Edelweiss

By the Book

By the Book
By the Book by Juila Sonneborn

Everything Here is Beautiful

Everything Here is Beautiful
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.
 


READ AN EXCERPT:




MY REVIEW:


By the BookBy the Book by Julia Sonneborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is a 2018 Gallery Books publication.

A splendid, modern day version of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’.

Anne Corey is trying to make tenure, write a book, and care for her father, with whom she has a tenuous relationship. All this is enough to keep Anne occupied, along with the exploits of her best friend, Larry. But, life throws Anne another unexpected curve ball when she learns her former fiancé, Adam, has been named president of her college!!

Despite the awkwardness of running into Adam from time to time, Anne has thrown herself into a torrid affair with a famous writer who has a sordid past. But, Anne still finds herself keeping up with what is going on in Adam’s life, and can’t stop herself from thinking about him, or wondering what he thinks of her.

In the meantime, hilarity ensues, along with some emotional drama, as Anne faces one challenge after another, while attempting to cover for her friend Larry, who is involved in a scandalous, clandestine affair.

Are Anne and Adam star crossed lovers or is there a possibility they might get a second chance at love?

Re-tellings can be tricky, but the author did an amazing job with modernizing the classic romance novel by Jane Austen.

This book is one of those utterly captivating feel good stories that will cure whatever ails you. The atmosphere is perfect, the dialogue is witty and sharp, and the characterizations are spot on. This book made me laugh, cry, and sigh with romantic satisfaction with what had to be THE best ending to a book I’ve read a in a long, long time.

Although Anne is the star of the show, keep your eye on Larry, because he almost steals her thunder a time or two. But, mainly, it’s Adam, who has a big come from behind win that will knock your socks off!! LOVED IT!!

This! This is what a good romance should be like!





GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Novel-Julia-Sonneborn-ebook/dp/B074ZPWLHH/ref

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/by-the-book-julia-sonneborn/1126511855


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia Sonneborn is an English professor and a Los Angeles native. After heading east for college and graduate school, she hightailed it back to California, where she now lives with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking about books, she enjoys trying new restaurants, reading online gossip blogs, and throwing dinner parties. She is the author of By the Book.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Everything Here is Beautiful - by Mira T. Lee - Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it's Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor's diagnosis.

Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we're willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it's time to let go and save ourselves.


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT: 





MY REVIEW:


Everything Here Is BeautifulEverything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee is a 2018 Pamela Dorman Books publication.

Both breathtaking and heartbreaking-

This is a novel about the bonds of sisterhood, of familial duty, of love, all tested by the drain and strain of debilitating mental illness.

While the story is exquisitely painful and is not a book I’d recommend for someone feeling depressed or who may be in a bad place, it is also a beautifully written story, very powerful, and realistic, yet poignantly sensitive, without becoming maudlin.

The reader is given insight into Lucia’s thoughts and feelings, which are often free spirited, determined, and all told, relatively normal… until they are not.

When the illness takes over, she loses the ability to function and being inside her mind during the throes of a schizoid episode is a very scary place to be. It is both incredibly sad and horrifying to watch the metamorphosis.


Miranda is Lucia’s sister, her caretaker and the decision maker when it comes to making choices about her health. Miranda feels powerless, suffering as much as Lucia, but in an obviously different way, since she is left making very painful choices about what is best for her sister. Lucia is often bitterly resentful of Miranda’s role, disrupting the balance and nature of their relationship, as Miranda struggles to live and enjoy her own life.

While Miranda takes a traditional, stable path in life, Lucia’s relationships are more complicated, as she copes with the challenges of living outside her own country, motherhood, and the shadow of her illness haunting her and her loved ones. But, her fierce determination to live life to its fullest, and to be a good mother, are inspiring, despite the odds against her.

The drain mental illness takes on the family is emphasized, as even those who start out being involved and supportive, lose their tenacity, and fall away, like casualties or collateral damage.

The health care system is flawed, as are our many misguided and misinformed concepts of mental illness. It’s hard to understand. It’s not like a physical disability where people can see the obvious effects on the body. Having to cope with the stigma associated with mental disease and the treatments which are often difficult to adhere to, can impede progress or completely shut it down.

While watching the family dynamics morph from a typical sisterly relationship into one of obligation and bitterness, it’s hard to miss the sinister hold such a serious disease has on the lives of these characters.

But, mental illness is not the only subject addressed as the author quite adeptly paints a realistic portrait of immigration from different perspectives. The time Lucia spends in Ecuador, is as telling as Manny’s in America, with the pressure to assimilate, which also adds rich cultural details and diversity to the story.

This book is grave and somber, with a moderately upbeat epilogue, and I admit, I felt a bit melancholy for a while after reading it, but it brings a new awareness to its readers in an emotional and heart wrenching way that is necessary and real, and in such a way you will most assuredly find it hard to forget. This is a topic we need to center more conversations around, and this book could be a great segue to bringing these uncomfortable subjects out in the open. My hope is that these characters will touch a nerve, will open your heart, make you think, make you more sympathetic, more understanding, better informed, and more involved.

           

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Here-Beautiful-Mira-Lee-ebook/dp/B072KYN7LV/ref

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-here-is-beautiful-mira-t-lee/1126270832

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Mira T. Lee's debut novel, EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL, was recently named a Top 10 Debut of Winter/Spring 2018 by the American Booksellers Association. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as the Southern Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, Harvard Review, and TriQuarterly, and has twice received special mention for the Pushcart Prize. Mira is a graduate of Stanford University and lives in Cambridge, MA.



Monday, February 19, 2018

MONDAY'S MUSICAL MOMENTS: Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Star- by David Hepworth


ABOUT THE BOOK:

The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations.

What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. Talent we wished we had.

What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn’t stay the course.

In Uncommon People, David Hepworth zeroes in on defining moments and turning points in the lives of forty rock stars from 1955 to 1995, taking us on a journey to burst a hundred myths and create a hundred more.

As this tribe of uniquely motivated nobodies went about turning themselves into the ultimate somebodies, they also shaped us, our real lives and our fantasies. Uncommon People isn’t just their story. It’s ours as well.
 

READ AND EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994 by David Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars -1955- 1994 by David Hepworth is a 2018 Transworld Digital publication.

A nostalgic, historical homage to the innovators, artists, writers, performers, and musicianship that created the great rock star mystique.

The title of the book had me wondering which kind of approach the author would take in relaying the meteoric rise of the rock star and what his thoughts would be on what brought about their swan dive back down to earth, where they must now walk among us mere mortals.

While the book didn’t exactly read quite like I would have imagined, this book ended up being a nice nostalgic look back at the history, not of rock music, but of rock stars.

I was pleased, so very pleased, with the author’s approach to rock’s beginnings by making his first featured artist Little Richard, and not Elvis. The blues, of course, is where rock originates, but once it was firmly rooted, during the fifties, the British Invasion changed the landscape and opened the doors for a wave of creativity that touched the pulse of a generation, skyrocketing the influence, power, and prestige of the rock star into the stratosphere, turning them into otherworldly beings riding high at the top of the world for decades to come.

The author touches on the psychology of the rock star, how groups like The Rolling Stones found themselves mingling with glamorous movie stars, how stars like Bowie created on stage ‘characters’ like ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and how outright worship of these stars, helped create the rich, lucrative market rock music eventually succumbed to.

But, mostly, this book was an homage, where the author picked the game changers, the most creative, the most influential, and successful, for either their cult followings, or innovations, or longevity. Obviously, The Beatles, The Stones, Jim Morrison, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen are profiled, as are others who made the biggest impact as musicians and artists.

At the end of each chapter the author includes a playlist for the year just discussed, which was fun and reminded me of some great tunes and artists I had not listened to in a long while.

I do wish the book had touched on the corporate influence and its role in rock’s demise, which is where, looking back through this book you can really see the cracks in the veneer start to show. I have reflected over the years on the power and fascination we allowed rock musicians to hold over us. As I got older I felt it got a little out of control, especially when rock stars began meeting with presidents to discuss policies or special interests. But, I digress.

Everyone’s popularity was judged by how they might compare to rock stars. I remember years back proclaiming ‘authors are my rock stars’, as a way of expressing my complete loyalty to books and writers in a way people would relate to. Somewhere along the way, rock stars became the measuring stick by which we judged the impact of someone’s popularity, almost to point where it became of parody. The ultimate breakdown coming after corporate rock settled in, and with MTV, and the oversaturation of hair metal bands. But, then Kurt Cobain barged onto the scene pounding all that over produced glitz into the ground, which was a good sign. But then...

Some may argue this point, but I won’t be swayed- Kurt Cobain was the last rock star. No one else since, has had that kind of influence or impact on a generation. With his death, hip hop gained a strong hold, and along with the internet, cell phones, and social media stripping away the last vestiges of mystique, we are left only with those surviving artists who paid their dues, and still pack auditoriums and stadiums. When they are gone there will be no one there to pass the torch, no one who will ever cast that kind of spell, weave that sort of magic over people, nor will anyone experience that stronghold of power to last for generations like the Stones or Springsteen. We already know all there is to know about the artist of today, which has weakened their influence, and will most assuredly shorten the length of their massive popularity.


I didn’t really learn anything new by reading this book. As a person who grew up in the pitch perfect awesomeness of rock music in the seventies and eighties, I pretty much knew everything the author shared about the artists, their music and the way the public responded to it. But, it was fun looking back over rock history, the trends, the pitfalls, the imagination and creativity, the fantastic writing, and stage shows, and how much it all meant to their audiences and the way the people responded to them. Mostly, the author stuck with the legends, names easily recognizable, and explained why they were influential, aka controversial, and what part they played in creating the rock mystique. There were a few groups or individual artists I might have added because they were cultural phenoms, or I might have thought twice about featuring an artist that was more of a pop singer than a rock star, but overall, the author chose his subjects wisely and I agreed that these artists were the ultimate trailblazers, true rock stars, a part of an unstoppable force, and will at least leave behind a lasting legacy.

This book did remind me of all the good times I spent with friends, listening to albums, holding long, meaningful conversations about our favorite bands, the instruments they played, the meaning behind the lyrics, debating the which songs were the best,  what were the best album covers, best guitar player, and best stage shows, and all the rest. The music meant something to us, these stars were idols to us, more than they should have been, perhaps, but they held court majestically, and it was through them and their bravery, we found an outlet to express our individuality, our ideas, rebellion, and creativity, and they urged us to stand for something, to work for what we wanted, to question the answers, to have fun, to love and accept. They started fashion trends, music trends, influenced movies and television, as well as social issues and politics, and never ever shied away from controversy.

Rock is dead-

Long live rock and roll- and the stars who made it great.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-People-Rise-Fall-Stars-ebook/dp/B06W5GQPBD/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/uncommon-people-david-hepworth/1125825834

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




David Hepworth is a music journalist, writer, and publishing industry analyst who has launched several successful British magazines, including Smash Hits, Q, Mojo and The Word, among many others. He presented the definitive BBC rock music program Whistle Test and anchored the BBC's coverage of Live Aid in 1985. He has won the Editor of the Year and Writer of the Year awards from the Professional Publishers Association and the Mark Boxer Award from the British Society of Magazine Editors. He is the radio columnist for the Saturday Guardian and a regular media correspondent for the newspaper.

Friday, February 16, 2018

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- Gone ,Baby, Gone By Dennis Lehane- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:


Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find four-year-old Amanda McCready, abducted from her bed on a warm, summer night. They meet her stoned-out, strangely apathetic mother, her loving aunt and uncle, the mother's dangerous, drug-addled friends, and two cops who've found so many abused or dead children they may be too far over the edge to come back. Despite enormous public attention, rabid news coverage, and dogged police work, the investigation repeatedly hits a brick wall. Led into a world of drug dealers, child molesters, and merciless executioners, Patrick and Angie are soon forced to face not only the horrors adults can perpetrate on innocents but also their own conflicted feelings about what is best, and worst, when it comes to raising children. And as the Indian summer fades and the autumn chill deepens, Amanda McCready stays gone, banished so completely that she seems never to have existed.
Then another child disappears. . . . Dennis Lehane takes you into a world of triple crosses, elaborate lies, and shrouded motives, where the villains may be more moral than the victims, the missing should possibly stay missing, and those who go looking for them may not come back alive.
READ AN EXCERPT:










MY REVIEW:



Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4)Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane is a 2009 William Morrow publication. (originally published in 1999 by Harper)

I must make a few confessions up front:

1: I saw the movie version of this title a long time ago and it was so good, I’ve always wanted to read the book, because, of course, the book is always better.

2: I haven’t read as many books by this author as I thought.

3: This is my first foray into the Kenzie & Gennaro series. In fact, I didn’t even know this book was a part of a series, until now.

I make these confessions with shaking hands since I’m sure my admission is tantamount to religious sacrilege to some folks, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

I was immensely curious how the book would differ from the movie, since Hollywood is notorious for taking liberties and on many occasions they flub the whole thing up. But, surprisingly the book and movie matched up, with only a few differences.

All the same, the book was better, as I knew it would be, as it paints a far more detailed and emotional rendition, which had me enthralled, and gave me an even greater respect for this author.


When Amanda disappears, her Aunt Beatrice hires the PI team of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to find her.

The case winds up consuming the couple to the point of obsession, always at the forefront of their lives,  and then another child goes missing…

Well, what can you say? This was one incredible story and one that has sparked some rather heated debate in my household, all of us holding strong feelings on how the situation could have been handled.

While there is the obvious black and white answer, there are surely those among you who fall into that gray area, where your mind and logic tells you one thing, while your heart is telling you another.

But, no matter which way you slice it, this is one very twisty rollercoaster ride, spotlighting human flaws, and what one does to cope with the world, and how there are never easy answers to many of life’s questions. Sometimes the wrong thing feels like the right thing, in a twisted way that only makes sense when you are living in that moment. Those choices could backfire, or not, depending on the situation, could lead to regret, or no regrets. But, a tangled web has been woven, and good people become unwitting pawns in a convoluted scheme, and a price must be paid, a very high price, as it turns out.

This story stayed with me a long time and I still run the details over in mind on occasion, still feel sickened by what happened, and still feel conflicted by the decisions made.

When a novel really grabs you, affects your emotions, plays tricks on your mind, and breaks your heart, leaving a lasting impression, well, that’s what great storytelling is all about, and this author sure knows how to weave a tale.







GONE, BABY, GONE MOVIE TRAILER:

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Gone-Baby-Patrick-Kenzie-Gennaro/dp/0061998877/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gone-baby-gone-dennis-lehane/1100258485

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gone-baby-gone-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Dennis Lehane (born Aug 4th, 1966) is an American author. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Mystic River, which was later made into an Academy Award winning film, also called Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon (Lehane can be briefly seen waving from a car in the parade scene at the end of the film). The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, and France's Prix Mystere de la Critique. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:

The Immortalists

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a 2018 G.P. Putnam’s Sons publication.

In a novel, so centered on death, there is a tremendous amount of life and living within these pages.


Beginning in 1969, the four Gold siblings boldly knock on the door of a fortune teller who then proceeds to impart to them the one thing nobody knows when they enter this world- the exact day you will die.

For better or worse, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon cope with this heavy information, but, their approach to life, their attitudes and actions could not be more different.

How will they decide to live their lives? By throwing caution to the wind, living every moment like it counts, or will they become a slave to the fortune teller’s predictions? What would you do if you knew the exact date of your earthly departure?

Each of the siblings will have a segment dedicated to their life story, beginning with Simon, the youngest of the four.

Getting through Simon’s story, the outcome of which is easy to predict, could make some readers a bit uncomfortable, as it is quite explicit. However, it is also very authentic and captures the era, the fear, the location, and atmosphere of the era perfectly. Simon’s story sets the stage for a riveting family saga that prompts the reader to wonder just how much of our lives are controlled by elements such as pure luck or destiny and how much control we have over our own future. Can we help dire predictions along- force them to happen when they may not have otherwise? Is too much information advantageous or does it work against us in the end?

It’s an interesting proposal and discussions about these concepts could be very deep, which would make this novel a fantastic book club read.

I did have some trouble with the plausibility or probability of certain events in the story, but looking past that, I was fascinated by the psychological effects obtaining information about the future had on the characters. The last segment is maybe the most revealing, and perhaps the deepest area of the story as the quest for longevity replaces the pleasure of really one’s living one’s life with gusto.

This story has some magical elements, but overall, it’s a family saga, one that is perhaps a bit heavy, a little mournful, but not necessarily bleak.

I put this review off for a little while unsure of how to relay my feelings about the book. I’m glad I read it, as it did challenge me, forcing me to consider deep, philosophical subjects about life and death, faith, destiny, our susceptibility to suggestion, just to name a few. But, for me, the prose and characterizations is what really makes this novel stand out.

I’m not sure if this is a novel I would ever revisit, or if these are subjects I want to address frequently, but, anytime a novel can take me into an unknown realm, one that is a little out of my element or comfort zone, I respect it, and give credit where credit is due.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Immortalists-Chloe-Benjamin-ebook/dp/B071D3D2ZX/ref

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-immortalists-chloe-benjamin/1126244293

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-immortalists-3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Chloe Benjamin is the author of the novels THE IMMORTALISTS--a #1 Indie Next Pick, #1 LibraryReads Pick and Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection--and THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A San Francisco native, Benjamin is a graduate of Vassar College and of the University of Wisconsin, where she received her MFA in fiction. She lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall- Feature and Review


 ABOUT THE BOOK:


Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she's promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind...

READ AN EXCERPT:





 MY REVIEW:


Enchanted by the Highlander (A Highland Fairytale, #4)Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall is a 2017 Swerve publication.

Captivating Scottish romance!

John Erly is an English Lord, banished by his father, who has relocated to Scotland. With a wild reputation to live up to, he flirts with all the ladies, but when the beautiful, but painfully shy, Gillian MacLeod arrives, he is warned to stay away from her.

But, while attending a masked ball, Gillian takes the bold step of stealing a kiss from the only man what makes her heart skip a beat.

John never learns the identity of the enchanting young lady until Gillian must be escorted home for her wedding. Thrown together in an uncomfortably awkward situation, the pair finds it hard to hide their true feelings for each other.

Along the way they will encounter much danger and intrigue, while falling deeply in love. But, Gillian’s father will never allow a marriage between his daughter and the rouge Englishman. Is the relationship doomed? Will Gillian be forced to marry a man she doesn't love?

It has been a good long while since I read a rousing Scottish romance and I had begun to miss those lovely Scottish traditions and fascinating superstitions and magic, along with the action, adventure and intrigue, plus with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I'm in the mood for a little romance.

This book has all those elements, along with a tortured hero, and strong female lead, who has the courage to take what she wants, to find a way to be with her true love, while remaining true to herself and blossoming into a respected heroine in the process.

Gillian’s quietness is misconstrued, with people drawing the conclusion she isn’t all that bright or does not wish to contribute. Nothing could be further from the truth and she surprises even those closest to her, when she steps out of her shell, proving her mettle, and quieting those who doubted her.

John’s backstory is unique, and I loved how he rose to the occasion to win Gillian, even though the odds are against him.

Naturally, there are a few battles to fight and there is also an interesting competition for the right to wed Gillian, which adds a spark of action and adventure, which is essential for a traditional Scottish romance, and kept me engaged, not only in the plot, but also for the characters.

There is a fairy tale quality to the story, which keeps things light amid the danger and angst. I enjoyed the fast pace, the characterizations, and the way Gillian and John fought so hard to be together.

This is a quick read, very enjoyable and is certainly entertaining. I always enjoy stepping back in time and letting myself get swept away by the beauty and tradition of Scotland, which is a nice refreshing change of pace after reading so many dark and serious novels in a row!



 GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074SX4HM4/ref

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/enchanted-by-the-highlander-lecia-cornwall/1126974480

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/enchanted-by-the-highlander




 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun--just before she takes her own life, and many others', in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband's inexplicable suicide--and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals--Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But these ruthless people bent on hijacking America's future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue--and become the nation's most wanted fugitive--in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.







READ AN EXCERPT:




MY REVIEW:


The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk, #2)The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Whispering Room by Dean Kootz is a 2017 Bantam publication.

Kick-butt heroine Jane Hawk is back ready to save the world from a diabolical and evil plot against America.

After reading the ‘The Silent Corner’, I was cautiously optimistic about this new series. After reading this second installment, I have become a true believer- lock, stock and barrel.



The thing about this storyline that makes it so incredibly chilling, especially in America, is that while it may sound like pure science fiction, our government has experimented with mind control in the past. After a recent mass shooting, where a plausible motive still remains totally unclear, this story really makes me think, and scares the crap out of me.

As the story picks up, Jane is now the most sought after woman on the planet, which makes her job all the harder. But, she is determined to take down the billionaire sponsoring the mind control experiments that took the life of her husband, robbing her son of his father.

As more tragedy takes place, Jane races against time, but soon finds the network behind such an evil plot is much larger than she knew.

The David versus Goliath set up, pits Jane against powerful entities and keeps her on the run, struggling to stay under the radar, and still manage to see her son on occasion.

"After the coming tide of change had passed, there would be no rest in the world, only the peace of submission or death, only the quiet dread that keeps the mouse mute in the presence of the fanged and searching cat.”

The story does start off with a literal bang, but the real suspense stems from Jane’s predicament, while we follow her along on a tense road trip, where she encounters other adventures, on top of everything else she must contend with. The danger is always there, simmering, then escalating.

But, the scariest thought of all is the prospect that Jane will not succeed. So, I cheer her on with all my might, mentally supporting her, as the world, as we know it, rests on her shoulders.

Jane’s work is far from done, as she will face a new set of circumstances in the future. Jane is a tough but compassionate heroine, vulnerable, yet capable. Her cynicism is hard earned but not necessarily celebrated, but most of all Jane is a survivor and I for one feel immense respect for her tenacity, and her sense of right and wrong, in the ultimate good versus evil showdown.

Overall, this second installment is even better than the first one and sets the stage for an even more intense follow up in the next installment. I can hardly wait!

It is good to feel this excited about a Dean Koontz series again!





GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Room-Jane-Hawk-Novel-ebook/dp/B071CJBDJL/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-whispering-room-dean-koontz/1126570774

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-whispering-room-5


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.