Saturday, December 26, 2009

Truly, Madly ~ By Heather Webber

When Oscar Valentine gets caught in an affair, he fears his family's famous matchmaking business will suffer. So he entrusts the business to his 28 year old daughter, Lucy, while he and his wife, Judith, go to St. Lucia. There is one problem: Lucy doesn't have the family gift of matchmaking. Her ability is finding inanimate objects that have been lost. Lucy stresses about her first day running the family business because of Cupid's Curse. Cupid's Curse is the Valentine's inability to match themselves. Lucy fears that the Curse will spread into her customers and she will inaccurately match them. When one customer tries to get over his ex-fiancée, Jennifer, Lucy tries instead to reunite the two. Lucy shakes Michael's hand after the meeting and sees the engagement ring he gave to Jennifer on the finger of a skeleton. Lucy goes upstairs to ask the private investigator (Sean) for help locating Jennifer. Lucy drives up to Michael's town to try to find the skeleton. She chickens out, but decides to drive by his home anyway. She is forced to lie about her intentions when Michael catches her outside his home. Sean calls Lucy and tells her about his research, including his call to Jennifer's mother. But Jennifer's mother will not give any information about her whereabouts. Lucy cannot leave the skeleton and the ring alone so she and Sean continue to investigate. Getting them both way over their heads.

Truly, Madly is such a cute, fun mystery. I love the concept of a match-making psychic. Deeply, Desperately is set to release August 2010. There is supposed to be at least one more book following Deeply, Desperately. I really hope there are many more to come in this series because I really enjoyed Truly, Madly. If you love mysteries this is a must read new series. It would make a great Valentine's Day gift too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Diary Of A Witness ~ By Catherine Ryan Hyde

Diary Of A Witness opens with the main character (Ernie) telling about how his friend Will stood up for him after gym class against the school jocks. Both boys are outcasts, but have formed a friendship based on that fact. Will tells Ernie he has two choices: live with gym or tell the counselor he is gay. He chooses to lie to the counselor. But his plan backfires when he must use the gym during lunch or after school. His gym teacher, who sees right through his lie, makes Ernie a deal: he is allowed to shower in Mr. Bayliss’s office but he must weigh himself. Ernie is about 100 pounds over weight. Ernie’s bullying never stops. At lunch one of the jocks hit him in the head with their tray. Will’s father lets Will, Ernie and Sam (Will’s little brother) take his boat out fishing. Will hooks a 30 inch fish and won’t let it go. Will’s stubbornness ends up sinking his father’s boat and killing his younger brother. After Sam’s death, Will becomes incredibly angry and threatens to end Ernie’s suffering forever.

This book is a new look at school shootings. It’s a reminder that anyone can snap at anytime for any reason. Ernie learns some hard lessons about choosing everyone’s safety over a friend’s freedom. Even though this isn’t something I normally read, I enjoyed it. Actually I think it should be read in schools as a reminder of Columbine and other school shootings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Powers~ By John B. Olson

Powers opens with Mariutza walking in the forest near her home. Her teacher, Miss Caralee, yells at her for being out so late without her grandfather’s consent. As Mari is leaving Caralee’s shack, the whole forest begins to “ring with silence.” Caralee freaks out because the Badness is out in the woods. Mari escapes Caralee’s grasp and sees her grandfather’s diddlecar (gypsy wagon) and realizes the Badness has reached there too. When she can’t find Purodad anywhere, she realizes that he is out fighting the Badness. Unfortunately he does not survive and has some strange requests of his granddaughter. This is where we leave Mari’s story and read about Jazz, who we meet while he is playing piano at a bar. Jazz hears Mariutza’s name in his head, but he doesn’t know what it means. Jazz blacks out during one of his songs. When Jazz refuses medical tests, the owner of the bar gives him a choice: go to the hospital to find the cause of the “seizure” or play elsewhere. Jazz, knowing a trip to the ER would be pointless, chooses the latter. The story then flows back to Mari, who is deep in sorrow over her grandfather’s death. While burying him, the Badness comes back and so Mari is forced to hide in her grandfather’s grave. This is where Mari is left so we can reunite with Jazz. On the street, Jazz runs into the young woman who made her way toward him before he blacked out at the bar. The young woman (Hollis) and her friend Madison invite him to their hotel. Jazz blacks out again and we leave him as he discovers he is bloody and he blacks out again. Daniel Groves is an FBI member whose assignment is to rid the area of gypsies. And his first target is Mari. As the pace of the story picks up, so do the changes of the characters. Mari is looking through her ransacked home and finds her grandfather’s bible is missing. We leave her burning the gypsy wagon, (the only home she has ever known). Jazz has just woken up and realized that he is halfway across New Orleans. He goes home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. But the thieves never left and he was surrounded by hooded men. When the helicopters come back, Mari knows that she is in trouble, so she runs to the street and hitches a ride on top of a car heading into New Orleans. Jazz’s story picks up from here again. He escapes from the “shadow men” and heads up to the Ritz Carlton where Hollis and Madison have his guitar in their hotel room. Jazz is sorting through his mail with Hollis and takes an envelope out of his pocket and discovered it was his grandfather’s will. One problem: he was told his grandfather died when he was a child. Mari’s driver asked if she needs a ride somewhere. When they arrive at his apartment he kisses her. When Mari doesn’t kiss back, Jack feels used. Jazz wakes up screaming and Hollis makes him a deal. She will pay for his clothes and bus tickets to get out of town if she can be in on the action. Daniel Groves continues his search for Mariutza. Hollis convinces Jazz to go to the police department. When they arrive he has another vision and runs away hoping the cops won’t come after him. We leave him cutting up his clothes to hide the blood. Sheltered Mari is running through the city and discovers children. She gives one little boy her necklace but quickly runs away when the Badness gets near. She is digging through trash when the cops come asking for picture ID. Jazz and Mari finally meet around page 100. This is as far as I will take the summary.

When I received this book for review, the paper that came with it said this book was a sequel to Shade. I was hesitant to pick it up for this reason only. Without reading the first book a person can still enjoy Powers. I’m glad I picked it up so quickly after receiving it because I enjoyed really it. I hope that John B. Olson will continue this series because Powers has a very open ending. I will definitely be looking forward to reading other books by him.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Storm Glass~By Maria V. Snyder

Opal Cowen is working in the glass shop when a messenger comes to bring her back to the Keep. Opal is given a mission: She must help the Stormdance Clan make orbs for their magicians. The magicians then use the orbs to harvest storms. The clan’s attempts have been with bad glass, causing them to break. When an orb breaks, a Stormdancer is killed. Zitora, the second magician, will be traveling with Opal. During their trek, they are awoken by a sword blade at their necks. The masked man in charge doesn’t want the Stormdance clan to be helped. Zitora has Opal prick their attackers with Curare to keep them paralyzed until the guards could come pick them up. The Stormdance clan shows Opal where they create their orbs and their mixture of sand. When Opal sees one of the old orbs, she realizes magic is trapped inside. (She can both see it and hear it). Unlike when she blows glass at home, the new unused orbs do not sparkle. Opal thinks that one of the raw ingredients in the glass may be tainted. Opal, Zitora and Kade (the Stormdancer that’s left) and Varun (one of the glass blowers) decided to go to see Opal’s father. Later, Kade asks Opal what she had heard in the orb. She says Kaya. He assumes that Zitora has been listening to his thoughts. This of course causes tension between Opal and Kade. Zitora sends Opal to the market near their camp alone. While at the market, their attacker returns and demands Opal comes with him. Kade saves Opal from Blue Eyes and stays behind to find out who he really is. Opal and Zitora go on to Booruby promising to meet back with Kade. When they arrive, they give Jaymes, Opal’s father, the mixture of sand. He continues to examine it throughout the night. He finds brittle talc which lessens the density of the glass. The brittle talc looks and feels like lime. Opal visits a fellow glassmaker and finds he showed an interest in brittle talc. Zitora suspects he is a magician because his glass sings out loud. Opal and Zitora then continue back to the Stormdance lands. But only after Zitora sends Opal’s friend to the Keep. They arrive just in time to test the orbs before Kade must go out to capture storms. Opal learns that she can go into the glass orbs. After she comes out, Zitora asks Opal what happened but she just wants to drop it. On the way back to the Keep, after successfully completing their mission, Opal is under arrest for robbery. The police found a vase that Opal “stole” in her saddlebag. Zitora comes to save Opal but she quickly finds out that it is not really Zitora. When they arrive in the Kyrstal lands, Tal (the man who sabotaged the lime) was there with some of the other original captors. They want the Stormdance recipe for glass. Opal escapes and finds a couple who takes her to the local magician. He contacts Zitora who says come back to Thunder Valley. They finally arrive safely back to the Keep. This gets you up the first 200 pages.

Even though this is the first book in the glass series, I would recommend reading the study series about Yelena first. It would clarify things and the magicians at the Keep are introduced more. Opal isn’t in the first two study books but they are great too.

I loved this book. I hope Maria Snyder continues to write about these characters. These are such quick reads. Definitely one of my new favorite writers. If you love fantasy and romance books then you must read this book. I wonder who the next series will revolve around?

***Book two (Sea Glass) is already released and book three comes out Fall 2010***

Study Series is order

Poison Study

Magic Study

Fire Study

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Accessory To Murder~By Elaine Viets

Accessory To Murder is Elaine Viets’s third book about Josie Marcus, a secret shopper and single mom. Josie often takes her friend Alyce on her secret shopping treks. Josie’s assignment was at the Dorchester Mall- one of the most unsafe malls in the area. While at the mall, the friends witness the chaos after an armed robbery. The following day, Josie is at Alyce’s home and the news is on. Alyce’s neighbor Halley Hardwicke (a young designer) is shot in the parking lot of the Dorchester Mall during a carjacking. All of Alyce’s neighbors meet up to comfort each other. Josie, not fitting in, leaves to pick up her daughter, Amelia, from school. Josie gets a frantic call from Alyce but hangs up as soon as Jake walking into the room. Josie finds out that the homicide detectives were at Alyce’s home asking about Jake’s whereabouts. When Josie’s mother sets her up on a blind date with a man from Jake’s law firm, Josie sees the perfect time to investigate. Josie sees the perfect time to investigate. She’s told that Jake was having an affair with Halley. Alyce begs Josie to investigate Halley’s murder and hopefully clear Jake’s name. Alyce is shunned by her neighbors because Jake has been taken into custody for Halley’s murder. To find out who the murderer is, you will have to read the book!

Josie’s life doesn’t match what her mother wanted, but she does a great job being a single mom. Her moments with Amelia are so cute. I love this series, especially when she’s secret shopping. I hope Elaine Viets continues this series.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dead Men Don't Lye~By Tim Myers

When Benjamin Perkins finds Jerry Sanger’s body on the back step behind his soap store, his first thought is how to not tell his sister. Jerry and Louisa had been dating on and off. Ben calls his friend Molly because she is a detective that he trusts. Molly suspects Louisa because her reputation for overreacting. And of course for being Jerry’s girlfriend. Ben’s mother asks him to investigate Jerry’s murder to clear Louisa. Ben drives to other soap shops that Jerry supplied ingredients to. Both women are too distressed to for just being friends with him. Molly finds out that Ben has been investigating and chews him out for doing his job. While talking to Louisa, Ben finds that Jerry’s favorite hangout is a local independent mystery bookstore. He finds out that Jerry would flirt with any woman in the store. Because of his investigating, Ben is always one step ahead of Molly. Ben and Molly’s friendship hits the rocks when Ben goes on a date with Louisa’s lawyer, Kelly. When Ben gets a threatening voice mail, Molly urges him to stop investigating. The next night, when Ben and Kelly get back to his apartment, Ben’s Miata’s rag top has been slashed with a knife. But Ben won’t stop until he clears his sister’s name.

Tim Myers mysteries are just so much fun to read. His characters are so relatable. Anyone who loves cozy mysteries will love Benjamin Perkins and his huge, crazy family. Its really sad that this series only has three books. Even though this series is out of print, I will be looking for the rest on soon. It’s also cool how Tim Myers subtly references his other works.

*** Tim Myers has written as Melissa Glazer, Elizabeth Bright and Chris Cavender.***

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Legend of The Golden Monkey~ By Renee Hand

The Legend Of The Golden Monkey picks right up where The Case of Red Rock Canyon leaves off. Max, Mia and Granny are on a plane from Las Vegas to Mexico. When the plane lands on a private air strip, the Crypto-Capers are met by a man named Pablo. He is eager to help the family because Maggie Devereaux is his cousin. Once at the hotel, Pablo and the Crypto- Capers work on the first cryptogram. Pablo takes the detectives out to Chichen Itza to investigate the pyramids. While in the park, a man seems to be following the family and their guide. During dinner, Pablo and Walter (Pablo’s pilot and archeologist friend) tells the Crypto-Capers about the local legends. Granny takes Walter and Pablo back to Chichen Itza while Max and Mia explore the hotel gift shop with Spencer. The Crypto-Capers us a boy named Emmanuel who works in the gift shop to help them find the missing Mayan tablets.

This book is great because you find out a little bit more about Max and Mia’s grandfather. It’s nice to see Granny’s sensitive side toward her late husband. The Legend of the Golden Monkey has the biggest cliff hanger ending of the series so far. I can’t wait until the next book is published. The next book the Crypto-Capers are going to Italy.

***But be prepared for a bigger challenge with the cryptograms in this book! They get progressively harder! :)***

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Case Of Red Rock Canyon~Renee Hand

This is a continuation of a series that began with The Case Of The Missing Sock. The client this time is Julian Cross, who is a producer for a show which is coming to the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. Mr. Cross needs the Crypto-Capers help to find a missing Cartier orchid necklace. After the dinner meeting with Mr. Cross, Max, Mia and Granny connect with Morris via webcam. Mia is kidnapped from the Mandalay Bay while the family is investigating. Morris tracks Mia and her kidnappers as they speed away from the Mandalay Bay. While Max and Granny are eating they overhear a disturbing conversation Lucille Devereaux (Mr. Cross’s girlfriend) and Pierson Long (Mr. Cross’s biggest competitor) Pierson then tells Max that Lucille is dating him. Which contradicts what Lucille told him earlier in the day. “Lucille” at the restaurant was really Julie Devereaux. Lucille’s twin sister. The cast leads the Crypto-Capers to the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. That is as much as I can write safely without giving too much away.

The Case of Red Rock Canyon is a great continuation. I just love how interactive this series is. It’s fun to solve the puzzles with Max and Mia. This book ends in quite a cliff hanger, which means a lot of waiting until you can get your hands on the next book in the series. This is a must read for anyone who loves puzzles and mysteries.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rachel And Aleks~By Sylvia Smoller

Rachel and her friend, Helena, are walking in the woods talking about boys in the beginning of this book. Helena tells Rachel that her friend Jakob is coming for a visit. Helena insists that Rachel must join then during the small get together. She goes, but everyone is talking about politics so Rachel stays silent. This intrigues Jakob. He walks her home every night until he must leave. Jakob promises to stay in touch through letters. In one of these letters, he asks for her hand in marriage. She declines by saying it should be Helena who is “at his side.” Jakob simply replies “You have deceived me.” They never communicate after that. Rachel suddenly finds herself falling for her tutor, but after he goes to Warsaw, she never hears from him again either. Rachel moves to Czestochowa to attend commercial school. She finally meets the famous Aleks Mischler, that Helena and her friends always talked about, at one of his lectures. Rachel and Aleks continue to run into each other in public. The two begin dating a few months later and Aleks’s sisters do not approve. After months of dating, Aleks asks Rachel to marry him. She says yes. After many months, the long awaited wedding day has arrived. Two of Aleks’s sisters had finally accepted her. The happy couple moves to Warsaw. Years later Rachel becomes pregnant and continues to work. Aleks’s sisters call her an embarrassment to the family. When their daughter, Rilka, is born, Rachel gets along with everyone including Aleks’s sister. When Aleks is accused of treason, the young family has yet another difficult time to go through. Rachel plans to visit her aunt, but has a hard time leaving Rilka. While in England, Rachel meets the man (Roman) who will soon become her lover. Rachel, who realizes taking a lover is a bad decision, goes home Aleks and Rilka. Rachel confides in Sophie (her sister) about her affair with Roman. When the Germans attack Poland, Aleks demands a car to escape. The family travels to Lithuania, Russia and Japan before departing for Seattle. From there, they settle in New York City. When Roman appears in New York, he threatens Rachel’s job. Roman puts Rachel in the difficult position of choosing between Aleks and himself.

This is a great coming of age story. I really enjoyed seeing Rachel mature before my eyes. Rachel and Aleks are such a lovable couple. If you are interested in the Holocaust (and enjoy romance novels), then this is a must read!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Case of The Missing Sock~By Renee Hand

The Case Of The Missing Sock opens with the main character, Max, doubting his choice of direction. Max finds a trap and uses a boomerang to retrieve a piece of paper. On that paper is a note telling Max that he has passed his detective test and needs to pick up his updated certificate. Max Holmes is one of Scotland Yard’s youngest spies, at 14. Max’s parents and his sister, Mia, also work for Scotland Yard. Mr. Delacomb, owner of Delacomb Cereal Company, comes to Mia and Max’s home asking for help to find an antique sock and a pair of Prada sunglasses. He is reluctant to hire the “Crypto-Capers” because they are kids, but they are also his only chance. Mr. Delacomb comes to them with a single cryptogram. Max, Mia and Granny fly to Florida to search for clues. Morris (the fourth member of the Crypto-Capers) stays home to help from a distance. When the Crypto-Capers arrive in Florida, they relax at their hotel before heading over to Mr. Delacomb’s mansion. He recounts the night that he realized that the sock and the sunglasses were stolen. Max finds the key to the cryptogram in a box, in the same curio cabinet that the sock and the sunglasses were hidden. The clues lead the detectives to a local golf course. That’s as much of a teaser that I will write because I don’t want to give away the end.

I love this book because it proves that kids can solve mysteries too. There are not nearly enough mysteries where children are the heros. I hope more authors follow in Renee Hand’s footsteps. I also hope she continues to write this series. It will be great to see how the series develops.

***And the interactive cryptograms are great***

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Slice Of Murder~By Chris Cavender

A Slice of Murder is the first mystery in a series set in Timber Ridge, North Carolina. Eleanor owns a pizzeria named A Slice of Delight which she runs with the help of her sister Maddy. Eleanor gets a call for delivery, but when she arrives at the home, the owner, Richard Olsen, is dead. The following day, the Police Chief, Kevin Hurley shows up at Maddy’s home, demanding more questions of Eleanor. Maddy calls her friend Bob, who is a lawyer to accompany Eleanor to the station. Maddy, against Eleanor’s wishes goes to A Slice of Delight and opens the day after the murder. Maddy suggests that rather than waiting for the cops to solve the murder, she and Eleanor find the killer themselves. When Sheila Olsen, Richard’s sister, comes into A Slice of Delight, Eleanor and Maddy see the perfect chance to dig into Richard’s past. Unfortunately Sheila leaves when both sisters are occupied, so they don’t get any information. Maddy and Eleanor decide to close the shop so they can go investigate. Their first stop was Richard Olsen’s home, Chief Kevin is about to arrest them when Sheila appears from the back of the house, telling him they are helping her clean. Eleanor and Maddy spend time investigating with Sheila until she realizes the amount of money her bother had. Eleanor and Maddy are allowed to go through the “trash,” if they want to take it with them. Eleanor finds a love letter from a woman who is married to the mayor. The sisters decide to go to the pizzeria to calm down. But when they arrive, there are tons of customers standing around waiting for them. After closing the store, Eleanor and Maddy walk to their cars to find Eleanor’s window broken and “Killer written on it. They continue to investigate the murder even though Eleanor had been threatened. When Eleanor checks voicemail, there are a lot of hang up calls. When Eleanor answers the phone, the person on the line offers 200 dollars for a pizza delivery. Maddy finds the call suspicious and calls the Chief. That’s all I will give away!

If you are looking for a light, funny, cozy mystery, then this is a must read. This will be a great series and I’m hoping that it continues. I am looking forward to reading some of the other books this author has written.

***Chris Cavender is a pen name for an author who has written as Melissa Glazer, Elizabeth Bright and Tim Myers.***

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Becoming Alice~By Alice Rene

From her window, Ilse sees the Nazi soldiers parading through her street. Ilse realizes that the Jewish are not wanted in Austria, when she and the family maid go shopping. When their band account is frozen, Ilse’s father decides they must sell some of their possessions. Her father then escapes from Austria by saying he will go gather goose feathers. Her father gets visa’s for Ilse, her mother and brother. Unfortunately the Nazi’s have shut the border and the family has to reroute their trip. When they finally arrive in Lithuania, Ilse is reunited with her father. Herr Lehmann smuggles the family over the border to Latvia. Fredi, Ilse’s brother can get a visa to America is he goes to boarding school. Their parents make him go. Ilse’s father has been trying to get visas for the rest of the family with no success. Finally the family is granted the visas. They have to travel through Kobe, Japan. Once they arrive in Kobe, they board a ship that will take the refugees to their new home in America. Ilse’s family settles in Portland, Oregon. An organization that helps the Jewish find jobs, offers to buy a grocery store for the family to run. After much consideration, Ilse’s parents agree. Later they enroll Ilse in school, which causes her much distress because she speaks no English. After living in the United States for the required five years, the family applied for citizenship. Ilse changes her name to Alice because it sounds more “American.” She hopes changing her name to Alice will make her upcoming high school years easier than her grade school. After graduating from high school, life begins to be more comfortable for her.

Many people know something about the Jewish Holocaust, but you hardly ever hear about a family who escapes by moving to the United States. It was refreshing to read a story about a Jewish family that had a relatively happy ending.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Night~By Tom Weston

Thomas and Hannah Pemberton know their daughter, Sarah, will never recover from the small pox virus. Captain John Ayres stops by and gives Sarah an ivory Inuit bracelet. After Sarah puts the bracelet on, she closes her eyes and passes away peacefully. Thomas and Hannah bury Sarah two days later. A few hundred years later Alexandra (Alex) and her sister, Jacqueline (Jackie), O’Rourke are spending New Years with their Aunt Anne and Uncle Jim in Boston. Both Anne and Jim have to work on New Years Eve, so they turn let Alex and Jackie loose in the city. The girls eat breakfast while they plan their day. Sarah Pemberton wakes up and attends the Court of Spirits—where her own parents accuse her of being a witch. She is released from court because she has no lawyer. Sarah is then thrust into present day Boston and can not find her way home. Back at the café, Alex and Jackie are still trying to decide what to do with their day. Jackie spots a girl dressed in 1600’s clothing, but the sisters don’t thing it’s unusual because of all the historical sites in Boston. Alex and Jacking leave the café and start walking down the street. Suddenly a girl comes running in the opposite direction. Alex knows the girl will run into her and braces for the impact. But the collision never happens. Alex and Jackie sit down with Sarah and explain everything that has happened since her death. Sarah, in turn tells the girls of her life in the 1680’s. As the girls walk through the city, Sarah slowly begins to realize that nothing is left of “her” Boston. Sarah tells Alex and Jackie that she is being accused of being a witch. Jackie makes a joke of it and suddenly she and Sarah are enveloped in blue smoke. After the smoke dissipates, Jackie and Sarah are gone. The two girls are transported back to the Court of Spirits, where Jackie must act as Sarah’s lawyer. After court is released, the girls find Alex exactly where they left her. The three head to the library to research the accusations against Sarah. Alex and Jackie take Sarah to dinner to meet their Aunt and Uncle. After eating dinner, they have to ditch their Aunt and Uncle by saying they are helping with the festivities. Jacking and Sarah are pulled back to the Court of Spirits. Alex is left to do more research for her sister. That’s all I can tell without giving away the ending.

First Night is such a great story and everyone should read it. It’s a strong book about sisterhood and the power of friendship. Unfortunately most people wouldn’t run across it easily! I would recommend this book to everyone because I enjoyed it that much!

The second book in the Alex and Jackie series comes out this year (2009) sometime. I know the publishing date is too far away for me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Murder By The Numbers: The Righteous One~By Richard Hicks

Murder By The Numbers: The Righteous One opens with Eddie DeSilva’s retirement party. Eddie was forced into retirement because he shot someone on the job. First he was placed on administrative leave, and then it transitioned into forced retirement. His friend and psychologist, Pauline Graham calls him during the party begging for his help—her friend has been murdered. The police are suspecting the victim’s own daughter, but Pauline doesn’t agree. After Eddie leaves his retirement party, he goes over to Pauline’s house, so they can discuss the murder. Pauline begs Eddie to use his contacts at the force to get inside information. Eddie stops at the station to get whatever information he could. After that he drives to the women’s prison outside of San Diego to interview Allison Stanton, the victim’s daughter. Eddie goes by the murder scene to see what clues he can find. The new chief catches Eddie snooping around the department and calls him out. He tells her that he will be a civilian investigator and not use the force for information. Eddie begins to think of sailing down the coast to Mexico—just to get away. Unfortunately the yacht club calls him to say that his boat has a leak. Eddie realizes that he can not stop thinking of the murder, so he begins to investigate again. Eddie plans on attending Vincent’s (the victim) funeral, but his brakes “fail” and he crashes into a person's bushes. After he has recovered enough, he continues to investigate. The investigation leads him and Pauline to Pennsylvania.

The Enneagram is a way that tells people your personality type. There are nine numbers. The preface of this book briefly touches on the different characteristics of each number. The Enneagram is brought up in the book, but it is not distracting.

This was a really enjoyable mystery. If you love mysteries about cops, then I would recommend this book. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. Unfortunately it doesn’t come out until 2010. I hope this series continues beyond the 9 Enneagram numbers!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Indigo Awakening~By Dr. Janine Talty

Indigo Awakening is the story of Dr. Janine Talty’s difficult struggle with being different. This book opens with the author, Janine, telling the reader about her early school life. She was placed into special education because she couldn’t comprehend reading or math. She knew she didn’t fit with the other kids because she was more creative and imaginative. Janine expressed herself through art, because it made sense to her. She demanded to be tested for dyslexia after seeing a news report. When her parents got her tested, they found out she had an abnormally high IQ, as well as dyslexia. Her parents then transferred her to the local catholic school because the classes were smaller and Janine could get more individualized attention. Switching to the private school had helped, but she was still not sure she could even go to college. After many injurieds, Janine decided that she wanted to be a doctor. After moving to the Midwest, she started many different medical programs, until she finally settled on going to Michigan State University in Lansing. After both she and her husband finished medical school, they moved back to California. Janine’s struggles continue until she realized that she was an Indigo.

For those of you who don’t know what an “Indigo” is, Janine uses the words of Kyron in her epilogue. Indigo’s have a “feeling of royalty and a sense they deserve to be here. Their self-worth is healthily intact, and often tell their parents ‘who they are.’ They have difficulty with authority and will not do certain things such as waiting in line. They get frustrated with ritually oriented systems that don’t require creative thought. They have an innate ability to see a better way to do things. They are ‘system busters.’ They often feel misunderstood by other who are not of the same consciousness and seem antisocial unless other like them are around. They often have difficulty fitting in and school is often difficult for them socially” (311). There is also a quiz in the appendix which will help you determine if you are an Indigo.

Indigo Awakening was such a great story. It was definitely a memoir that I enjoyed. Some parts were difficult to read because of how she is treated as a young child. No one should be treated so horribly. The story is relatable to anyone, who has felt different, either because they don’t fit in or just express themselves in more creative ways. If you suspect that you or someone you know is an Indigo, this is a must read.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Interview with Storyheart

Storyheart is the author of Across the Pond and he is here to dicuss some points of his book with my readers.

1. I read the about the author information. Is ACROSS THE POND based on your life?

They say write about what you know, and moving to the US from England myself I certainly know all about the pitfalls and issues of moving “Across the Pond”. While the story is not based on me there is much within the book and the main character Fred. Some of the happenings like the shock of seeing people turning right at red lights, the happenings at the BBQ, even the Boston Mall I can relate to. I still run into issues with the language ten years down the line. Using English sayings like “they didn’t say a dickybird” (it means they did not say anything) which is a common saying in England just gets empty looks at meetings in the US.

2. How did you come up with the idea for your story?

Up until this novel I was better known as a writer of short romance stories, many of which were previously released in a terribly badly edited book “Stories From The Heart” These are short like 5/10min reads. Some people call them bathroom stories as that might be the only place you’ll get 5/10minutes break to read them. You can find these stories at

Anyway I decided to try and write a longer story, originally aimed at 12/13 year olds, but as the romance came in it went up to around 15 year olds.

So that is how it all started.

3. Will you be writing a book about when Brittany visits Fred and his family?

Many people who have read the book have realized that there are two if not three possible follow up books from this first novel. I have started writing the second novel, which is called “Across the Pond and Back Again”. It carries on from where the first book ends and includes Brits trip to England with a couple of other characters from the first book turning up.

You can see my fun “silent movie” video for the book at :

Please Note: No book was harmed during the making of this movie. During the water scene a "stunt book" was used

Across the Pond~By Storyheart

Across The Pond opens with Fred, the main character, flying to New York. Fred is spending time with his parent’s friends, because his parents won a trip for two to Australia. On the first full day of Fred’s trip, Brittany, the daughter who is Fred’s age, takes him to the mall to meet her friends: Charlie, Pam, Angel. Angel immediately starts to flirt with Fred, and Brit becomes quite jealous. As Fred and Brit leave the mall, to meet her mom, they run into three boys. The boys begin to mock Brit, by calling her “Pretty Brittany” and just being jerks. One the way home, Julie, Brit’s mom, helps Fred on his school project. He must list British-ism that have different meanings in America. When they arrive home, Brit confides why she doesn’t like the boys. Brit and Fred quickly develop feelings for each other. Julie notices the feelings between the two and she tells Fred not to hurt her daughter. When an email from “your lover” comes into Brit’s mailbox, Fred begins to doubt everything that has happened between himself and Brit. Phil gets tickets to a baseball game, so the family can show Fred “America’s Pastime.” At the game, Fred catches the 500th homerun ball of one of the Atlanta Braves players. Later that ball helps Fred give Brit a gift that is better than money can buy. Parting is such a sweet sorrow for them both because they know come December; they will be seeing each other again.

I hope that Storyheart will write a book about Brittany’s going to spend time with Fred and his family. I think it would be interesting to see how she reacts to driving on the “wrong” side of the road. I would like to read about where Fred’s family takes her.

This was such a sweet read. I couldn’t put it down. I love how there was the difference in languages that at times made both kids wish they could have put their foot in their mouth. If you are looking for a light, clean romance, then I would definitely recommend this book. All around a great read. And I don’t think that you have to be a teen to enjoy this love story. It will appeal to the young at heart.

Interview with Ridley Pearson

As my first post, I wanted to do an interview with an author whom I know personally. It would give my blog a little more of a personal touch. I have been to Ridley Pearson’s signings since 2006. Because he just got back from China, I figured I would ask to do a small interview with him. He also gave me such a great memory of one of his signings (Steel Trapp: The Challenge), when he told the manager of the store where the signing was, “Based on your recommendation, maybe we should get her in front of some agents.” I don’t think I will ever forget that day! I can say that I was utterly blown away by this! So I have to say Thank You Ridley for that!
But enough of my writing and on to the interview.

1. Did you have any bad experiences with not knowing the language?Not bad experiences, but not having the language can be frustrating at times. We were happy to pick up some Mandarin and the Chinese are mostly good with limited English

2. How did your daughters adjust to moving to China?Very easily and gracefully. How was difficult was the school?School was English speaking. They loved it.

3. Of all the places that you went what was your favorite? And why?
That is a very difficult question to answer because all of our travels were unique and interesting. For history: Xi'An (soldiers) For countryside, our trip to western China.

*Just a small note for readers the "soldiers" that Ridley is talking about are the famous Terracotta Warriors