Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber

The Anatomist’s Wife
(A Lady Darby Mystery)

A Brand New Series
The Berkley Publishing Group (November 6, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Historical Mystery
Trade Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425253281

The Anatomist's Wife

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage–a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Anna Lee Huber has created an extraordinary heroine in Lady Kiera Darby. A heroine with an unusual past that allows her right into the middle of the murder investigation. A past that has isolated her and besmirched her name. A past she wishes would stay in the past.

Sebastian Gage has assisted his father in many investigations but has never undertaken one totally on his own. He is unsure of how Kiera can help him but he bows to the wishes The Earl of Cromarty, his host. As the guests point fingers at Lady Darby and proclaim she is the murderer, Cage decides to allow her to assist him even for no other reason than to keep his eye on her. But it isn’t long before they start to have feelings for each other and he feels the need to protect her. Neither is ready to admit their feelings and Lady Darby has been burned badly in her prior relationship so the while the romantic tension is great, the pace is slow and absolutely perfect.

Huber takes us back in time, to a drafty and dark castle. We go deep into the remotest part of the castle for the preliminary inquiry to ascertain the cause of death of the victim. The halls are full of shadows and cobwebs. Lady Darby’s travels through the fortress are always mired with the feeling that she is being followed or watched. The reader can almost feel the tickles up the back of our own necks as she travels through the manor and tries to search out the real killer.

The author has given us a haunting story, in a fabulous setting, with the most intriguing characters. The story itself is very fast paced but each word should be savored. This is a chilling tale that may give you a sleepless night because you won’t be able to put it down. I can believe we have to wait until next September for the return of Lady Darby, but I know it will be well worth the wait.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans

Faithful Unto Death
(A Sugar Land Mystery)

New Series
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Available Now

Faithful Unto Death


Sugar Land, Texas is a beautiful master-planned community where famous athletes rub shoulders with ranchers.

It is home to Walker “Bear” Wells, minister and a former college football player. Bear has dealt with a lot over the years with his congregation and his own family but when a man is found murdered on a local golf course he finds himself somewhere her never dreamed he would be, right in the middle of all the drama. Every time he turns around, another facet of the investigation tangles with his own life. Case in point, Bear’s rebellious daughter is currently dating the murdered man’s son.

It make take more than a prayer to catch this killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A intriguing debut with a very pleasing preacher protagonist. Walker “Bear” Wells is not your typical preacher. He has trouble coming up with a prayer on the spur of the moment and has very unique sense of humor. People do feel safe telling him everything and anything. But will he keep his promises and keep things confidential?

Sugar Land has a wonderful set of quirky characters that add so much to the story. Annie Laurie is the perfect preacher’s wife, Jo is the typical “preacher’s kid”, you know obstinate and ready for trouble. Bear and Detective Wanderley will learn they make a really good team. Add to that a bunch of people trying to cover for each other and cover their own A**, when no one is sure what really happened made this a very enjoyable read.

I will anxiously be awaiting the next book in this series. This is another author to keep our eyes on!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out Stephanie’s blog here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

Ocean Beach
Berkley Books
Published by The Penguin Group

Release Date: June 26,2012

Ocean Beach


In this sequel to Ten Beach Road, Madeline, Avery and Nicole arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood set to redo a grand home hoping to bring it back to its original splendor. It is all for a new television show called Do Over. Since the last house they remodeled has not sold yet they all need this show to be their big break. Their lives all need a Do Over!

It doesn’t take long for these unlikely friends to realize their idea for the show and the network’s are as different as night and day. The network wants a reality show with emphasis on personal lives with the home as the background and setting, rather than the makeover being the star of the show.

All their relationships will be tested as they know how important this is to each of them. Plus a mystery from the past changes the whole scope of project and something unexpected happens that can put all of them in danger. The network soon becomes the least of their worries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wendy Wax has packed this book with a wonderful characters in an awesome setting and a story that grabs you from the first page. I have not read Ten Beach Road yet but I had absolutely no problem becoming invested in their characters quickly. They are all struggling with something that the reader knows is genuine.

My favorite character was not one of these wonderful women though. It was Max, the homeowner. What a wonderful life he had with his wife. Their lives were far from perfect, they had the share of problems and they were dealt with a terrible emotional blow. His wife Millie has passed on but you can actually feel their love in his stories. He wants the house fixed up because she wanted it done and he made her a very special promise before she passed on. A very extraordinary gentleman.

I love the way this author writes. She writes about strong women. Women that are facing life’s changes with perfect amounts of reality, humor and intrigue. Women who are trying to realize their dreams. Women who care about each other. Fate brought these women together and they are making the best of it. Come hell or high water these are friendships that will endure.

Thank you Wendy for writing a perfect escape! I hope to see these friends together again soon!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author*

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Wendy read voraciously as a child, was a regular at her local library, and became fast friends with Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables. Her love affairs with language and storytelling paid off beginning with her first shift at the campus radio station while studying journalism at the University of Georgia.

After returning to her home state and graduating from the University of South Florida she worked for the Tampa PBS affiliate, WEDU-TV, behind and in front of the camera. Her resume includes on air work, voiceovers and production of a variety of commercial projects and several feature films. She may be best known in the Tampa Bay area as the host of Desperate & Dateless, a radio matchmaking program that aired on WDAE radio, and nationally as host of The Home Front, a magazine format show that aired on PBS affiliates across the country.

The mother of a toddler and an infant when she decided to change careers, she admits it was not the best timing in terms of productivity. “I’m still not certain why I felt so compelled to write my first novel at that particular time,” she says, “but that first book took forever.” Since then she’s written seven more, including Magnolia Wednesdays, The Accidental Bestseller and Single in Suburbia. Her work has been sold to publishers in ten countries and to the Rhapsody Book Club. Her novel, Hostile Makeover, was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Wendy lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband John and her baseball-crazy teenage sons, whom she says have turned her into the shortest person in their family. A former broadcaster, she spends most of her non-writing time on baseball fields or driving to them. She continues to devour books. For more information, visit her website at www.authorwendywax.com.

*From Amazon

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz + David Hayward

Heads You Lose
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback Release: April 3, 2012

Ever wonder how co-writers work to create a book, a mystery book no less. This book is just one example and maybe this isn’t the best way to do it. Each author writes one chapter after reading and critiquing the previous one. This unique book lets us actually see the process as all the author notes are included for our reading pleasure. Maybe choosing an old boyfriend as your co-writer is not a good idea either especially when you can’t agree on anything including major aspects of the story or the characters, let alone who the killer is.

Now the story features Paul and Lacey Hansen, twenty something siblings who find a headless corpse on their property. They can’t chance calling the police because you see, these kids main source of income is the marijuana growing in their basement. The don’t want any cops tripping over their very illegal operation. So of course they just move the dead body to another place and hope it is found quickly with no evidence tracking back to them. Their plans go awry when the body reappears at their curb. Now what??

With these two authors battling each other you just have to read it and find out!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

I can’t believe this story even came together. This tag team writing mirrored tag team wrestling. It was a wild ride. Funny too, with each one trying to show up the other or teach the other a lesson.  A character killed in one chapter, then revived in the next. This book was definitely a journey.

As amazing as it sounds a really good mystery was created by this chaos. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know at times if the heads lost were the just the corpse found or the authors as well. You just have to roll with it and enjoy it for what it is. Mystery/therapy sessions. I am glad I don’t know these authors personally because I would have bash their heads together. How did these two even date?

It is a very clever concept for one story. I definitely wouldn’t want a repeat performance because at times it was a bit distracting but it was a very entertaining read. Need an escape from the heavy suspense thrillers or the romance novels, try the one out, you will not lose your head, just rest on your tail and win an enjoyable time spent between the pages of this good book!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Welcome Author Genevieve Graham!!

I am so happy to welcome Genevieve here today. Her book is not one I would have normally picked up. She contacted me about this book and her words really “intrigued” me. I am so glad she reached out to me!! You will be too!!

Welcome Genevieve!

Thanks for the invitation, Lori!

I feel … as I sit awaiting inspiration … that I am somewhat of a fish out of water here. No, that’s not right. Not out of water; I am breathing fine, after all. It’s just that it appears I’ve taken a little leap into the next pond over.

You see, I don’t write mystery. Okay, okay. I’ll wait for you to finish gasping and shaking your head with disappointment. Another moment? Sure. No problem.

Ready? Excellent. Now, if anyone is still there, first of all, thank you. Now I’d like to introduce you to a genre that many literary agents told me was somewhat of a mystery.

I write “Historical Romance”. That’s a simple enough concept, except what I write is more what I’d call historical ‘adventure’, rather than romance, but romance readers are eating it up, so if they want to call it a romance, that’s just fine with me. Carrying on with the fishy metaphor, please allow me to lead you into a murkier pond. Step carefully now. My historical adventure crosses over to include a touch of fantasy. Some readers have even hinted that it’s almost “literary” fiction. I had a few people suggest it could be YA, but I draw the line at that. My daughters won’t be reading “Under the Same Sky” until they’re at least able to drive!


And then there’s the question of the beautiful cover. Penguin is my publisher, and you might have heard that most authors have little to no say in the creation of their cover. I’m not the least bit disappointed—I think it’s gorgeous and eye-catching. But to me it screams romance, which I neither write nor read very often. So I shall bow humbly and beg you not to judge a book by its cover.

Being amongst you all today makes me want to cross the genre line one more time and make my novel into a mystery … of sorts. Let’s see if I get this right.

The year is 1746. Maggie Johnson is gifted with “the Sight”, which is a power kept secret from all but her family, because if it were to be discovered by the rest of the world, she could be burned at the stake. Except, impossibly, there is someone else who knows. Half a world away, Andrew MacDonnell, a Scottish Highlander who has dreamed of a faraway little girl since he was just a wee lad, knows all about Maggie’s dreams. How? Because he has the same gift. There is no mystery in the battle Andrew and the others fight that April on Culloden moor. The Scots fighting for the Stuart cause are wiped out by the superior English troops, and they are either killed, imprisoned and tortured, or forced to flee. Andrew shouldn’t have survived, injured and exhausted as he was, but from across the sea Maggie was with him, flooding his heart and muscles with her power, giving him what he needed so he could disappear from the field of death. But she cannot save herself when she and her sisters are kidnapped by vicious white slavers, and it is only when he appears in her mind that she is given the means to escape.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just the first few chapters. Have I intrigued you?

~Genevieve

Well are you intrigued? I sure was and by page 13 I was so engrossed in the story I couldn’t put it down. This is not a “Historical Romance” it is so much more and it is filled with mystery!!!

2012 best debut historical fiction

 

Under the Same Sky
Berkley Trade
Published by The Penguin Group
Available Now!!
Cover Illustration by Gregg Gulbronson
Cover Design by George Long

I read this book last year and wanted to include it on my Best Books of 2011 but since technically is wasn’t available until January 3, 2012 it couldn’t be included, but it will be in the running for 2012. This book is amazing. To think because it is not classified as a genre I usually read, I may have missed out on this story. This is the type of book my whole blog is about, a book you can escape into, a perfect escape, an adventure not to be missed. As soon as I finished this story and the snippet of the next I had to email Genevieve. I loved the story so much but my enthusiasm was so great I was having trouble putting it into words. Today I still feel like I am gushing but I really want to get across to all of you that you will enjoy this book, especially if you are like me, someone who has basically stepped away from the romance genre.

This story is beautifully written and captivating. There are places where it is purely poetic. Genevieve you are more than welcome in this pond. I am anxiously awaiting Sound of The Heart coming out in May.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky.

CONNECT ONLINE
http://www.genevievegraham.com/
www.facebook.com/GenevieveGrahamAuthor
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4505583.Genevieve_Graham
twitter.com/GenGrahamAuthor
Genevieve will be at Kaki’s Blog on January 7 talking about the “ugly truth” of historical fiction! Be sure to check it out!

 

Have we “intrigued” you enough that you would like to win a copy of this story?
I am giving away my gently read copy to one lucky winner!!!
U.S. AND Canadian Residents Only

Contest Will End January 19 at 11:59 p.m. CST