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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS (MENNA VAN PRAAG)



Since her parents' mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta's dress shop.  Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta's charming, tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets.  With just a few stitches from Etta's needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to set free a woman's deepest desires. 

Etta's dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter.  Cora's studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever.  Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt's collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora.  But magic spells - like true love - can go awry.  After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she's set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora's life in extraordinary and unexpected ways. 

You will simply and absolutely fall in love with this spellbinding novel.  I couldn't take my eyes off the page for fear I might accidentally skip over a word.  I will be highly recommending THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS and can't wait for Menna's next book!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

MY SUNSHINE AWAY (M. O. WALSH)



ISBN: 978-0-399-16952-6
MY SUNSHINE AWAY is one of those rare books that you'lll remember long after the last page has been turned. Although a story of growing up and coming-of-age, it is also quite the mystery.

The book begins with the rape of a young teenage girl named Lindy Simpson and thereby lies your mystery. Who committed this horrible crime? As the group of neighborhood teens contend with the every day effects of growing up and experiencing a lot of firsts, the underlying current is always "who done it?" The narrator of the novel is one of four suspects. I found myself wondering a great deal about the narrator throughout the story. I had a difficult time trusting him. Although his words and actions apeared to be honourable, there was just "something" about him that kept me from letting my guard down and moving on to other suspects in a more detailed way with a more intense critical eye.

Lindy's rape becomes personal for the narrator because he is obsessively in love with her, watching her out his bedroom window, talking to her late into the night on the telephone and looking through photos of her someone else gave to him.

From what I know of the south in the late 80's and early 90's, M. O. Walsh seems to have hit the nail on the head. with perfectly descrptive prose he lays out the traditions and rituals of that era with precision.

All in all this was an excellent read and one I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading more of M. O. Walsh's work in the future.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

THE ORGAN TAKERS (RICHARD VAN ANDERSON)



BOOK SYNOPSIS:
Failed surgeon David McBride is in exile from the surgical community after making a costly error in judgment. Down but not out, he perseveres and is given a second chance to establish a career in surgery. But, as McBride stands on the threshold of a new life, the malignant underside of his fellow man intervenes. Under the threat of violence, David is forced to perform illegal organ harvests in a makeshift operating room hidden in a dilapidated meatpacking warehouse in lower Manhattan. Unable to resolve the excruciating moral dilemma faced each time he invades the body of an unwilling victim, David McBride fights to free himself from the situation and in the process, loses everything. When he finally loses the last shred of his humanity, he seeks revenge with surgical precision...and instrumentation.
MY REVIEW:
 
Oh-my-word!!!! This was THE most suspenseful, sit at the edge of your seat, harrowing, eye popping read I've had in a long while. The action just never stopped in this novel from the very first page until the very last. I don't remember a book ever holding my attention as much as this one did. My mind kept telling my eyes to read faster and faster, I just couldn't get through it quick enough to know what was coming next. The writing is unbelievable, Richard Van Anderson has given an outstanding performance in The Organ Takers.

The ending was so abrupt that it tells me there is definitely a sequel in the works and I sincerely hope it's not too long before that is forthcoming. I just have to know what happens to David McBride and the others involved in aiding him.

Please, DON'T MISS THIS ONE!!! You'll be doing yourself at great disservice if you do. You won't be able to put this down for a second to even make a cup of tea. Totally enthralling and eye glueing!! I will be highly recommending this one to everyone and anyone who will listen.

Friday, December 26, 2014

UNDERTOW (KELLY COZY)



Book Synopsis:
"Drew Finley was a crime journalist, until his mind couldn't shut out the images of blood and bodies. Alcohol made the images go away, but also ruined Drew's career and innocents' lives.

Drew's eager to make amends and he's got a story that will help him: a profile of a local celebrity who may have been framed for murder. As he digs deeper, he'll uncover secrets and grudges that will put the people he loves in danger."
My Review:
 
I couldn't put this book down. It was suspenseful and exhilirating all at the same time. Coach Jones Cavanaugh is in prison for murdering, Marianne, one of the players on his team and one he was rumoured to be having an affair with. Did he do it? Did he belong on death row for this crime?

Drew Finley was obsessive about this case and had more than a reporter's usual curosity to find out the truth once and for all. He just HAD to know the truth about, Marianne. He went to lengths most people wouldn't bother too in order to research the case. What he found out will thrill you and excite you but you'll still be perplexed.

Kelly Cozy does a fantastic job of keeping the secret right until the very end and I'll tell you, I certainly did not see that ending coming. It literally stole my breath away!! The entire novel keep me sitting at the edge of my seat. I kept promising myself to stop reading at the end of each chapter but would begin the first few lines of the next one and off I'd go again, hour after hour until I was done. Don't miss UNDERTOW, I highly recommend it to everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

THE MISTLE TOE PROMISE (RICHARD PAUL EVANS)



MY REVIEW:

"Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season.  Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone broken, and distrustful. 

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court.  Though she recognizes the man from her office building, Elise has never formally met him.  Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition.  For the next eight weeks - until the evening of December 24th - he suggests that they pretend to be a couple.  He draws up a contract with four rules: 

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea.  As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart.  But just as Elise begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens the emerging romance.  And she might not be the only one with a secret."

Richard has once again outdone himself with THE MISTLETOE PROMISE.  You just can't help but fall in love with Richard's stories and this one was so unique, I just couldn't put it down.  I could have read it in one sitting but forced myself to make it last over two days.  This comes highly recommended, you won't be disappointed.  It's a feel good story for sure and at this time of year we can all use some feel good.

DEAR NOBODY: THE TRUE DIARY OF MARY ROSE (EDITED BY: GILLIAN MCCAIN & LEGS MCNEIL)



MY REVIEW:
This is the true story of Mary Rose, a young teen-age girl with cystic fibrosis. Her journal entries have been recorded in the book she as she had written them, totally unedited. There is course language as expected since that is the way most teenagers speak these days.

Mary Rose was a brave girl but treated her body shockingly for someone so ill. I guess knowing that she was going to die she figured she had nothing to lose and therefore just went with whatever she wanted. She stumbled through her short life drunk and full of drugs and fighting with her mother and her many abusive boyfriends but still managed to keep going until her death. It was a riveting book which I read in one sitting. Highly recommended for teens.

Friday, December 12, 2014

STOLEN IN THE NIGHT (GARY C. KING)



MY REVIEW:
"A known sexual psychopath. Joseph Duncan had been convicted of raping and torturing a 14-year-old boy in Tacoma, Washington. On the Internet he proudly boasted of his perversions. But the system turned Duncan loose, and no one would stop him from committing an even more horrifying act...

An innocent family. This time, he prepared meticulously. He chose his get-away car. He chose his murder weapon and loaded a video camera. Then, when he saw young Shasta and Dylan Groene playing outside their Idaho home, he struck - killing their mother and her boyfriend, and their older brother...and vanishing into the night with Shasta and Dylan.

A crime that shook the nation. Detectives pored over the bloody murder scene. The FBI scrambled to find the children and the abductor. And even when Duncan was finally located, the story was not yet over: Dylan was still missing...and the depth of one man's evil was still coming horribly to light..."

This true story is absolutely horrifying and shocking! I can't believe that the 'system', time and time again, lets these type of people out of jail. Each time they are let out they re-offend. Once caught, charged and thrown in jail, they serve their time and are again allowed out to re-offend yet again. Something needs to change. New laws need to be put in place to protect these innocent victims. You'll be shocked at what you read in "Stolen in the Night."