books due to their publicist's efforts and to another it could mean they were able to develop
name recognition in their local area. Authors have to understand that publicity is one facet of
marketing their book; there are so many other parts that need to be incorporated such as
word-of-mouth, advertising and speaking engagements.
SPJ: How long do you continue the campaign for the author and what happens if they are not
Steven: Campaign length can vary depending on the author and their goals. BookPros' campaigns
range from two months to six months with opportunities to extend. From the beginning of the
relationship we work with the author to establish realistic goals and expectations. If they are
unsatisfied at the end of a campaign then it's usually because of personal reasons - not getting on a
particular show or not being reviewed by the newspaper they hoped would cover them. We do
everything in our power to make sure the author is happy with their campaign, but in the end, we
don't control what media outlets cover. As you well know, this can be a frustrating industry.
SPJ: Yes Steven, frustrating is a mild word in this industry. Do you read every book that you
Steven: Absolutely. We not only read the book, we also analyze it and dig deep into the text for
topics of interest the author might not have thought about.
SPJ: I know there must be some books that you do not like, it happens. How do you handle that
situation? What if their book is downright terrible and you know it has no hope for any success,
you decline representing them and tell them your feelings? Has this happened?
Steven: BookPros is very selective when it comes to what books we work with. We are not going
work with a book that isn't marketable. Upon initial receipt of a book or manuscript, our client
services coordinator conducts a thorough media analysis - looking at it from all angles to see if it's
marketable and can stand the scrutiny of the media.
Obviously there are going to be books that are against my values or what I believe, but I'm a
professional and can put those feelings aside and do everything in my power to help my author
promote their work.
SPJ: Thank you Steven, now let me ask you this. Do you find authors are generally easy to work
with or extremely demanding? Do you think they expect more than you or any publicist can give
them? I am sure in this line of work you must wear many hats, such as an encourager and
along with a publicist.
Steven: No two authors are alike. They all have different styles, personalities and expectations.
Some are demanding, while others are laid back. At BookPros, we do our best to work with
from the beginning of the relationship to establish realistic expectations and goals for each and
campaign. Of course every author wants to be on Oprah or the Today Show, but so does most of
the living world, so we have to set realistic expectations. It's true, publicists wear many hats. We
the support, as well as the bearer of bad news; such is the role we play.
SPJ: Is it difficult to bring the work to the attention of the world?
Steven: It can be. As a publicist, I have to see a book as a product, and just like any other product
there is a target market. Obviously the whole world isn't going to be interested in one product, so
have to research which target would be interested in a certain book and message. That's what
the job interesting and challenging at the same time.
SPJ: What would you like to tell the authors that would make for more success in working with
and making their book a success?
Steven: Begin thinking about marketing while you're writing the book, after you're done writing,
too late. Be open to feedback and suggestion. Often times first time authors have never allowed
someone outside their network read their book with an objective eye. Understand that just
your friends and family love the book and think it's the next bestseller, doesn't mean everyone else
with think the same. Step away from your book and view it as a product rather than your life's
Understand that there are other opportunities out there besides book reviews, such as features,
interviews about a timely topic associated with your book, not just the book itself. Understand
everyone is an author and everyone has a story to tell, so there is competition out there. And
understand that books are judged by their covers, so packaging is extremely important.
Authors should begin thinking about promoting their book the day they sit down to write it.
Considering your promotional options after the book has gone to press is too late. If you are still
working on your manuscript, here are five tips from our media room to help you on your
1. Have an audience in mind from the beginning. Imagine someone reading your book (someone
NOT related to you) and think of reasons they would seek out your title on bookshelves as
to the competition.
2. Include a table of contents. This is especially important if your book is non-fiction. Chapters
media outlets to quickly reference appropriate sections that might apply during an interview. If
chapter stands alone, it helps producers and editors glean important nuggets of information
doing much more than a quick skim, which is all they have time.
3. Become part of a bigger issue. Fiction authors who are associated with a non-profit group or
other types of organizations will have credibility over authors who are not part of a bigger
4. Look through the newspaper and count how often an author is quoted or used as a source.
that, determine how often you might have been appropriate and how many times other books in
genre could have been used almost interchangeably. Be honest with yourself, do your writing and
credentials provide something unique to media outlets that your competition has overlooked? If
it is not too late to differentiate yourself and your book.
5. Become a news junkie. You are more likely to be used as a source if you know what the media
talking about. Even a book about something as straightforward as animals will have the potential
be used on more media outlets than Animal Planet.
SPJ: Steven, those are some great tips, thank you for sharing them with us. I like number one;
seems to always think whatever we write is absolutely the best, and sometimes it actually stinks.
being honest here folks. Now, do you accept all authors that approach your company or are you
Steven: BookPros is very selective when it comes to what books we work with. We are not going
work with a book that isn't marketable. Upon initial receipt of a book or manuscript, our client
services coordinator conducts a thorough media analysis - looking at it from all angles to see if it's
marketable and can stand the scrutiny of the media.
SPJ: Steven, are you a published author or dabble at all in writing? Would you tell us a little about
Steven: I dabble in writing, but I'm not a published author. I freelance and also write book reviews
for business publications.
SPJ: Steven, please use this space for anything you would like to add, you think we should know,
you would just like to share with us.
Steven: I encourage authors looking for a professional outside opinion on their book's media
worthiness to send in their work to our client development team for a free media analysis. If you
would like information on submitting your work, please contact Amanda Sammons at
SPJ: I want to thank Steven for allowing me to do this interview with him. I don't know abut you,
but I certainly learned a lot and I greatly appreciate it. Now you have some answers to your
questions and I hope this interview will help you decide if a publicist is right for you. I wish
the best in his future and I appreciate all he does.
work: (512) 478-2028, ext. 216 fax: (512) 478-2117
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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