Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dangerous by Sylvia McDaniel--A Review




SYNOPSIS:

The Hunt of a Lifetime Becomes a Journey of the Heart

Annabelle McKenzie stays at home and takes care of the farm and the bookkeeping for their family bounty hunting business while her two sisters take all the risks. Except that she’s grown bored and longs for adventure. The chance to show her sisters that she’s just as capable of bringing a man to justice and collecting a bounty as they are. When opportunity bumps into her at the bank, she recklessly follows her prey out of town. Only she soon realizes she’s chosen the wrong man to hunt.

Beau Samuels has a dark secret that goes beyond the price on his head. And now there’s a wanted poster with his face plastered in every small Texas sheriff’s office. As if things couldn’t get worse, now he has a novice in a skirt brandishing a gun and determined to collect his reward. Could he get away from the blonde spitfire with his heart intact?

When Annabelle unlocks the secrets to his heart and reveals the true man behind the wanted poster, can she lay aside her scruples and allow herself to love an outlaw?


FROM MY MIND'S EYE:

What is it about bad boys that pull the heartstrings of fair and unfair maidens alike?   I certainly have no answer for that question, but I can attest to the fact that I rooted whole heartedly for our bad boy outlaw, Beau Samuels in this rolicking western romance, Dangerous by Sylvia McDaniel.

What a great idea for a premise of the story.....bounty hunting sisters.    And what a time in history for women to be seeking justice for their male counterparts.   I loved this storyline, the internal conflict that had both the heroine and the hero warring between their heads and their hearts and the passion that brewed from the get go between them.

The story was definitely character driven and moved rapidly from beginning to end.   I found it refreshing and enjoyable although the romance scenes were a bit explicit for my taste.    But I sure loved how McDaniel created such believable and rounded characters.

I rated this a 4 wink read!   Very enjoyable.



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015 Reading Recap


Is it true?    Is it really the first of March?     We have survived the throes of winter!    Spring is right around the corner!!!

Did you have a successful February for your reading aspirations?    I stayed in as much as possible and enjoyed my lovely little library with reading 9 books.   Some were short and sweet, some long and tedious.    Some were whimsical, some mystical, some mysterious...all were interesting and all were fun and stirred my heart.

                                                      Mystical
                                                                              and        


                                                               Paranormal

    And Then there were mystery suspense                                                                              





YOUNG ADULT









And so concluded my reading for February 2015!   Let me know how your February Reading went.

Together, we'll keep those pages turning!  Eyes and heart open reading friends!

God Bless!

Miss Beth

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Night is the Hunter by Steven Gore---A Review






SYNOPSIS:

They call it pulling the trigger.

Not by a killer in the night, but by a judge on the bench.


Twenty years ago, Judge Ray McMullin proved to the people of San Francisco that he could pull that trigger by sentencing Israel Dominguez to death for a gangland murder. But it meant suppressing his own doubts about whether the punishment really did fit the crime.


Now, as the execution date nears, the conscience-wracked judge confesses his unease to former homicide detective Harlan Donnally on a riverbank in far Northern California. And after immersing himself in the Norteno and Sureno gang wars, which left trails of bullets and blood crisscrossing the state, and in the betrayals of both cops and crooks alike, Donnally is forced to question not only whether the penalty was undeserved but the conviction itself.


Soon those doubts and questions double back, for in the aging judge's panic, in his lapses of memory and his confusions, Donnally begins to wonder whether he's chasing the facts of the case or just phantoms of a failing mind. But there's no turning back, for the edge of night is fast closing in on Dominguez, on McMullin, and on Donnally himself.



FROM MY MIND'S EYE:


In every situation in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly.   Cliche' but so true.  Steven Gore is a master storyteller dealing with all three.  His characters come to life on the page.  They are realistic, dimensional, and suffer all the mental frailties humans are plagued with.

Gore masters a thought provoking and investigative suspense tale as he weaves in and out of the lives of his characters.   His story is revealed one nuance at a time, thoughtfully, well plotted and flows smoothly.   This novel also explored an aging mind as a sub story and was well delivered.

I recommend it to all who enjoy mystery suspense and love accompanying the Harlan Donnally's of the world as they figure out the who and why dun its.    Very enjoyable read.

I rated this a 4 wink read.

 Steven Gore:

Steven Gore is the author of the Graham Gage thrillers and a former private investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been honored for his investigative achievements, has been featured on 60 Minutes, and has lectured to attorney and investigator organizations on subjects ranging from police misconduct to the design of investigative databases.





Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes--A Review





SYNOPSIS:

Another day. Another funeral. Another ghost. Another average day in the life of young funeral home director, Emma Lee Raines. After a perilous run-in with a plastic Santa Claus, Emma Lee, co-owner of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, sees the ghost of town gossip Ruthie Sue Payne, who is proving to be a real pain, more so in death than while living. Recently deceased, Ruthie reveals to Emma Lee that her demise wasn't caused by accidentally falling down the steps at the Sleepy Hollow Inn as everyone believes—she was pushed...murdered. In order for the ghost to cross over—and for Emma Lee to be rid of Ruthie for good—she must find a desperate killer...or risk being haunted forever.

FROM MY MIND'S EYE:

What a fun read!   This was mystery, paranormal and romance all rolled into one delightful book!   And all of it came with a strong southern flair.

Kappes created a really quirky heroine in Emma Lee Raines, who of all things was a funeral home director, (the family business).   Complicating the life and times of Emma Lee was a whole small southern town full of gossipy characters, including the ghost of Ruthie Sue Payne, a recent resident of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home.  Emma Lee's life took a turn into the unnatural when she realized she could see and hear Ruthie Sue's pleas for help in crossing over to the bright beyond.   The gossipy town labeled Emma Lee a looney tune with the exception of our leading man, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, who actually believed in  Emma Lee's unnatural ability.

The story was fast moving with lots of suspects, twists and turns. And although in hindsight, I should have guessed the villain, I sure didn't and that was an enjoyable surprise to me.   It's a light hearted and fun read and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of paranormal with their mystery!

I rated this a five wink read.


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Night Terror by Stacy Green--A Review





Hey Hey Hey!    This truly is just a review of Stacy Green's Night Terror...a Cage Foster novella.   

Let me Give you my version of the synopsis.  



Cage Foster is a detective with the Roselea Sheriff's Department.   He and his girlfriend are expecting their first child.   Recent town stats show a murder/rape and vicious rape where the victim was revived.   To make matters worse than they already were, the location of Roselea is in Mississippi where racial tensions run high.   The murdered victim is a black woman and the second victim is white.   The case of the murdered victim is stalled and being handled by a bigoted white detective with the police department and the second case is just opened through the Sheriff's Office.   See how this could set a town up for an explosive situation?


FROM MY MIND'S EYE: 

I have taken a shine to our hero, Cage Foster.   He seems to be pretty ready for racial prejudice to take a hike out of his town and into oblivion....couldn't we all use that!  He uses his instincts as a trained cop and listens to his gut feelings.   He is the kind of cop we'd love to have on our side when it comes to a serious accusation.

Of course, novellas are short, read fast and cut directly to the chase.   This was no different.   It was very well plotted, flowed smoothly and provided a nice tidy mystery with all the key elements necessary to bring satisfaction to the reader.  My natural mystery solving abilities had pretty much established the "who dun it" in this story, but it was an enjoyable read, nonetheless!

I would highly recommend this to mystery buffs everywhere.   I rated this a 4 Wink read!





Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.













Friday, February 13, 2015

A Killing at the Creek by Nancy Allen--A Review






SYNOPSIS:

Prosecutor Elsie Arnold loves her small-town home in the Ozark hills, but she’s been waiting for a murder to come along and make her career. So when a body is found under a bridge, throat cut, Elsie jumps at the chance to work on the case, even if it’s alongside the brash new chief assistant, Chuck Harris—and her latest flame, Detective Bob Ashlock.

But when the investigation reveals that the deceased woman was driving a school bus, and the police locate the vehicle, its interior covered in blood, the occupant and only suspect is a fifteen-year-old boy. Elsie’s in for more than she bargained for.

Win or lose, this case will haunt her. No one has successfully prosecuted a juvenile for first-degree murder in McCown County. If she loses, it’s her career on the line and a chilling homicide unresolved; if she wins, a boy’s liberty will be taken from him before he reaches his sixteenth birthday.


ABOUT NANCY ALLEN:


Nancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She has tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. Her first novel,The Code of the Hills, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. AKilling at the Creek, the second book in the Ozarks mystery series, will be released on February 17, 2015

FROM MY MIND'S EYE:

I am so stoked after reading A Killing at the Creek by Nancy Allen.   I have added her to my favorite author list!

I love a good mystery and Nancy Allen is an awesome storyteller.   Throughout 
the story I questioned the guilt or innocence of the fifteen year old alleged killer.
The story is fast paced with lots of personality clashes and internal power struggles.    The characters were well developed and fleshed out.    I love when a story includes a character or two you love to hate and Nancy Allen certainly was able to create those easily enough.

The story was well plotted and tied together smoothly at a surprise ending.   I was captivated from beginning to end and found it hard to tear myself away from the book.

I rated this a 5 Wink read!


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Light of Lorelei by Jen Minkman--A Review





SYNOPSIS:

There is no light without shadow,
no truth without sacrifice,
and no way to keep us all from harm.


Aska wants more out of life than being a temple girl in the St. Brandan Convent of Brandaris. Her life-long service to the Baeles-Weards is the only reason she wasn’t killed immediately after birth – she is atoning for the sins of her parents. Her Anglian mother and Skylger father were never supposed to love each other and have children, and Aska is reminded of her low status and illegitimacy by her fellow temple girls every day.

But then she meets Tjalling, a young, mysterious, and charming Skylger fisherman who doesn’t seem to care that he is not supposed to befriend her. Soon after they meet, the island falls prey to the largest Siren attack in the history of Skylge and Aska is beginning to doubt the wisdom of the priests. If the Light in the Tower really keeps the people from harm, why are the Shriekers taking more and more lives each day?

Adding to her inner turmoil is a secret meeting with Royce and Enna, who want to recruit her into their resistance movement, an unexpected confession from her best friend Melinda, and Aska’s realization that she likes Tjalling a bit too much for her own good.

Soon, she is going down a road there is no turning back from, forcing her to make choices that shake the foundations of her world.
For Aska, there is only one true choice – to bring the truth to light.


FROM MY MIND'S EYE:


Although this was a shorter read than I usually enjoy, Light of Lorelei was a captivating and charming paranormal fantasy read.   It was the second in Jen Minkman's  Tales of Skylge series.

I soon became enthralled with the character of Aska as she was reminiscent of a cross between Cinderella and Joan of Arc.  She had an innate sense of right and wrong and the disparaging differences between the classes that dwellt on their island.   Not only did she want the truth about her birthright, she wanted the truth about the humans and the sirens and why there was such hostility between the two.

Previously in Sound of Sirens we saw a relationship between Skylge and Anglian develop between Royce and Enna and in Light of Lorelei, the bonds of friendship stretch even further between Aska and Tjalling who has secrets of his own to protect.   But the four bond together to find and release the truth at great risk to themselves.

I am anxious for the next book in the series to see what erupts on this island so separated from the mainland.   And I applaud Jen Minkman for her thoughtful creativity and skillful journey through the class systems of society.

I rated Light of Lorelei a 4 wink read.



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I received a copy of this book from the author or their representative in exchange for an honest review.