Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crush by Alan Jacobson




Crush is a Karen Vail novel which meant nothing to me since I haven’t read any work by Jacobson before.  Karen is an FBI profiler with the propensity to get hands on with those she is profiling.  This book takes placed in Napa Valley.   For those of you familiar with wine making, crush, in this case has nothing to do with it.   However it does have very interesting facts and observations of the wine country.  The villain takes the term “crush” and uses it as part of his modus operandi. 

Karen Vail is obsessed with her job.   Since she is an ongoing character I may be incorrect as to my assessment but in this book she is clearly obsessive.  She is also impulsive and rude.  Karen is not a warm and fuzzy character.   As prickly as she may be she is highly regarded as a profiler.  Since she was frequently left guessing in this book, I have to guess she demonstrated those highly regarded skills more effectively in previous books.   Dixon on the other hand, was easy to like.   Jacobson gives clear rending of his characters.  They have strong, identifiable characteristics not all of which you will like. 

This was a good mystery with lots of plot details and misleading clues.  It was not predictable with the exception of Vail being annoying.   This lack of predictability made for a good story.   I normally like strong female protagonists.  It is obvious that I wasn’t enthralled with Karen Vail.  She is strong but her personality has too many similarities to a porcupine for me to like.   The book has an interesting ending.   I enjoyed it.

I recommend the book.

 Web Site:  http://alanjacobson.com/
 

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 2/26/13



This is part of an ongoing series of graphic novel covers.  They are an art form that is often overlooked.   I would not have seen them if I hadn't tracked them done.  I hope you enjoy them.
 
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Super by Matthew Cody


Imagine a situation where super powers are normal and you, with no super powers are the freak.  Daniel Corrigan is a regular kid surrounded by superpower peers, how he develops his own coping mechanism and deals with the latest threat to Noble’s Green is the plot. 

This is a continuation of a coming of age for Daniel Corrigan.   Powerless, the first book in the series starts his story.   Not having read Powerless I can’t be sure but I suspect this book would read better if I had read Powerless first.   It works ok as a stand alone but context would have to be improved by reading the first book first. (redundancy rocks?)
 
Lots of tween acceptable action with Daniel taking a leading role in defending against the Shades. 

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Matthew Cody </a>

Web Site:  http://www.matthewcody.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Awesome Book Cover 2/22/13



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish


Louis Kincaid a former cop who now is a P.I. finds himself precipitated into a very cold case on an island by no other than his long lost daughter, Lily. 

These authors seem to get better with each book.  I liked South of Hell better than the previous one and I liked this one even better.   Louis is shown as a character who is soul searching for an identity for himself and for a victim.  I like the way the show Louis’s susceptibility to seeking his daughter’s good will.   Rafsky is well done as a damaged person struggling to survive his personal ghosts.  

The sisters do a great job in capturing the emotions of a wide range of characters in this book.  Joe Frye, Louis’s love interest, does not have as large a role in this particular book. She has an iron grip on Louis’s heart that he does not seem to recognize.  Louis is a conflicted person, flawed and sometimes clueless.  I think that is one of the reasons he is easy to identify with.  The characters in these books are brought to reality by their flaws and foibles.   They seem real so the story seems real. 
 
I highly recommend the book. 


Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >P.J. Parrish</a>

Web Site:  http://www.pjparrish.com/



 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Graphic Novel Covers 2/18/13


This is a beginning of an ongoing series of graphic novel covers.  They are an art form that is often overlooked.   I would not have seen them if I hadn't tracked them done.  I hope you enjoy them. 
 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins

 
This is a character study mystery.  Lisa Newberry is recently widowed and a victim of mugging.   She is struggling with depression.  She finds what she thinks is going to be a universal panacea.  That is when her real troubles begin.

Lisa Newberry’s depression is well portrayed.  Sadly depression (no pun intended) afflicts an enormous number of people and is often mis-diagnosed or ignored.  Lisa’s trials with hope are in themselves depressing.  This is not a light hearted book.


Ms. Collins does a nice job depicting the conflicted relationship Lisa has with her mother.  The mystery is well done and the characters are clearly portrayed. 

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Brandilyn Collins </a>

Site:   http://www.brandilyncollins.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy 2013 Valentines Day!

Giving Love practically guarantees you will get Love!
Happy Valentines Day!
 
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

South of Hell by P.J. Parrish


Parrish (or should it be Parrishes) have crafted another entertaining thriller.  Once again, Louis Kincaid a former cop who now is a P.I., is ensnared in OPP (other peoples problems).  These problems involve maturity, death, philandering, friendship, love and perhaps a tiny pinch of the occult.   

Louis’s friend Mel plays a very small part in this book.  His failing health saddens Louis.   Louis’s girl friend is going to run for sheriff in Michigan.  This driving of roots makes Louis aware of the widening rift with him and Joe.   A Michigan detective requests Louis’s help on a case.   It seems serendipitous to be paid to fly to Michigan so he incorporates his work and a reunion with Joe.   Louis’s journal to see Joe is in an area of Michigan where multi-racial affairs may be seen askew.  The reunion leads to his embroilment in not only an old murder but an even older murder. 


Amy and Lily, two children, share some similarities in their desire to reach their roots.   Louis finds a part of himself that he never knew he lost.  Joe discovers things about herself she never knew she had.   There were both touching and highly disturbing scenes in this book.  Overall, this was a better book than The Little Death Parrish book I read back in 2010.   

I recommend the book. 


Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >P.J. Parrisht</a>

Web Site:  http://www.pjparrish.com/



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thoughtful Gift 2/10/13


Link to Buy!


The helmet on this shirt is an original piece of art.   Way back in the 70's I was working with leather.  I traded a red suede shawl burnished with branded  vines and flowers for the helmet.  It is still one of my prize possessions.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind



I have long been a fan of Terry Goodkind.  I suspect I would still be a fan if I had waited until all the books were done and read them then.  I started rereading after the 8th book and finally just gave up.  This is a start to a new series with Richard, the reluctant truth wizard and Kahlan, the beautiful Mother Confessor. 

The familiarity of the characters enticed me into the book.  The interesting changes in how the Mord-Sith evolved was interesting.   The plot has the intricate nature of a typical Goodkind book.  Richard has become a little more certain in his self identity.  
Cara-Sword of Truth

 I still love Cara’s red leather and thought the TV show depicted that quite nicely.  (Decidedly chauvinist opinion no doubt.)

Zedd didn’t seem quite as bizarre as in past books but perhaps his personality was just an acquired taste.  

This reads insipid and I guess that is how I felt about the book.  I liked it but it didn’t grab me like the first four of five Goodkind books did.   

It is worth reading if you haven’t gotten enough of Richard, Kahlan and company. 



Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >Terry Goodkind</a>

Web site: http://www.terrygoodkind.com/books-14theomenmachine.shtml
 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reading Gifts 2/6/13

Link to buy!
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Black Bottle by Anthony Huso


This is the sequel to Last Page which I read and reviewed on Azure Dwarf.  This was one of those books that makes you wonder if your own imagination was some how truncated.  Huso paints a Timothy Leary type civilization with overtones of steam-punk.   Caliph Howl is called to lead his nation and finds himself surrounded by treachery in the first book.  The second book takes up with Sena, his wife. It explores her journey down a very bizarre rabbit hole. 

Huso’s rich environment is carried further in this book.  The characters right out of a Rod Serling nightmare from the last book pale in comparison to the bizzarity (seems appropriate) of these characters.   Huso has an amazing grasp of florid detail.  He paints  nightmarishly detailed scenes.
 
Machiavellian is how I described the Last Page and frankly this is even more convoluted.  I enjoyed last page.  This book lost me.  I lost my connection to the protagonist and never regained it.  I suspect those who revel in the absurd and favor the outer limits will enjoy it. 


I didn’t.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Anthony Huso </a>
Web site: http://anthonyhuso.com/
 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.