Thursday, December 24, 2015

EDISTO JINX, by C.Hope Clark


This, the second book in An Edisto Island Mysteries, went beyond my expectations. What I loved most is how C. Hope Clark moved her protagonist, Callie Morgan, through all the trauma and hardships she had endured, to rise up and conquer it all, not only to survive but to thrive and succeed. Of course, all the murder and mystery made for a very exciting read. My eyes were big, my heart was racing, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. But, the growth of the character, the moving forward to resolution gave me great satisfaction. Made for a very exciting and satisfying read.

I have read every book C. Hope Clark has written. Every time I think how is she going to top that?! Then she does. Great story. Great writing. A must read.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stay, by Allie Larkin


This well written, humorous story in the first person point of view of Savannah “Van” Leone, is not a favorite storyline of mine. The characters are well developed, especially Van, but Van finds herself drunk and whining and crying way too much for my liking. Kinda stuck in the muck and wallow phase. Absolutely love Joe the dog, and that he’s from Slovakia, thus he only understands commands spoken in his native tongue, Slovakian. So funny! Of course, Van was drunk when she bought the awesome german shepherd dog on the internet. I got excited on page 131, which seemed like a pivotal moment for Van from victim to freedom and control of her life. Then BAM! Peter, the love of her life who just married her best friend, Janie, calls from JFK airport, “Van, I need you”, and here we go again with the whining and drinking and crying. The author, Allie Larkin, pulls it all together in the end, plunging beneath the surface characters, into their hearts, and was able to illustrate deep-seated human experiences that are riveting, and relatable. Exquisite writing really. The story line just didn’t ring my chimes.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Hound Of The Sanibel Sunset Detective, By Ron Base


Ron Base is a dog lover. This book is dedicated to “The Real Clinton”, his now deceased loved companion, with him again through writing about him. I like that.

This is a rip-roaring fun read. Tree Callister has decided to retire from being a private investigator. He just couldn’t convince his attorney, Edith Goldman, of that. She goaded him into that “one last job”. So, as a favor to his attorney who had come to his rescue many times throughout his PI career he reluctantly headed for Miami in his Volkswagen Beetle convertible. He was just suppose to talk to Vic Trinchera (a Canadian businessman [ha, ha]). Vic didn’t do much talking before he was fleeing for his life, but not before he had saddled Tree with the dog. A French hound with big hound dog eyes named Clinton. Tree soon finds out a lot of unsavory people want to get their hands on Clinton, but he was determined to protect this lovable hound. And so the rip-roaring fun begins! Dead bodies to the left! Dead bodies to the right! Like his wife said, “Consider this, Tree. Maybe your life is one of those pulp thrillers you used to read as a kid.” And I say this is an over the top best action packed humorous thriller I’ve ever read!

Friday, October 16, 2015



This mystery is more about how justice will be served than it is about who-done-it. It is clear early on that Stef, the hyper-sensitive, restless, yet very successful artist is killed by her greedy sleaze of a husband, Dan Oliver, soon to be ex-husband if he hadn’t killed her first. Marnie Markov knew things about her artist daughter, as only a mother can know, and she knew Dan Oliver had killed her daughter. Van, Stef’s daughter, is about to graduate medical school, so she knew the medical examiner’s diagnoses of accidental death wasn’t consistent with the physical evidence. So I, the reader, knew too and wanted to kill him myself along with the Marnie and Van, rather than see him get away with it. But, that kind of justice has unjust consequences that would destroy these sweet women’s lives beyond their already traumatized lives by the death of their loved daughter/mother.
The server of justice is Tony, formally Anthony Mauricio, a NYC Policeman now retired, who had recently moved to the small community of Silver Bay, Oregon, to find peace; to heal from the wounds he had acquired while serving as a peace officer in the big city. He’s introduced on page one and becomes part of the family. He knows Dan Oliver killed Stef and having seen how justice has a way of being buried in the legal system after risking his life to apprehend thieves and murderers, and how this sleaze was still a threat to Marnie and Van, he too wanted to kill Dan Oliver. It was no secret to him how they felt, and he had to beat them to it to protect them.
The out of nowhere, sweetest of sweet justice served up at the end of the story was so very satisfying. No spoilers here. You’ll just have to read the book. Any reader will find this story well worth their time. Sweet, sweet justice - you’ll love it!

Monday, September 21, 2015

To Catch a Bad Guy, by Marie Astor

I enjoyed reading TO CATCH A BAD GUY, by Marie Astor very much. This was the perfect book for me to read while sitting on the porch with an ice tea, enjoying the last days of summer. It is an easy to read linear story centered around Janet Maple, a 29-year-old attorney. She lost her job at the District Attorney’s Office due to downsizing; or, more accurately, betrayal by her then boyfriend, Alex Kingsley, who took credit for her work in order to advance his own career, then fired her in the “downsizing” process.   Janet’s childhood friend and neighbor, Lisa Foley, gets her a job with Bostoff Securities as General Council, an in-house corporate attorney’s position. Unfortunately, Janet notices nonethical trading methods within Bostoff Securities that worry her. The best part is the revealing of how Lisa, as a friend, has somehow always caused Janet to end up on the bottom rung of the ladder, uncomfortable situations, in their relationship. Lisa is one of those self-absorbed, self-serving friends that ends up hurting instead of helping. I like that Janet always takes the high ground in their friendship. Regardless the discomfort brought on her by “the queen bee” high school friend, Janet remains a loyal friend looking out for the best interest of Lisa. Yeah! The type of protagonist that I can relate to, and be apathetic with.

Janet is so often victim to Lisa’s match making attempts. Lisa keeps trying to set Janet up with good looking rich men. In this story, these potential good husband-provider types all have questionable morals. Enters Dean Snider, aka Dennis Walker, an undercover agent working to catch the Wall Street criminals. Janet has an immediate attraction to Dean Snider when she meets him on her first day at work at Bostoff Securities, sitting at her desk in her office “fixing her computer” (bugging her computer). She throws up her defenses once she finds out he deceived her and is actually an impersonator; a spy. The romantic tension is delightful to the end where we are left hanging. Thus, I now have to read Book Two of the Janet Maple Series, because I am the cat that will die of curiosity until I know if they finally get together, or just become good friends and partners in crime, i.e., catching the bad guys. Gotta know!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Enemy We Know, by Donna White Glaser

Book One in the Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery Series

The title adds to the story because the enemy is so obvious, we know the enemy until the enemy we think we know gets killed, so the enemy we know was the enemy isn’t, then we don’t know who the enemy is out of the growing list of potential enemies we think we know could be the enemy. Just saying the title seemed to add to my knowing in the beginning. After all the surprising twists and turns and the surprise ending the title held a deeper meaning for me (no spoilers), thus added even more to the story. The whole thing is so nicely knit together. 

The suspense and mystery are glued together with humor and the personable main character’s ability to wiggle through, and on down the road that we call life. I love the main character, Letty Whittaker, and Donna White Glaser’s well developed humorous Mystery Series. I’m a happy reader with this one. On to Book Two. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

BINGO, by Rita Mae Brown

If it is true that laughter is the best medicine, then Rita Mae Brown's, BINGO, will cure anything. I laughed so hard! The small southern town of Runnymede, Maryland, is split down the middle by the Mason-Dixon line. The war between the states is still being played out, and how could it not be?! In trouble with the law in the South? Run north across Town Square and you're free of that jurisdiction. Two sheriff's, two city halls; hilarious!

Nickel Smith is often (always) smack-in-the-middle of her mother and aunts' outrageous sisterly competitiveness. And I do mean outrageous. One of my favorite examples is when her nearly ninety-year-old aunt, Louise, sometimes called Aunt Wheezie, wears falsies when competing with her sister, Julia, sometimes called Juts, for the attention of a newly arrived, available, Ed Tutweiler Walters. The antics these octogenarians pulled were not befitting their age and made me forget mine as this sort of funny is ageless!! 

Nickel is a newspaper journalist, born and breed. When the town's only newspaper, the Clarion, is sold out from under her feet her world seems to be crumbling down around her. But, with the help of friends and happenstance, the Mercury newspaper is established giving Nickel her much-needed newspaper job, and the town an opposing daily. 

This book was published in 1989, before being gay was a fad. Back when coming out of the closet could close a lot of doors. Yet, the main character, Nickel, is a proud publicly professed lesbian, amongst other well-rounded qualities culminating in a well developed, fascinating main character, surrounded by a family and town of "characters". Funny, funny, funny.

A friend loaned me this book. Guess I will have to give it back. 

Friday, August 28, 2015


I love this sort of fairytale science fiction. This story deals with a common issue that most single mothers who struggle to balance, or just survive, a very demanding job, plus maintain home and family with what’s left over of their exhausted self at the end of the day; raising kids as an absentee parent; missing recitals; wishing the babysitter would actually help, not leave a mess. Wishing they could be in two places at once. I also like that once Jennifer Sharpe, the protagonist of the story, is granted her wish by some fluke of fate, via a miracle application installed on her phone, the “watch what you wish for” conundrum surfaced.

The time travel, relatable characters, and commanding writing skills of Kamy Wicoff had me hooked. Then, the highly intelligent scientist, inventor, math genius, eccentric, Dr. Diane Sexton was thrown into the mix, along with her lover, Dr. Susan Terry, a renown physicist in the annals of scientific achievement, and a good story became great to me. Strong, intelligent, trail-blazing women are a favorite of mine.

Great story. Great writing. This one is a keeper.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - Blessed Is the Busybody, by Emilie Richards

I was hooked into this delightfully tangled “cozy mystery” from the first sentence on. Teddy, the youngest daughter of the minister and his wife, is going to bury the cat again. Hooked! From there Emilie Richards nailed all the mystery writing prerequisites of a centered plot coupled with compelling characters, and small town setting that is all so relatable. I like that the murders aren’t gruesome detailed descriptions of gore. That the suspense is bundled up in levity. I really, really enjoyed this book. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the first in the series MINISTRY IS MURDER and am relishing the thought of four more books to go.

In Emilie Richards’ website bio, interestingly enough, I found that she is the wife of a retired minister, although that little coincidence (she says) doesn’t influence her writer’s creative imagination or brilliant cozy mystery works. However she does it I vote yes! and she gets five stars and a fan for life from me.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review - 3 Sleuths 2 Dogs 1 Murder, by Maggie Pill

This light-hearted murder mystery is told by each of the three sisters own point of view from chapter to chapter. I like that. It’s like getting to be alone with each one of their bias and rivaling sibling opinions to find out what they really think of each other outside of the being polite dialog to their sister’s face. It is like being each of the sisters best friends, giving me insight about why each one is acting the way they are when the other is around. I just wish now I

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mr. Churchill's Secretary, by Susan Elia MacNeal

This story begins with Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill being sworn in as Britain's new Prime Minister just as WWII is beginning. At a time when women were not considered for high positions in the British intelligence war department, no matter how qualified they were, the female protagonist, Maggie Hope, breaks all the barriers of that day and age. Her intelligence and

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Magnificent ObsessionMagnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lloyd Cassel Douglas, 1877-1951, was a minister before he was an author. MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, was his first book written and published after he retired from the pulpit around 1928. How appropriate then that this book's main subject centers around his old boss, the Galilean from Nazareth. His novels are of a didactic tone purposed for developing strong moral character. His writing is

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review of THE TOTOBOAN TRILOGY, by Maggie Allen


Written by Maggie Allen

When Virginia Wilson was about to graduate from high school she was bored with her indulgent American lifestyle. She was ready to go out and conquer the world, make a name for herself and live anything but an ordinary life. Africa beckoned to her sense of adventure and purpose for more than one reason. She had

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review of THE RETRIBUTION, by Maggie Allen

          In this, the third book in the TOTOBOAN TRILOGY, Virginia decides she has to set things straight before she leaves Africa this time. She must

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review of THE REVIVAL, by Maggie Allen

Everything in THE RETURN is built upon, and clarified in THE REVIVAL. Virginia Wilson is drawn back to Totoba, Africa. She doesn’t clearly realize why. I don’t want to include any spoilers

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Review of THE RETURN, by Maggie Allen

Virginia Wilson was about to graduate high school. Although she was living a comfortable upper middle class life, had a lot of friends, and was grateful for all she had, she felt something was missing. Yearning for adventure, to be and do something exceptional, she convinced her parents to book a family trip to Africa.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review of THE SHOUTING MAN, by Fiona McShane

Fay O’Brien is a young woman driven by her desire to write. She is a successful writer living in Dublin with her husband Chris, who dies in a car crash soon after they move to Port Dubh. A harbor town she fell in love with, along with a little house on the cliffs that would be a perfect place to write. Where she persuaded Chris to move to. Where she found “It”, Alec Cusack, who raised sheep on the farm next door, and was a fisherman. Fay and Alec, both married at the time, fell in love at first sight.
Alec Cusack was called Crazy Cusack by the town folks. Now that I’ve read the whole book I understand why. The reason is presented in

Monday, April 6, 2015

Animal Future by Robert McGraw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story starts with a bang, and ends with a shoot ’em up bang, bang! Then all is satisfyingly wrapped up in the epilogue. These authors, Robert and Darrin McGraw, are intelligent, extremely competent writer’s, who trust their readers to catch on. I LOVE IT!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Teacher Beware (A Grace Ellery Romantic Suspense Book 1)Teacher Beware by Charlotte Raine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a potential template for a book. A book waiting to be written. The scene isn't set. The characters have no character. The story line is suggested, not developed. This is non-spectacular writing.

With that said, I will add

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Church of the Old Mermaids, by Kim Antieau - Book Review

Purchase this book on Amazon
What a sweet, sweet read!  Kim Antireau's storytelling skills are like sweet music to this readers ear.

When Myla Alverez caught her husband in bed, her bed, with the neighbors wife she went into a downward spiral. Then she had a dream about a mermaid that gave her a feeling of hope and purpose. Stories about Mermaids began flowing out of her mouth as though she was some sort of medium to the mermaid spirit world. These stories were told to people who would come to the Church of the Old Mermaids, which was a table Myla sat up every Saturday in front of the Antigone bookstore on Fourth Avenue, in Tucson, Arizona.

Myla got solace from walking the dry wash by the Old Mermaid

Rosetta Translation - My New Writing Tool

I have been intrigued lately how some authors are able to lay down on the page their character’s native language. The latest intrigue came from the author Elizabeth Gilbert in her book THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS. My recent book review is found here - Book Review.

Alma Whittaker’s nanny, and head housekeeper of the Whittaker estate, Hanneke de Groot would speak to Alma in their native Dutch language when the most consequential times in their lives occurred, adding to the intimacy of that scene, so best described the close relationship those two characters had. As a reader this impressed me as very good writing.

The obvious solution as to how authors accomplish foreign language verbiage in their texts is they must use a translation service. I began researching for available resources, and found an impressive translation agency that meets this need. What is perfect about this particular translation company is that I can submit snippets of my manuscript and get a free quote on what it will cost. I find that a very cost effective advantage to a not yet successful struggling writer! (That would be me.)

Another little writer’s jewel I found on the Rosetta Translation company website is a new (to me) word: Chuchotage [shoo-shoh-tazhi], a translation service called ‘whispered interpreting’. A small group, four or less, who find themselves in a foreign country, taking a tour lead by a tour guide who doesn't speak their native language, would hire a translator to chuchotage for them. As a writer who spends most days alone in my room at my desk playing with words, finding this odd little word was absolutely titillating. This word is now filed in my writer’s word party box.

And the Rosetta Translation company is permanently bookmarked and filed in my writer’s toolbox file now.

This is an advertisement. I wouldn't advertise a company on my blog if I didn't endorse it. Just saying.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Amazon Books

This is not a novel. It is closer to a bird field guide book that all the birder's I know carry around. The birder's I know write the place and date beside every bird they have "sited" in their bird field guide book. What makes this book a little more readable than the field guide is it includes the authors backstory. The author being Jon Young, who from the young age of ten was influenced by his great-aunt Carrie, his mother, and his great-grandma Novak. All lovers of nature.  Then went on to be
mentored by Tom Brown, (here comes a big native american influence) Jake & Judy Swamp, Gilbert Walking Bull, (then british influence) Ingwe.

Jon Young is more than a birder, he is a naturalist, and this is a textbook of the science he has spent his life studying. His book explains how listening to the birds, and watching their behavior, can teach you about the movements, and nature of all the animals in the forest, and more. He lays out this universal bird language, aided by an online audio Collection of Bird language vocalizations found here - AUDIO COLLECTION OF BIRD VOCALIZATIONS

Jon Young founded the Wilderness Awareness School, and can be found on Facebook. I have visited both of these sites, and I must say they look enticing even to a bookworm like me. For those of us who like to observe nature through the living room picture window, I noticed he offers webinars. I may just put my bug bucket hat on and watch one of those!

I may even open the windows during the webinar!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Signature of All Things: A NovelThe Signature of All Things: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Gilbert doesn't need me to tell everyone how good "The Signature Of All Things", her latest novel, is. There is a reason it made the New York Times bestseller list. It's a great novel. I especially love how, in the beginning, she tells us the story is about Alma Whittaker, then tells how Alma's toddler years are not