Monday, February 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW 2015-028 - DEADLY DINING

I won a copy of this book through a giveaway on GoodReads.com and the following is my honest opinion for it.

This is the first real mystery I’ve read/reviewed and the first time I’ve read anything written by William Manchee. The unfortunate thing for me is this is the 11th book in the Stan Turner series of mysteries so I don’t know anything about the main character for the series or any of the other characters, which might be either a good or bad thing.

Reading this book, I had visions of Perry Mason and his private detective Paul Drake coming to my mind. But unlike those stories I watched on television as a child, and now thanks to NetFlix I’m watching again, I found having two addition unrelated storylines to have been somewhat of a distraction to the main storyline revolving around three diners who died from poisoning at a well-known local restaurant in Dallas, Emilio’s; and a poor unsuspecting waiter who gets arrested for this crime. [The name of this restaurant, by coincidence is the name of an Italian restaurant my OH and I love to dine at.]

Of two distractions, the first involves his helping a new lawyer, Jodie Marshall with civil defense of a former Military Police officer who prevents a jewelry store from being robbed, but somehow winds up shooting the store’s owner instead.

The second distraction deals with Stan helping a immigrant from Pakistan who’s been conned out of his life’s savings by a thug, a thug who doesn’t give a damn about anything, especially anything regarding our legal systems and laws.

Neither of these two distractions have anything to do with the main premise of this book, other than infuriate Paula with Stan’s lack of attention to her and her needs.

Just as I mentioned in the above, the plot twists, the murder and the disappearances of witness are all reminiscent of the Perry Mason episodes I mentioned above. This also includes the surprise ending; which is why I found this book somewhat endearing.

As far as the book itself is concerned, I personally found having chapters heading with character’s names and which basically revolve around them to be somewhat of a distraction. But, then, I’ve read/reviewed about three other books in which their authors have used the same pattern for their chapters; so there must be a reason for it.

The writing lends itself to its readers for an enticing experience to keep turning the pages to the book’s conclusion.

Given the above, I’m happy to “Deadly Dining” 4 STARS.


UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1935722786

BOOK REVIEW 2015-027 - PREMIERE: R W A COLLECTION = BOOK 1

I’m a MG/YA Paranormal Romance author myself who’s happy to be a member of RWA for many years.

When I saw the RWA [Romance Writers of America] association with this book that I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with any of the selections it contains. Needless to say when I finished reading this collection of short stories, my assumption proved to be quite correct. One of the reasons I brought the KINDLE Edition of this book as opposed to the paperback version is I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it so I could start reading the all marvelous short stories it contains.

I truly believe almost everyone who reads this book will agree that unlike other anthologies complied by others, all of the selections made by Sylvia Day, surrounding the theme of a wrong number, are all equally superb.

Ms Day needs to be congratulated for the daunting task she undertook in bringing everything together in the manner she has. I’d love to comment on each of the authors in this book, but if I did, my review might run a few pages; which is why I’ve commented on the book itself.

Being a Book Reviewer, this collection of romance genres has not only given me the opportunity to read several gifted romance authors at one time; it has exposed me to genres I haven’t been exposed to yet.

There is no way I cannot give Ms. Day 5 STARS for this endeavor, and if the rating went up to 10, I’d have given her that.






BOOK REVIEW 2015-026 - MEET ME IN THE DARK

As a Book Reviewer I have a policy to only review books I’ve won through giveaways and books written by members of an internet support group I belong to. Having read/reviewed two other wonderful books by this author which I’ve won, you can imagine how I felt when I won this novelette. The following as always is my honest review.

For those of you who’ve watched any of the ghost hunter genre of programs on cable you already know what happens when you enter the realm of spirits who’ve been held earthbound.

In “Meet Me in the Dark” Crishtin Davenport accompanies her friend Lana to an abandoned mansion where a paranormal investigation is supposed to take place. Once there and the activities are about to begin, Lana nudges Crishtin over to go with Joshua Hewes as she and everyone else follows Arnie as their guide. They’re apprehensive yet somehow attracted to each other.

As they venture out to explore the mansion alone they’re increasing sensing that someone has touched them, but this couldn’t be since they hadn’t been close enough for it to happen. When they reached the master bedroom things really start to happen to them without their realization of what’s happening. WHY? Because, they’ve both been possessed by spirits who needed the use of their bodies.

Josh after viewing the infra-red video he made last night brings the shocking recording over to Crish’s home to have her view it. Needless to say she became aghast when she saw it. Josh tells Crish he needs to do some research into the history of the mansion and its inhabitants.

When he returns, they discuss the situation and agree to allow Myles and Shelley, the spirits who had possessed their bodies the first time, to possess their bodies again to bring a resolution to what has kept their spirits earthbound.

I’m not going into any details of what happens, but I feel you will agree the story makes for a fast moving and vivid reading experience due to the author’s writing skills.

American readers please be advised the author uses the British spelling of certain words, so they’re not misspelled.

Please be advised, no spirits have possessed me in making my decision to give 5 STARS for this endeavor by Ms. Carlton. 


UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RM21Z6C

BOOK REVIEW 2015-025 - WOOF

After having read/reviewed several adult books, including some which could be considered as being erotic; and despite the fact I’ve just read/reviewed one item geared for children I felt I still needed to read one more to clear my mind from the adult nature of the books I’ve recently reviewed.

This led me to one of the three TBR lists I have, and to select a book written by an author I’ve previously reviewed, Dakota Douglas [“ANTics”].  For this outing as a Book Reviewer I’ve chosen to read/review “Woof.”

“Woof” is actually a collection of two stories. In the first story, “A Dog’s Life,” Jeremy switches places with a stray dog he calls Rufus which seems to attached itself to him. This immediately brought into my mind a Disney movie entitled “The Shaggy Dog” but unlike this movie the transformation is not caused by an ancient ring. As a dog Jeremy can now play soccer when he couldn’t before, in addition to which he now is chasing cats and has to search for scraps of food to eat.

With Rufus’ behaving as if he would still be a dog, Jeremy’s work/career obsessed parents have, after going to a doctor, finally begun to lob some long overdue attention on him as they suddenly take him to the movies, bowling, etc.

After a while Jeremy begs Rufus to change back to their own bodies and previous lives. Rufus’ response? Well it’s there in the story which you’ll have to read to find out.

In the second story, “A Boy’s Best Friend” Jeremy is too attentive to his school work to pay any attention to Rufus. Rufus has now become bored with his daily existence of chasing cats, wants to have excitement in his life. His wish is soon answered as he overhears Jeremy’s parents talk about a robbery in the neighbor. And like the “The Shaggy  D.A.” Rufus is now on the trail of the robbers instead of spies.
Will things at Turner household ever return to the way things used to be before Rufus became part of their household?

“Woof” is a delight fantasy adventure for children age 7 and up.  It’s also a fun read for parents who secret yearn to be a child again so they can fantasize about the stories as well.
As Rufus would rate this book, it’s “Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof,” or in human-speak, 5 STARS.


UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GAFQ8MS

BOOK REVIEW 2015-024 - ARCHIE ROCKIN' THE WORLD

Being a child of the 1950’s comic books had been a mainstay of our existence. While the boys read the Superman, Batman, and Action Comics; the girls had all of the Archie Comics with their wonderful characters of Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie and Veronica. This is not to say that the boys never read Archie or the girls never read any of the comics the boys read, they did.

The only thing which has changed is the storylines of the comics themselves. When the series started everything revolved around their town, Riverdale [whose name is taken from a section in the northwest corner of The Bronx in New York City where the one of the founder of MLJ comics predecessor of Archie comics and creator for the character of Archie, John L Goldwater had attended Horace Mann, a private school which is located there.]

I like the fact none of the characters have changed to any real extend in the last 60 years [the Archie Comics started in 1942] and that they’ve not changed in how they related to each other:  Archie being the guy all the girls want. Archie and Valerie are “back together” behind the scenes, Veronica is jealous of course. Once the tour starts in Mumbai, India Amisha, young starlet of Bollywood enters the scene with a “romance” with Archie, soon to be followed by Cheryl who now wants Archie as well as her company acquires the company who’s producing the documentary of “The Archies” world tour. The rivalry of all the girls who love Archie is prevalent through the entire comic.

“The Archies” are not alone in the tour, they’re joined by “Josie and the PussyCats,” “The Bingos” and “The Madds.” For those who’ve never heard of these groups the comic includes a brief bio which includes when the group first appeared in the Archie comic books.

I’m not going to say anything about the rest of the stops on their tour but they’re going to be joined with “guest appearances” by other characters old-time readers have come to know.

There’s a surprise epilogue as well as four short comic stories to round out this collection.

One of the interesting aspects about this particular comic is the international aspect it took, and not only does the action take place in Mumbai in India, Shanghai and Beijing in China,  Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, and three area in Canada; information about each one is given before “The Archies” stop in that country.

This book is a definite must read for any adult who’d like to relive their childhood reading these classic comics, and well as for their children.

For having brought back my childhood in this marvelous manner, how can I resist giving it 5 STARS.

I received a copy of “Archie Rockin’ The World” from a giveaway of GoodReads.com and the preceding has been my honest opinion of it.


UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1619889072

BOOK REVIEW 2015-023 - MAGGIE'S STORY

For a chance of pace I wanted to read something which didn’t have a lot of hot sexual scenes or dialogue to read. I wanted something with a tad of romance and elements of some genres I haven’t really read yet. I believed I’d found  it when I chose “Maggie's Story” by Ava Louise. The book is actually Book 1 of a stand-alone series entitled “Intergalactic Matchmaking Services.”

What is a woman [Maggie Cline] to do after having been left at the altar by the man she apparently adored, Jon Mercer, and thought he felt the same way about her?  If you can imagine how you would feel if this happen to you, then you’ll know how she must have felt. In front of all those close to you, friends and family you’ve now been shamed, embarrassed and literally stripped of any and all dignity you possess.

To start anew, she takes a teaching position in Washington; however, this turns out to be her undoing as she becomes an eye witness to a murder, with her life being threatened by gang members, and the police apparently uninterested in her plight. Maggie finds a flyer advertising an opportunity for a relationship with an alien. After passing the required tests she’s accepted and gets introduced to Daxon an alien from a planet lacking women.

I’m not going to go into what happens next, but I loved the adventurous spirit Maggie to relocate to a planet she never heard. And being a cat lover, I loved her refusing to go without her precious cat, Mamzell.

The story is fast spaced which made it a relatively fast read. I’d loved to give this book 5 STARS, but unfortunately many aspects of this story didn’t developed to their full potential, which is why I’m only giving 4 STARS.


BOOK REVIEW 2015-022 - DAISY MADIGAN'S PARADISE

With my having recently review two books off two of my TBR lists I decided to review one off the third list I have. This time I decided to read/review Suzy Turner’s “Daisy Madigan’s Paradise.” When I read this book I had no knowledge it is actually part of a series, which indicates how this book a great stand-alone novella on its own.

How much is one individual expected to cope with, especially, since she’s about to that all important age in a girl’s life, sixteen? To begin with her mother dies, and then the inability of her father to cope with this causes him to start drinking which leads with to disappear out of Daisy’s fractured life.

Daisy is now homeless with no one to turn to for the dire help she needs, and is increasingly being bullied at school which had started even before the death of her mother. I have to wonder whether her being a “ginger” had anything to do with the treatment she receives from her classmates. A “ginger” for those who are unfamiliar with the term is someone who has red hair and freckles.

When she reaches the age of sixteen a strange tattoo mysteriously appears on her arm. At this same time Jack, a wonderful guy who isn’t judgmental about her homeless condition, enters her life and becomes her only friend.

Daisy is lucky in that she receives some support from the local merchants in her town who have taken pity on her circumstances. She finally finds solitude and safety in the last place you would imagine at Abney Park, the local cemetery. While living here she soon discovers she has the ability to communicate to ghosts. Unfortunately there is an evil presence there, “The Skulls,” who are out to hunt and harm the ghosts and any human prey which happens to be in the cemetery at night. Will the additional powers she learns she now has be enough to defeat them.

Please note this author uses the British spelling of words so words like “organized” and “neighbors” get spelled “organised” and “neighbours” respectfully, in addition to British terms which might seem strange.

“Daisy Madigan’s Paradise” is an age-appropriate novella whose delightful and vivid writing by Suzy Turner, makes it an absorbing, page-turning reading experience.  And the reason I’m giving it 5 STARS.


UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ALUMQE2