Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Hello From the Gillespies

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....

The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways.

What family doesn't have it's ups and downs? What mother doesn't feel taken for granted? What marriage doesn't have a lull in the romance, especially after 20 + years?
Hello From the Gillespies is a poignant story about the truth of family, a mother's feelings, and forever love. Miss McInerney has created a story that could be based on any family. She has written about that letter that breaks down each family member's year. An annual undertaking. For some a family tradition, and for others an addiction, and for others-a dreaded occurrence. But what Miss McInerney does is takes this letter to a whole new level. What happens if the truth is told instead of the embellishment that most of her recipients expect?
Angela's love for her four children is apparent, yet she expresses her concerns for each child that exposes embarrassing secrets about each child. And her relationship with her husband of 30 years is not as ideal as most would think. But what happens when Angela puts her honest thoughts on paper? While nothing she writes is supposed to be sent out to her yearly recipients, the letter accidentally gets e-mailed to everyone.
I laughed, I cried, I became frustrated, and I felt sad for all the characters in this story. Miss McInerney does a wonderful job of pulling out the realism of the family in this story. You will feel yourself pulled into the family dynamics. You will feel like you are a part of this family as they go through this eye-opening time in their life. You will come out at the end of this story feeling like you climbed a mountain of emotions and conquered that mountain and came out stronger.

I loved this story and highly encourage you to delve into this book to see how a family can overcome anything as long as they pull together and hold on to the love that binds them.

Happy Reading!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Spectrum by Alan Jacobson


Description via Goodreads:

New York City: home to world-renowned museums, theater, restaurants, iconic sports franchises. Central Park. Wall Street. And an infamous serial killer who's terrorized the Big Apple for decades.The year is 1995 and the NYPD has just graduated a promising new patrol officer named Karen Vail. The rookie's first day on the job is anything but easy when she finds herself at the crime scene of a young woman murdered in an unusual manner. Vail is unsure of what she's looking at or what it means--but it's a case that will weigh on her mind for nearly twenty years.As the years pass, Vail's career takes unexpected twists and turns--as does the case that's come to be known as Hades. Now a skilled FBI profiler, will Vail be in a better position to catch the killer? Or will Hades prove to be Karen Vail's hell on earth?The character who has captivated readers worldwide--and who won the praise of literary giants Michael Connelly, James Patterson, and Nelson DeMille--returns in a story that captures the experiences that shaped the revered profiler and made her the top cop she is today.

Spectrum is the 6th book in the Karen Vail series. Karen Vail is a woman police officer on the NYPD in the mid '90s. She has just graduated from the academy and is bringing fresh ideas to the job-much to the dismay of most of the male cops. For them, it is bad enough that she's a woman, but add to the fact that she is smart and refuses to fit into the stereotype of the female cop.
This story, along with the other 5 Karen Vail stories, is based on experiences of a real profiler and "top cop". Mr Jacobson has successfully taken a person and used her experiences to create a character and story lines that celebrate the intelligence and success of a woman.
Spectrum is a story that pendulates between the past and present. It tells the story of the criminal as well as the criminologists. It is rich in details and a perfect reference for anyone interested in researching for a life as an investigator in law enforcement.
If you enjoy police thrillers, this is definitely a book for you!

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb

Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past: A Ballad Novella

I am so happy you are joining me!

Please read my review and then read to the end to find out how you can win a copy of your own!

Description via Goodreads:

When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls. On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowwood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home. In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime.

Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past is a nostalgic look at what Christmas used to be and what it can be again.
This is actually two stories told together. Miss McCrumb goes back and forth between the two stories. One is about an old house with a special Christmas spirit. The other story is about two police officers on the road out to do their duty on Christmas eve. A duty that neither are happy to do so close to Christmas. Miss McCrumb shows how the past can be so much a part of the present, and how important it is to believe in Christmas Angels.
I really enjoyed this story. It has somewhat of a mystery vibe, but draws you into the having a little of the Christmas spirit sooner than you might normally feel it. Both stories engage the reader with simple down home characters and a lifestyle a little slower and less stressful than we tend to find in the majority of towns these days. The reader is pulled back into the past, only to be brought back to the present and the realities that face a lot of those around us.
So, take a day, get a warm cup of tea or coffee, sit in front of a beautiful backdrop, let your cat curl up in your lap, put your phones on silent and let yourself get lost in the Christmas season with Nora, Sheriff Arrowwood, and Deputy LeDonne.

So, how about a copy of Nora Bonesteel's  Christmas Past to curl up with? I have graciously been given one copy to giveaway in celebration of Sharyn McCrumb's release.
In the spirit of the coming holidays and keeping with Miss McCrumb's story, post in the comments on my blog page your favorite memory of Christmas. It can be from your childhood, after you were first married, or with your beautiful, yet hilarious children. It can be moving or funny. On Monday Oct. 13, I will pick a winner at random from the entries in my comments.

So, in the meantime: HAPPY READING!!

Yours to Uncover ES Siren 1 by Mel Tescho

Yours to Uncover (ES Siren, #1)

Description via Goodreads:

Is she willing to sacrifice everything to keep her secret and her lover safe?

It's the year 2202. Earth is grossly overpopulated and seriously polluted. Rita Songworth has spent half her twenty-two years trying to escape the dying planet. It's taken the last five of those years to realize making it in the hard-ass infantry is her only way out, via space transporter Earth Ship Siren.

But the journey to Unity, the new colony, isn't easy. Rita has to resist an attraction to hard, brutish prisoner, Tristan MacFallan, whose masterful hands create more than the beautiful art he's been assigned to make. His forbidden touch affects her profoundly and he sees things in her no man ever has before. But obeying Zane, her ex-lover and malicious lieutenant, who is appointed to keeping the prisoners under guard, comes at a high price. Is she willing to sacrifice everything to keep her secret and her lover safe?

This book sounded very interesting to me. I mean, how can a person who loves Star Trek. Star Wars and romance novels pass up a story that takes place in space with a romance attached? Not me! I eagerly sunk my teeth into the story and devoured it as fast as I could. I loved the fact that the main character was a strong female. . . or was she? This is where it got a little confusing. Rita is a high ranking soldier in the security division, yet she has attached herself to an officer for protection? And then as the story progresses she is tough one minute and a cowering female the next? I really wanted to like her, but I felt myself starting to lose respect for her.
Then there is Zane. Miss Tescho did a super job developing Zane's character. There is NO WAY any one could ever like him! She knows exactly how to create a total slime bag!
Okay, then there is Tristan. Ahhh, Miss Tescho's description leaves you drooling on your tablet or book (whichever you are using). I almost had to get myself a bib to keep from ruining my tablet.
The sex scenes are HOT. Miss Tescho does a very good job of keeping the sex tasteful, yet hot.
The story line is very well developed until about the last 25% of the book. It felt like Miss Tescho was running out of ideas. She was developing her story, pulling me in, and then BAM! All of a sudden the climax was there and within a few short sentences, it was over.
I did like the story. Miss Tescho is a talented writer. I just wish she had kept going with the story instead of pretty much slamming the door on the plot.
I do recommend this book. I feel that it is a worthwhile read. If you do read this book, please comment on this page with your opinion. I would love to find out what you think.

I received a copy of this book for free in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Tescho and Momentum Books for this opportunity.

Happy Reading!!