Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life is Good: The Book by Bert and John Jacobs

This book sparked something in me while reading that inspired me to be better. Better at what?  Nothing in particular, just better.  The brother’s motto, and the name of their company, is “Life is Good.” To them, it means life is not perfect, it is not uncomplicated, but it is good. Bert and John started their company as a way to inspire and uplift those around them to counteract all the fear mongering and dread the nightly news puts out ad nauseum. The Jacobs kids grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Boston where their parents struggled to provide for their large boisterous brood. The seed to their self-proclaimed optimism was planted by their adventurous and creative mother who always found a way to say “yes.”

Part autobiography, part self-help and part business, the book claims that each of us hold within us inherent “superpowers” that make us optimists. Traits like compassion, creativity, humor, gratitude and openness are just a few of these “superpowers.”

Each has its own chapter where they showcase some of their artwork and tell stories about family and friends and encourage us to foster that trait within. They have some pretty eclectic tastes in their “top ten” lists found in each chapter. Whether it is books, movies, songs, etc. you’ll find yourself creating your own playlist in your head as you read along. The brothers have received hundreds of letters from people over the years who have been influenced, supported or touched in some way by the “Life is Good Company” They call these letters “Fuel” and each letter reveals that life isn’t predictable, it isn’t safe, it isn’t worry-free, but in the end, life is good. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Fiction 03/29/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller
The Other Side of Silence by Philip Kerr
Flawless by Heather Graham
Cold Barrel Zero by Matthew Quirk
The Atonement by Beverly Lewis
No Safe Secret by Fern Michaels
Killer Reunion by G.A. McKevett
The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien
Darkness by Karen Robards
Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

Four year-old Daniel Buck vanished into thin air after his father accidentally left the door open when heading out for work.  Anna Buck is in mourning, unable to move on, and unable to stop blaming her husband for Daniel’s disappearance.  Desperate to find her son, Anna seeks out the help of a local psychic, a man who tried and failed to help with a previous missing person’s case, that of 11 year-old Edie Davis.

Are the two cases connected?  That’s what DCI Marvel would like to know.  Haunted by the cold Edie Davis case, Marvel tenaciously pursues both disappearances in direct conflict with his boss’ orders.

Plenty of domestic suspense in this fast-paced police procedural. The tension builds as the characters become more and more unstable, and closer to their breaking points.  Fans of Tana French will enjoy this mystery.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose

Paige Holden has relocated from Minnesota to Baltimore after a horrific accident. She is working as a PI with Clay Maynard as his apprentice. While she is walking her dog, a car crashes in front of her. She runs to the aid of the driver, who turns out to be her client Maria. As she reaches Maria, a shot rings out and hits Maria. Before she dies she gives Paige a flash drive. What is on it could free an innocent man from prison.  

Grayson Smith is the State's Attorney who put that man away. When Paige comes to him with the new evidence, they decide to work together to get the truth. But everywhere they turn someone is getting killed or trying to kill them.  Will they find out the truth before it is too late?

When I want a great romantic suspense book, Karen Rose is my go to author. Great characters, thrilling storylines and hot romances everytime and this one was just as good. You don't have to read her books in order but I would. The past characters have a way of showing up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Fiction 03/22/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry
No One Knows by J.T. Ellison
Predator by Wilbur A. Smith
The Nest by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney
All Stories are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shanghai Redemption by Qui Xiaolong

Chief Inspector Chen Cao is Chief Inspector of Special Investigations of the Shanghai Police no more.  For years he was able to balance the demands of the job with the needs of the Communist Party, but after one too many controversial cases, he has been given a major “promotion” which is, in reality, a demotion.  Unsure of the reasons for this “honor”, Cao inadvertently and narrowly avoids being set up by unknown but powerful adversaries with access to the highest levels in the party.  Who is out to get him, and why?

To solve this mystery, the well-respected Cao relies on friends old and new and reviews the most recent Shanghai cases assigned to him as Chief Inspector.  Will he solve this very important case in time?  His life depends upon it.

This moderately-paced, multicultural mystery is for fans of Benjamin Black, who enjoy reading crime fiction set in different parts of the world.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dirty Ride by Chantal Fernando

Valentina (Tina) has moved across the country to get away from her abusive ex-boyfriend, Darren, who she thought she would marry. Trust is an issue for Tina, so she isn’t ready to respond to the advances of the sexy biker who hits on her at a local bar. But when she leaves her license behind, she will have to see him again to get it back.

Unlike Darren, Ardan is only bad in his dealings with outsiders and treats her like a princess, that is like Princess Merida from Disney’s Brave, whose hair she is told she resembles. With Ardan as a fierce protector, Tina can finally let down her guard, or so she thought until Darren shows up in town.

Ardan will rely on his club brothers to help him fight for the woman he loves, but how far will he have to go to insure her safety?

The camaraderie and strong male bonds among the club members is just as pleasing as Fernando’s (Tracker’s End) sexy romance. Ardan almost seems too good to be true, but then again, readers want a strong male lead who is both tender and tough, and Fernando delivers exactly that.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | February 26, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Fiction 03/15/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Two If By Sea by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Deep Blue by Randy Wayne White
The Watcher In the Wall by Owen Laukkanen
Dark Promises by Christine Feehan
Burning Down the House by Jane Mendelsohn
Snakewood by Adrian Selby
Lie In Plain Sight by Maggie Barbieri
At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Saturday, March 12, 2016

This Was Not the Plan by Cristina Alger

Thirty-two years in, Charlie’s life was going well.  Married to the love of his life, almost partner in a prestigious law firm, with a 4 year-old son, Caleb, everything was on track for a successful and happy life.

Then tragedy struck, leaving him a broken-hearted widower and a single dad.  At least he still had his stressful, 12 hour-a-day employment, on track for a well-deserved partnership, right?

Well, not for long. After an uncharacteristic drunken incident at a work function, Charlie finds himself unemployed, and spending more time with Caleb on his own.

This is the heartwarming story of a man struggling to make his way through difficult circumstances, while discovering how to be a good father to his special son.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

In the city of Beau Rivage, fairy tales are more than just stories. In this town, some of the inhabitants are cursed with being the modern representation of these stories come to life. Viv wants to live a normal life with her on-and-off again boyfriend Henley. However, she is cursed to be a Snow White princess, and he to be the Huntsman who will eventually cut out her heart on orders from her evil stepmother, Regina. Henley swears this will never happen, but can free will and love outweigh the pull of the fairy tale destiny laid out before them?

From famous Grimm tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, to less well known ones such as the Twelve Dancing Princesses and Bluebeard, this town brings together a host of different re-tellings through the cast of characters who live there; and they don't always close with the happy endings that people have grown to expect.

I love stories focused around new and updated versions of the classic fairy tale stories we have all grown up with, so I enjoyed this book. The way that so many different fairy tale characters were woven into one story, while still keeping the focus on the tumultuous love story of the two main characters Viv and Henley was well done, and kept me reading until the very last page.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Fiction 03/08/15

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver
Clawback by Judith A. Jance
The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon
Far From True by Linwood Barclay
Off the Grid by C.J. Box
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
The Travelers by Chris Pavone
Noonday by Pat Barker
Crazy Blood by T. Jefferson Parker
Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Be Afraid by Mary Burton

When the remains of child are found in a fountain in Nashville, detectives Rick Morgan and Jake Bishop are on the case. Recent transplant, Baltimore cop and forensic artist Jenna Thompson thinks she might be of service on the case and volunteers to draw the image of what the little girl would have looked like alive in hopes someone can identify her.

Jenna is driven to her hometown of Nashville when her and her partner in Baltimore find a girl locked in a closet. This brings her too close to her own childhood memories when she has been locked in a closet for nine days while her parents and sister were murdered. Although the killer died of a drug overdose and the case was closed, Jenna is hoping to get answers as to why her family was murdered in the first place.

Meanwhile, Rick and Jake are also investigating a string of murders where the victims are killed and then the houses burned down, eradicating any forensic evidence. With Jenna on their side, a killer is brought out of the woods and both Jenna's past and the present cases will collide.

Multiple plot threads that eventually converge make for an entertaining story. The book is marketed as romantic suspense, but the romantic elements are almost nonexistent except for a liaison between two of the main characters near the end. This is Bk. 2 in the Morgans of Nashville series, but they can be read in any order.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox

Wanting nothing more than to lie low after a high profile scandal, Theo Bogart creates a new life for herself in San Francisco, owning and running a boutique soap shop.

She witnesses a murder, and then days later finds a strange man atop her washing machine in the middle of the night. After two deaths in quick succession, she finds herself in the spotlight, and squarely in the crosshairs of the police investigation.

Are the murders connected? Will her old identity come back to haunt her?

The story is a bit slow to start, but keep reading as things begin to move rapidly. Strange events and odd characters make this quirky tale a fun read. If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, this stand-alone book is for you.          

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Fiction 03/01/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
The Killing in the Cafe by Simon Brett
The Road to Hell by David Weber
The Ancient Minstrel by Jim Harrison
The Gangster by Clive Cussler
Gone Again by James Grippando
When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris
Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs
Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax
Time of Fog and Fire by Rhys Bowen
The Considerate Killer by Lene Kaaberbol
Behold the Man by Bodie Thoene