Friday, August 19, 2011

Megan's Way by Melissa Foster

Megan's Way is a real tear-jerker about a woman dying from terminal cancer and plans she makes for the future of her young teenage daughter.

Inspired by a real life experience by authoress Melissa Foster, in Megan's Way, single mom Megan Taylor makes arrangements for daughter Olivia's future care without her beloved mom beside her.

Everyone has secrets, not only Megan, who has refused to name her child's father, but close friends Holly and Jack who she wishes to entrust with Olivia's care.

Olivia, meanwhile, has set herself on a dangerous path to self-destruction.

Megan's Way is a beautifully written and heart-warming tale that is suitable for teenage reading levels and upwards.

Crossing The Bridge by Michael Baron

Crossing The Bridge is a character-driven tale of human interaction and relationships more than a romance novel, by Michael Baron.

Hugh Penders has spent 10 years of his life wandering since the tragic death of his brother Chase, in a car crash.

Hugh feels guilty, as he believes he could have prevented the accident, plus he had been in love with his brother's girlfriend, Iris, at the time of the accident.

When his father suffers a heart attack, he returns home to the small town he grew up in, and finds a new lease of life.

One day on the street he bumps into Iris who had moved away after the accident too, and their love affair is rekindled.

Described as slow moving and lazy-paced, Crossing The Bridge is an in-depth study of human characters that is beautifully written and well worth reading.

The Trouble With Green by Liv James

The Trouble With Green is described a a romantic suspense novel by Liv James.

Josie Loysher is a determined and successful business woman, whose life is irrevocably changed when the national press highlight her earth-friendly inns.

With her husband half a country away on a new job, she has to face up to her own secret past in order to prevent a hostile take-over bid of her company.

Liv James has managed to create some very believable and likeable characters in a well-woven tale.

There are no stereotypical plots and you will be kept guessing as to what happens next.

A wonderful read.

Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth

Hurricanes in Paradise is a delightful summer read about 4 women whose lives touch each other, changing them irrevocably forever.

Denise Hildreth is a Southern authoress whose deep felt Christianity shines through her books, but not in an overwhelming manner - more in a feel-good factor way.

Set in a top class hotel in Paradise Islands in the Bahamas, 4 women, 3 of them guests and the other staff, the newly appointed Director of Guest Relations, face an oncoming Hurricane together.

The experience brings out their deepest fears and as readers, we learn enough about their backgrounds to understand what makes them tick, and act the way they do.

Hurricane in Paradise is not about hurricanes at all, but about exploring the deep psyche within those women.

This is an excellent read that will have you both laughing and crying, and not wanting to put the book down at all.

You may even feel sadness at the end, because you want the story to go on.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly is the debut novel of the police detective character Harry Bosch who we have all grown to love.
The Black Echo
Harry Bosch at this point has been demoted from the L.A Homicide squad to the lesser Beverly Hills squad.

On attending a suspicious death, he recognises the body of a fellow 'tunnel rat', on of the elite squad of soldiers whose task it was to search for Viet Cong soldiers in the burrows beneath many Vietnamese towns and cities during the Vietnam War.

 He always keeps keeps meticulous 'Murder Books' - the names for the police records of the circumstances surrounding a murder - and through his own records he is able to link this death to an unsolved bank job involving breaking into the vault via tunnels.

The FBI become involved and Harry Bosch with his brilliant detective skills builds up a case and his suspicions.

This is a superb books, well-written, action packed and fast-paced, and if you have never read Michael Connelly before, this is as great an intro as any.

I am Nujood, Age 10, and Divorced by Nujood Ali

Nujood Age 10 Divorced
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is the true story, told in the first person narrative, of a young girl growing up in Yemen, who was forced into child marriage by her impoverished parents.

Repeatedly raped before she had even reached puberty, this young girl showed remarkable strength in not only breaking away from her husband, but then persuading the courts with the help of an activist lawyer to grant her a divorce.

Woman of the Year in Glamour Magazine in 2008, and referenced in National Geographic in July 2011, Nujood Ali is at last free to pursue the remains of her childhood and gain an education, while graphically informing the world just what is going on in some countries of the world today.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is a short book but you will want to read it in one sitting. Apart from shocking you, it makes for compulsive reading.

Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman

Innocent Monster
Innocent Monster
A mystery/thriller, Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman is another case for retired Brooklyn private investigator Moe Prager.

A page turner, the story flows smoothly with an exquisite ending. The story is about an 11 year old child prodigy artist who has disappeared, and Moe, now a successful wine dealer, only agrees to help because his estranged daughter, Sarah, asked him to.

The little girl has been missing for three weeks and Moe fears the worst. Hi investigations bring him into contact with some shady dealers from the world of art, where a dead painter's work takes on a leap in value. Her own parents are shady too, and seem to be holding back information from Moe.

Innocent Monster is a page turner you will not want to put down. Cleverly-written, it will hook you in and keep your there until the story reaches its final conclusion.

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life
  Click on the photo above to read more

Unmissable, A Stolen Life details the confusion felt by the author, Jaycee Dugard, during her 18 years in captivity by monster Phillip Garrido.

While it is very difficult for us to understand what it cold be like to be stolen from your family at the tender age of 11, and held in captivity for an incredible 18 years, this really happened to Jaycee and this book is her way of trying to exorcise the demons in her head, while laying bare those emotions and happenings to try and help us understand what it was like.

Just as importantly, parts of the proceeds of this book is going towards a charity Jaycee has set up, called The J A Y C Foundation, to help other captivees. Believe it or not, it happens more often than we know, and no-one can offer help and advice to someone who has suffered such a fate better than those who have experienced it.

A Stolen Life pulls no punches. Beautifully written it will help you understand what it feels like to spent your young life with no human contact, except for occasionally seeing the one man, and to be left for hours and hours in dark dusty places with nothing more than the insects for company.

A Stolen Life is exactly what it was. Can you imagine being shut away at the age of 11, not to be freed until you are 29?

Buy this book now.

Here is the index of the table of contents to give you an idea of what to expect.

Author's Note 
The Taking
The Secret Backyard
Alone in a Strange Place
The First Time
First Kitty
The First "Run"
Easter: Phillip on an Island
Learning I Was Pregnant
Driving to a Trailer
Waiting for Baby
Taking Care of a Baby
Second Baby
The Starting of Printing for Less
Birth of Second Baby
Raising the Girls in the Backyard
Nancy Becomes "Mom"
Pretending to Be a Family
Discovery and Reunion
Firsts for Me
The Difficult Parts of Life
Finding Old Friends
Therapeutic healing
Meeting with Nancy
Therapeutic Healing with a Twist 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top Best Selling Books July 2011

  1. Go The F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortez 
  2. Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich 
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. The Days of Summer by Jill Barnett
  5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  6. Surrender the Heart (Surrender to Destiny) by Marylu Tyndall
  7. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book 2) by Suzanne Collins
  8. Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
  9. Her Best Catch by Lindi Peterson
  10. Mockinjay (The Hunger Games Book 3) by Suzanne Collins
  11. One Deadly Sister by Roy Hoisington

Mockinjay (The Hunger Games Book 3) by Suzanne Collins

Mockinjay (The Hunger Games Book 3) by Suzanne Collins is the final of the trilogy and the end of the story.

Less action-packed than it's predecessors, Mockinjay looks deeper into the psyche of the characters and the effects of the war which finally ended.

Many people have described Mockinjay as unputdownable, and at the end they were left with a sense of loss and wonder.

Haivng read the earlier books in The Hunger Games, you have to read this one to put the whole story to bed.

Well worth the money and hopefully we can look forward to the next book by Suzanne Collins.

Her Best Catch by Lindi Peterson

Her Best Catch by Lindi Peterson could best be described a light-hearted but deeply Christian romance novel.

 Morality abounds in the story of  Allison Doll meeting the man of her dreams at a time in her life when she had greater concerns.

Her mother has just turned 50 and is acting strangely, while her two best friends have fallen in love, leaving her the odd man out.

Enter minor celebrity and rising baseball player Ashton Boyd, who is determined to woo and romance Allison while she is equally determined to not get involved.

This is a great book for reading while sunbathing. It is in parts funny, and at times the religious stuff can get a little overpowering, but otherwise it is a delightful story.

Catching Fire (The Second Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Second Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins is every bit as exciting as the first.

In Catching Fire, we learn more about the personalities of the two combatants from the first book, The Hunger Games, Peeta and Katniss, who amazingly enough both survived through their ordeal as outlined in the story.

We see Katniss being seen as a folk heroine among the people, and becoming a bit of a celebrity.

We also see her becoming entangled in a love triangle, and she must choose just one.

Suzanne Collins has crafted a wonderful book which allows us a deeper insight into the political and social setup of Panem, the futuristic new America.

When you have read Catching Fire, you will be breathless for its sequel, Mockinjay.

Surrender the heart (Surrender to Destiny) by Marylu Tyndall

Surrender the heart (Surrender to Destiny) by Marylu Tyndall is a swashbuckling Christian romance story set around the War of 1812 (U.S versus The British empire).

Powerfully written, the characters are believable and can suck you in so that you end up reading half the night instead of putting the book down and going to sleep.

Surrender the Heart is, as the name suggests, a tale of love and romance which will draw you in and leave you breathless for more.

Peppered throughout are quotes from the Bible which would be historically accurate as during this period in history most people were God-fearing, especially those who journeyed across the seas.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a powerfully written book based around the shameless use of black women as live-in housekeepers in the homes of white families in the American South.

Set in the 1960s, just before the Civil Rights movement came into being, Skeeter is a young white woman who aspires to write a book about the lives and treatment handed out to those black women who are employed as maids.

She enlists the help of Aibileen and  Minnie who each tell their tales in a story interwoven with fear of discovery for being a part of writing such a book, while life goes on around them with household tasks to be carried out, children to feed and clothe, while the indomitable white ladies of the town go about their business with hardly a thought for the maids in their employ.

The Help is a powerful book that brings to life the characters, scenery and events in a way that will touch your heart, and leave you thinking long after the book is finished.

A full length feature movie has been made of The Help, and reading this book first will give you a head start and a real feel for the characters.

The Days of Summer by Jill Barnett

The Days of Summer by Jill Barnett is a perfect beach read.

It follows the tale of the Banning brothers, who meet up with Laurel Peyton on a beach in 1970. Laura falls for one brother, and then the other, causing friction between the siblings.

None are aware at first that fate has already joined them irrevocably.

Years before, the Banning parents and Laura's father had died in a tragic road accident together without ever having met before.

Some describe The Days of Summer as being heavy going and depressing at times, so it is best read under full sunlight.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a powerful story set in a futuristic America. The US has collapsed and been replaced by Panem, a country with a capitol and 12 districts, and each year two youngsters from each district must fight to the death against each other in a live reality TV show that everyone must watch.

The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, follows two young teenagers chosen from District 12 who are forced to take part.

Following the death of her father,16 year old Katniss has become the family's protector and frequently steals food in order for them to survive. When her younger sister Prim is chosen to take part in the Hunger Games, she readily steps in instead.

Alongside Peeta, the baker's son, they have to show cunning, skill, intelligence to compete against their bigger, stronger and better trained competitors to survive.

This book will draw you in and keep you there, and leave you with a sense of longing for the next book in the series.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich

Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich.

For those disappointed with recent Stephanie Plum novels, Smokin' Seventeen shows that Janet Evanovich is back on form.

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum finds herself in the middle of another exciting murder mystery with dead bodies appearing in shallow graves on a construction site.

Meanwhile her mother is encouraging her to dump both the men in her life, policeman Joe Morelli and security man Ranger, in favor of an old football star high school chum who is back in town.

Smokin' Seventeen has a smokin' good storyline and believable characters that'll keep you gripped to your seats until you have read it through.

Go The F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortez

Go The F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortez is delight for weary parents everywhere.

Every parent who has ever gone through the trauma of having a child or children who will not go to sleep after being put to bed or having a story read to them, will strongly identify with every word written here, and it may may raise a chortle or two.

A must read, this book is unputdownable, easy to read and beautiful illustrated throughout by artist Ricardo Cortez.

For parents of a gentle disposition and who don't like swear words, don't read as the book is peppered throughout.

However, as most of us have at some point in our lives have felt the difficulties and frustrations of having a child who uses every ingenious excuse in the book not to go to sleep, we can empathize with every event and every saying throughout Go the F**k to Sleep which will not only make us smile, it will make any future parenting that bit easier having read this books first.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Deadly Sister

One Deadly Sister by Rod Hoisington

One Deadly Sister by Rod Hoisington
One Deadly Sister is the first book from new author Rod Hoisington and it has left readers panting for more! This is a murder mystery whodunit type of book that is easy to read with interesting and well-developed characters.

Raymond Reid finds himself in deep trouble when he gets banged up in prison for the murder of a high profile senator.

He calls his sister Sandy who doesn't want to know. The siblings have been estranged for years following the deaths of their parents.

However, curiosity gets the better of highly intelligent law student Sandy as events unfold and she arrives to find her brother being railroaded through the system by the police department and an over-eager prosecutor with one eye on his own ambitions.

The aptly titled book shows that petite Sandy is a worthy proponent of her brother's innocence and the plot unravels in a tangle of deceit and double-crossings, all of which is cleverly tied together and leaves the reader feeling thoroughly satiated.

Highly recommended.

Water For Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen tells the delightful story of an old man, Jacob Jankowski, who from his bed in a nursing home describes life in a travelling circus when he was a young man in Post-Depression America.

Jacob Jankowski describes how his parents died suddenly in an accident just before he was due to graduate from veterinary college, and, finding himself penniless, he failed to write a single word in his exam, walking out instead and joining a visiting travelling circus on the spur of the moment.

Carefully researched with attention to detail, Sarah Gruen describes in detail what life was like in those days, especially for the animals which were badly treated and underfed.

Life on the road was exciting and sad and downright fascinating the way Sarah Gruen has successfully managed to write a romantic page turner while at the same time teach us so much about a part of history we might mever even have thought of.

Highly recommended reading.

Water for Elephants is also out as a movie