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Showing posts from February, 2018

Springtime!

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Greetings from sunny North Central Florida and my little dogwood tree. I was sure this one was lost a few years back, but it's hanging in there, even if it's a bit lopsided now from lost limbs.

I know it's springtime not just because of the increased level of sneezing and sniffling around town, but because I had my first sighting this week of a flock of Bare-Chested Buff Running Hunks. They're best spotted early in the morning but worth it. Who needs caffeine when you've got eye candy? (Note to self--restock snack bars and Gatorade in the feeder.)

Whether you're waiting for the lilacs up North or for the cooler autumn temps Down Under, I hope you get the weather you're longing for. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye open for the Running Hunks.

Review: The Lucky Ones

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The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What does it mean to have a family? For Allison, being taken from unsatisfactory foster homes to live in The Dragon, an old mansion on the Oregon coast, meant she had a family of brothers and sisters who loved her and a father who was a world-famous surgeon.

But it all ended when she fell down a flight of steps and was whisked away "for her own safety" according to her aunt. It's an episode she can't remember and she's never had contact with her Oregon family since. Until now, over 10 years later.

I couldn't put The Lucky Ones down. It was at times poignant, funny, horrifying and sexy. It also deals with the tough questions of medical ethics, atonement, choices, mental illness and what it means to have a family that one isn't born into, but that's every bit as real.

Reisz is best known for her erotic Original Sinners series, but she's equally adept at writing engrossing mysteries. I…

Valentine's Day Greetings!

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Julia sniffed. “I am impressed you can recite poetry, Washburn. Rather like a counting pig at the fair. One watches in amazement, wondering how an animal can do that.”
            “Now that hurts! I can say pretty things, too.”
            He crossed to where she stood beside the bed, and took her hand in his. His touch was warm, and she gave an involuntary shiver having nothing to do with the night air.
            He stroked the ball of her hand with his thumb, soothing over the nicks and calluses raised by the chores of daily farm work. He took his other hand and lifted her chin, looking deep into her eyes.
            “Y’know how when you whack the woodpile, and all them big ol’ palmetto bugs come scamperin’ out? Your eyes are just as brown and shiny as a palmetto bug runnin’ in the sunlight, darlin’.”
            Julia made a strangled noise and pulled back on her hand, but Washburn was holding it tight, a smile dancing in his eyes despite the soulful tone of his wor…

Review: The Wanted

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The Wanted by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Robert Crais' Elvis Cole novels don't come out that often, but they're well worth the wait. Ever since The Monkey's Raincoat I've been a fan of Elvis and his partner/bestie Joe Pike.

The Wanted is another winner. Snappy dialogue, interesting characters, a solid mystery and a climax full of surprises you won't see coming, this one has it all. It's not to be missed by Crais' fans, but it also works well as a stand-alone for those new to the series. However, for true reading pleasure, I recommend starting with the first book and enjoying the ride.

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Review: Saga, Vol. 8

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Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Saga is simply the best. It's the number one current graphic novel I recommend to people for the quality of writing and art combined into one brilliant package. It's about family, love, war, diversity and features Lying Cat, someone we could use in Washington right now.

If you've never read a graphic novel or you think they're simply comic books, check out Saga.

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Review: The English Wife

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The English Wife by Lauren Willig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Engrossing tale of Gilded Age New York, the "400" who were the upper tier of society with secrets upon secrets leading to what appears to be a murder suicide. There's also an intriguing romance and good sense of place. Ms. Willig's talents for research and craft are on full display and it would be interesting to see if she follows the main protagonists into another crime-solving tale.

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Review: Two Kinds of Truth

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Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It takes a special kind of writing talent to keep you invested in characters 20 books into a series. Michael Connelly has that talent. This latest Harry Bosch police procedural is a page-turner from start to finish with two mysteries going on: solving a double homicide at a small pharmacy and figuring out why Harry's being accused of falsely sending a man to death row.

The plot is as current as today's news, involving the opiate epidemic and DNA evidence to free the innocent. That's part of what I love about these books. Harry's aging in real time, dealing with different cases and feeling differently about himself, life and all that goes with it compared to 30 years ago.

We also get a guest appearance by his half-brother Michael Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) and the interaction between the two of them highlights their different worlds and the different truths in their lives. A must read for Bosch …

Review: Dragonflight

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Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a re-read of a SF classic, a novel that inspired much of the fantasy and paranormal romance written in the last 50 years. Yes, it's been 50 years since Dragonflight was published. Re-reading it as an adult gave me a new perspective and a new appreciation for McCaffrey's skill as a writer.

Part of what made Dragonflight and the Pern series new and fresh was relationships. The lead character was a woman, Lessa, and her complicated relationship with F'lar was like a breath of fresh air in a genre filled with guys doing stuff and it being all about the guys and their stuff or their quest or their Campbellian journey to adulthood. Women were there to be adjuncts or stuffed in a refrigerator before the end of the tale. In Dragonflight, F'lar is a warrior but it's Lessa who gets things done and makes necessary changes in Pern society to carry the day.

The Pern books can be enjoyed by people of all …