Posted in Cozy, Fashion, Vintage on June 25, 2012

This week’s book is a little older, A Veiled Deception by Annette Blair.  It was released in January 2009, but a series I had never heard of or picked up to read until now.  There are currently 5 books in the series and if you want to check out an except from this first book, you can read it here

Synopsis:

New York designer Madeira Cutler returns to Connecticut for the wedding of her younger sister Sherry, who she virtually raised when their mother died Their father can’t deal with the details of the wedding and the hostility of the groom’s wealthy mother. Then the groom’s former flame shows up, obviously planning to replace Sherry as bride.

When she’s strangled at the shower with the antique bridal veil, Maddie has to not only redesign the dress but also make sure neither bride nor groom is jailed for the murder. Helping her — and vying for her affections — are her hot FBI sometimes-boyfriend and a local police detective she’s fought with since high school.

Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I found the world of fashion and vintage clothing interesting and the fact that Maddie is able to see ghosts or experience some history when she touches a piece of vintage clothing with some history.  While I’m not into the supernatural and paranormal, I consider this paranormal light.  It touches on it but isn’t the main focus of the book.  I liked the book enough that I have sought out the remaining books in the series (as of now) and can’t wait to see where the story takes us and Maddie.

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Posted in Monday, mystery on June 18, 2012

Mystery Monday is back!  It has been crazy around here the last few weeks and I’ve gotten behind in several things. But hopefully things have sorted themselves out!

This week’s selection is A Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton (aka Donna Lea Simpson)

 

Synopsis:

When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it’s love at first sight. Despite the protests of her sister, Rebecca, that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie’s “junk”, she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

But that night on the summer porch where they’ve left the Hoosier to be cleaned up, a man is murdered, struck on the head with the steel meat grinder that is part of the cabinet. Who is this stranger—and what was he doing on their porch? Does his death have anything to do with the Hoosier?

As the police struggle to determine the man’s identity, Jaymie can’t help doing a little digging on her own, accompanied by her three-legged Yorkie Poo, Hoppy. But in her bid to uncover the truth about the hidden secrets of the Hoosier, Jaymie may be the one who ends up going, going…gone!

Thoughts:

This is the first in a new series about vintage kitchen items….so this cozy combines several of my favorite things: mysteries and anything having to do with a kitchen!   I have noticed one thing with most cozies, they are usually set in small towns.  This isn’t a rule, just what I usually run across. I like that though because you don’t try and imagine the large city and places they are writing about if you have been to that city.  Although that is nice sometimes. 

Anyway, A Deadly Grind, captures the small town charm without being hokey.  Jaymie gets herself into sticky situations while investigating the murder that happened at her home (I think this is a prerequesite for all heroines!) and also captures the interest of not one, but two men in this small town.  (I think this is also a prerequisite for all books!)

I truly enjoyed the book and give it 4 stars and two thumbs up and look forward to the second book in this new series.

Posted in Medical Thriller, Review, Seattle, suspense on June 11, 2012

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

The publisher was kind enough to supply me with an e-book copy of Dead End Deal and also provide some Q&A with the author!

Q & A:

WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE PATH FROM NEUROSURGEON TO AUTHOR AND WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

 Writing always interested me. Even in grade school I read like a fiend. So it seemed like a good idea to major in English instead of the traditional chemistry or zoology when I was taking my premed courses. This caused me considerable grief because it was difficult to get in all my required credits. But I figured once I got into medical school I’d never have another shot at the literature courses. And that’s exactly what happened —medical school and post graduate training consumed all my time. Then one Saturday, after starting practice, I came home from making rounds at the hospital and decided to start writing. Just like that. I began a novel that ended up to be really awful. Then I wrote another one, which was better but still not ready for prime time. At that point I started trolling for an agent and finally secured one, but could not sell my work. Years later, I got the call I’d been waiting for. It was quite a thrill. I guess, in the end, my biggest challenge was finding enough time to devote to writing. For me the writing process is difficult and requires a ton of work. I now enjoy the luxury of having sufficient time to work on my craft. It’s a dream come true.

 WHAT WAS THE RESEARCH BEHIND DEAD END DEAL?

 This is a blitz-pace thriller about a Seattle neurosurgeon who, while in Korea, is framed for a murder. Now hunted by police he must evade a professional hit man while trying to find a way back to the United States. I figure it’s Three Days of The Condor meets Michael Crichton.

 I got the idea for the story when I was a guest lecturer at a medical school in Seoul, South Korea. I was staying at the Walker Hill Sheraton hotel across the Han river from the hospital. So all the scenes (hotel, downtown Seoul, and the Korean hospital) were from notes and snapshots I took while there. (I always travel with a small point and shoot camera in my pocket). The brief description of the surgical procedure comes from my own experience.

 My neurosurgeon protagonist, Jon Ritter, escapes via a route I personally took when figuring out how he might return to the United States without a passport. Again, the scenes were written with the help of snapshots. So, the short answer to the question is that all the research for the story came from personal experience. By the way, I find digital photography a great help when writing. I view a relevant snapshot on the screen as I write. This help me accurately describe what I’m seeing.

 WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING A MEDICAL THRILLER?

 People who read medical thrillers are usually interested in medical details, just as readers of legal thrillers find law interesting. What is difficult is adding sufficient medical detail to satisfy a reader without making descriptions or facts boring. This is one reason I try to move my stories along at a fast clip. Thrillers are intended to thrill, not lecture. Fast pace, good plot, interesting characters are the elements that should be in a medical thriller.

SYNOPSIS:

 World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world.  His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions.  But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt.  Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

 Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help.  Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea.  But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.

 After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario:  The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Fiest.

REVIEW:

 I have always enjoyed a good mystery/thriller novel.  Maybe it dates back to my Nancy Drew days, but I love trying to figure out who is behind everything or why or just seeing people put into situations that are a bit out of the norm.  That said, this book did not disappoint!  The plot line was interesting since it dealt with Alzheimer’s and a potential cure (and having a parent going through this right now, it hit close to home and how I wish it were true!) and one person’s goal to shut down that research and medical advancement.  I was on the edge of my seat during sections of the book when the main character had to use his wits to get out of certain situations and escape the Korean government because they thought he killed a patient.  (and this government is one of those that you don’t want to be found guilty of that sort of crime!).  There is a hired assassin after Jon, but he manages to elude him and outwit him most of the time. 

I had never read anything by Allen Wyler but I will be searching for his other books because if they are anything like Dead End Deal they are going to be good!

I give this 4 stars and two thumbs up….definitely pick up a copy of this book next time you are in the mood for a medical thriller, you will not be disappointed!

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Posted in e-books, reading on June 9, 2012

So back at the beginning of the year I signed up for a challenge to read some of the e-books I had on my reader that were purely for fun and FREE (and legal!).  I’ve done pretty well so far this year and have read 9 so far.  Not bad since I have to factor in review books, book club books and books I get from the library or a book swap site for series that I am reading!  I do have to say that I rarely buy e-books so pretty much everything I have on my reader has been free. 

So far in 2012 I have read these books and all were free on Amazon at one time or another!:

‘Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy – Leslie Langtry
Guns Will Keep Us Together – Leslie Langtry
Always the Designer, Never the Bride (Emma Rae creation) – Sandra D. Bricker
Three Wishes – Stephanie Bond
Design on a Crime (Deadly Decor) – Ginny Aiken
The Wedding Gift – Kathleen McKenna
The Do-Over – Kathy Dunnehoff
Woman in Charge (Studs 4 Hire) – Sherry James
The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook – Josie Brown

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Posted in Gemma Halliday, humor, romance, suspense on June 8, 2012

I was turned on to author Leslie Langtry by another author, Gemma Halliday.  Since I like Gemma’s books, I figured that if she was recommending this author maybe I should check her out.  It didn’t hurt that there were free copies of her books for my Kindle on Amazon!  I was able to get the first two books and I am hooked I tell you!  The first book is “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy and book 2 is Guns Will Keep Us Together.  There are four books with a fifth on its ways.  The story line is about a family of assassins dating back 2000 years or more.  All members of the family have first names that are places – there is Ginny (Virginia), Dak (Dakota), Liv (Liverpool), Paris and many others.  I think these fit in the romantic suspense category but not 100% sure. I do know that they are FUNNY!  I could not stop laughing through these books.  There is a little bit of mystery suspense, but is it is very light.

I highly recommend these books…in fact, I need to find the third and fourth book so I can catch up and be ready for the fifth when it comes out.

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Posted in fiction, Review, suspense on June 7, 2012

I know I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks, bad me.  But I have been reading and am working on a few reviews over the next week.  This is what is coming up in review world:

Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker, Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler, The Plaza by Guillermo Paxton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All were really good books so be on the lookout for the reviews!

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