Showing posts from March, 2018

Save the manatees!

The manatee swam closer and bumped up against the boat, threatening to swamp it. Julia held on to the sides and rocked with the boat, but the manatee was not put off by the collision, and instead swam back a few feet and watched her placidly, looking for all the world like, well, like a large wet cow blocking her path.

“Shoo, shoo.” Julia took off her bonnet and waved it at the creature. The manatee must have considered it an invitation, for it swam back to her and before she realized such a monster could move so quickly, snatched the bonnet out of her hand. Soon the calico was being chewed alongside the greens, a colorful sea salad. “Aaargh! Go away, you beast!”

“Now, that’s not a polite way to say good morning, darlin’.”
--Smuggler's Bride

Today is #ManateeAppreciationDay, though I like to think in Florida we appreciate our official state mammal every day. Manatees are gentle creatures, a valuable part of our ecosystem. Sadly, their biggest threat is from humans, especially human …

Review: Hellbent

Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another non-stop roller coaster ride featuring "The Nowhere Man", Evan Smoak, and his unique still set. Part Batman, part Jason Bourne, Smoak dropped out of the blackest of black ops agencies and left behind his Orphan X identity. Now he helps people in desperate need when the call on The Nowhere Man.

But the Orphan Program isn't done with Evan, and he's pulled back in when his mentor leaves him a mysterious package to protect.

Orphan X has become my new favorite suspense series and I love how Evan tries to interact with regular people in the normal world, with limited success. When it comes to stopping the bad guys though, there's no one who can compare with The Nowhere Man.

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Review: The Infernal Battalion

The Infernal Battalion by Django Wexler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shadow Campaigns comes to a satisfying conclusion with The Infernal Battalion as the battlefield is filled with existential forces of good and evil for the soul of humankind. Secrets are learned, friends are lost, some old friends reappear--all the elements that make for a rousing good story.

If readers are looking for a fantasy based on the Napoleonic wars rather than the overdone medieval milieu they'll enjoy The Shadow Campaigns. The world-building is satisfying and the battle scenes are mapped out so well you can practically see them from overhead. Highly recommended for fans of military fantasy.

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Review: Hello Stranger

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lisa Kleypas is one of my autobuy authors for historicals, and I enjoyed her contemporary romances as well. Ever since her debut she's been releasing well-researched, satisfying stories and with Hello, Stranger she continues to hit the mark. I especially enjoyed the blood-and-guts aspects of the heroine, Dr. Garrett Gibson, performing surgeries. Kleypas' extensive research into Victorian medicine was fascinating.

I look forward to the next Ravenel novel and all future stories by Ms. Kleypas.

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The Joys of Research

Dr. Murray rose and reached up to the railed bookshelf attached to the bulkhead over his desk, his hand resting on a thick volume.
“Take this with you, Miss Alcott. Study it. You will find it useful.”
It was a worn copy of John Woodall’s The Surgeon’s Mate, and Charley took it, clasping it tight to her bound bosom.
“I have heard of this book but my father did not have a copy. Thank you so much, Dr. Murray!”
He looked at her steadily.
“I am not gifting you with this volume to make you happy, Miss Alcott. I am hopeful that the solid medical advice and common sense for treating men at sea will keep the numbers you kill to a minimum.”--Sea Change

I spent a day of research and fun in New York City recently thanks to my darling son, who knows his mother very well. Instead of doing the usual tourist things (been there, done that, got the Statue of Liberty hat) he arranged a visit to the library of the New York Academy of Medicine.

The NYAM is an amazing facility and I could easily have s…

Review: Light It Up

Light It Up by Nicholas Petrie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Peter Ash books continue to satisfy as the war veteran deals with his PTSD and returning to a more normal life. Of course, it's complicated. Peter's on a security detail for a cannabis operation in Colorado when things go south, big time. Now it's up to him to uncover why his team was hit and solve the puzzle behind the robbery.

As Bob Lee Swagger and Jack Reacher age out of their action/adventure years it's good to know we've got new over-the-top heroes like Peter Ash to keep us entertained.

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