Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Jan. 28 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DB2YN9I

Book Description

The critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home—hailed as "a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times Dispatch)—returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

After their mother's unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

About the Author

Wiley Cash is from western North Carolina and has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has held residency positions at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in West Virginia. This is his second novel.

My Review

I love Southern gothic novels, and Wiley Cash`s second novel This Dark Road to Mercy is an excellent one.  Well written story that makes you think.

I was recently in North Carolina. As soon as he mentioned Bojangles I remembered why I like to travel so I can really understand the places I read about. When Easter was remembering how they could order a few things the one time they were there with their mother, I was overwhelmed. What to me was economical delicious meal - the biscuits are to die for - to someone else it was a that they could ill afford. The gulf between the rich and poor keeps getting wider in the US.

When they woke up on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the fog with the leaves red and yellow on the trees I could feel the moisture of the fog and smell the leaves.

Baseball. Every aspect of the book is tinged with its influence. It`s all good.

Fabulous story. Hard to put down. I raced to the ending...which was worth it. This Dark Road to Mercy is available in January. It is definitely a winner and deserves a read.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5) by Kristen Ashley

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1149 KB
  • Print Length: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (Nov. 5 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BEK71Q6

Book Description

An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.

About the Author

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

My Review
I decided to try a new author. I liked the cover of the book. The scene looks like Silverton, Colorado which is a neat town that I enjoy visiting.

I was not impressed with the first third of the book.  In fact I almost gave up on it.  I could not relate to the main character Zara. I found the book to be too explicit for my taste.  But I stuck with it and the story improved.

In the end, the story was interesting. I didn't really like the author's style of writing. If you like explicit romance stories then you probably will enjoy this.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: The Broken Places: Quinn Colson Series, Book 3 (A Quinn Colson Novel) by Ace Atkins

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1322 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399161783
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 30 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AI52PAK

Book Description

 The remarkable third novel in the �harrowing” (Associated Press), �killer” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) new series about the real Deep South from the New York Times�bestselling author.

A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim’s family, the only thought is revenge.

Another group who doesn’t believe him—the men in prison from Dixon’s last job, an armored car robbery. They’re sure he’s gone back to grab the hidden money, so they do the only thing they can: break out and head straight to Jericho themselves.

Colson and his deputy, Lillie, know they’ve got their work cut out for them. But they don’t count on one more unwelcome visitor: a tornado that causes havoc just as events come to a head. Communications are down, the roads are impassable—and the rule of law is just about to snap.

About the Author

 Ace Atkins, a former Pulitzer-nominated journalist, has written twelve previous novels, including The Ranger and The Lost Ones, the Edgar-nominated first novels in the Quinn Colson series. In 2011, he was selected by the Robert B. Parker Estate to continue the iconic Spenser series, which he has done with the bestsellers Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby and Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland. His previous novels include the historical crime novels, White Shadow, Wicked City, Devil’s Garden, and Infamous, and the Nick Travers series that launched his writing career. Atkins lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

My Review

Great author of a great series. I love the Quinn Colson series. Similar to the Lee Child Jack Reacher series but more realistic.  Another great story involving Quinn's sister Caddy's latest boyfriend...a former convict turned preacher. Always the type of person I'm wary of in real life. And Caddy should be wary too but she hopes she has finally found the real thing, and true love.

Lots of action involving escaped convicts and long missing treasure. Corrupt local politicians and corrupt local lawmen. Add in a tornado that rips the town apart.  A lot for Sheriff Quinn Colson to take on. But he does with the help of his deputy Lillie.  Quinn has been cleaning up his Mississippi county since he left the army and it looks like his work is far from over.

Time for y'all to start reading and enjoying this series!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: A Seaside Christmas (Chesapeake Shores #10) by Sherryl Woods

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 366 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (Sept. 24 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CN0N7TQ

Book Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods takes you back to Chesapeake Shores for another heartwarming holiday season

As the only child of a single mom, Jenny Collins wanted nothing more than to be part of a large, rambunctious family like the O'Briens. Ironically, though, when her mother married into that family, Jenny found herself feeling more like an outsider than ever.

Now, after years in Nashville as an established songwriter, Jenny's drawn back to Chesapeake Shores to collaborate on a Christmas production, and to make peace with the past. As if that's not challenging enough, Caleb Green, the singer who broke her heart, has followed her to town, determined to win her back.

With the help of a little O'Brien holiday magic, will Jenny and Caleb find a way to make sweet music forever?

About the Author

 With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

My Review

The Chesapeake Shores series by Sherryl Woods is a well-written romance series set on the central Atlantic seaboard.  While this book is not my favorite in the series, it was lovely to visit with the people of Chesapeake Shores. This is definitely a book for the fans of this series.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce #6) by Alan Bradley

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Jan. 14 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E736H6M

Book Description

 Bishop's Lacey is never short of two things: Mysteries to solve and pre-adolescent detectives to solve them. In this New York Times bestselling series of cozy mysteries, young chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce once again brings her knowledge of poisons and her indefatigable spirit to solve the most dastardly crimes the English countryside has to offer and, in the process, comes closer than ever to solving her life's greatest mystery-her mother's disappearance...

About the Author 

 ALAN BRADLEY was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. He coauthored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, to great acclaim and much controversy, followed by a poignant memoir, The Shoebox Bible. Now the internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, and Speaking from Among the Bones, Bradley lives with his wife and two calculating cats, where he is at work on future Flavia de Luce mysteries.

My Review

 This series continues to entertain and enthrall the reader. Many of the questions that have intrigued the reader since the beginning of the series are finally answered.

In the first place, Flavia de Luce is one of the most incredibly brilliant and well-drawn characters that an author could ever write. Reading any of the books in this series is pure pleasure.

I don't want to give anything away but any follower of this series will be devouring this book in one sitting. Excellent addition to an excellent series.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Last Chance Knit and Stitch by Hope Ramsay

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1393 KB
  • Print Length: 375 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455522279
  • Publisher: Forever (Nov. 19 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc. 

Book Description

 "Last Chance captures the essence of Southern charm and quirkiness. I'm totally captivated!" --- Sherryl Woods, New York Times bestselling author

Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yarn shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited-though well-intended-advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult-as well as tall, dark, and handsome.

Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father's estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town's charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space-and build a future together in Last Chance?

"4 Stars! Ramsay's romance packs just enough heat in this holiday-inspired story, with lead characters who will induce both belly laughs and smiles. Her hero and heroine are in for rough times, but their heartache and longing had me longing right along with them."
(RT Book Reviews on Last Chance Christmas)

"4 1/2 stars! Get ready for a story to remember...with characters that define eccentric, off the wall and bonkers, but most of all they're enchantingly funny and heartwarmingly charming." (RT Book Reviews on Last Chance Beauty Queen)

"Witty, touching, and absolutely delightful - this story has heart!" (JoAnn Ross, New York Times bestselling author of The Homecoming on Welcome to Last Chance)

"Welcome to Last Chance is an impressive start to a charming new series, featuring quirky characters you won't soon forget." (Barbara Freethy, New York Times bestselling author of At Hidden Falls)

"Last Chance, South Carolina, is a caring community filled with the promise of hope. Come for a visit!" (Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author of The Welcome Home Garden Club)

"Ramsay strikes an excellent balance between tension and humor as she spins a fine yarn." (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Welcome to Last Chance)

"A sweet confection . . . This first of a projected series about the Rhodes brothers offers up Southern hospitality with a bit of grit. Romance readers will be delighted." (Library Journal on Welcome to Last Chance)

About the Author

 Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you'll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She's a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.

You can learn more at:
Twitter, @HopeRamsay.

My Review

This is a great series by Hope Ramsay!  Very readable, heartwarming stories best describe the Last Chance series. Last Chance Knit and Stitch has a good love story with some interesting back story thrown in. The characters are all very likable and it is easy to get attached.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Last Chance Knit and Stitch but read the rest of the series first.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: An Illustrated Death (Secondhand Prose Mystery #2) by Judi Culbertson

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 412 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Witness Impulse (Oct. 1 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C9AO988

Book Description

It's not every day you get an inside peek at the world of a famous artist.

So when bookseller Delhi Laine gets the opportunity to appraise the late Nate Erikson's library, she jumps at the chance, despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding the illustrator's death. But as she spends more time with the eccentric Erikson clan at the family compound in the Hamptons, Delhi can't help but wonder what really happened to the lost patriarch.

When death visits the family once more and another Erikson is found murdered, dark secrets come to light. Left coping with a charmed family not quite as idyllic as she first believed, Delhi is determined to solve the murders once and for all. But digging up truths can get you dirty . . . and Delhi is about to discover just how far some will go to keep them buried.

About the Author

 Judi Culbertson draws on her experience as a used-and-rare book dealer, social worker, and world traveler to create her bibliophile mysteries. No stranger to cemeteries, she has also coauthored five illustrated guides with her husband, Tom Randall, starting with Permanent Parisians. She lives in Port Jefferson, New York, with her family.

My Review

 This is the first time I've read a book by Judi Culbertson and I was immediately impressed with her mature writing style. I like the location - the Hamptons - an area I have not been too but it always sounds like a fascinating place.

Books and art...both interesting subjects for a mystery novel. Good story. I was surprised by the ending.

I recommend An Illustrated Death. Will have to keep an eye on this series.