Book Review: Gritty, Grisly and Greedy

Gritty, Grisly, Greedy: Stories Inspired By True Crooks And Crimes From My 28 Years As A Fed.
A collection of short stories by Stuart L. Scott

$14.95 available on Amazon.

It’s rare to get fiction and nonfiction all in the same book, but Stuart Scott artfully manages to do both.  His book includes 13 short stories, ranging from well researched accounts of actual events, like the “The Easter Massacre Mystery” that occurred in Pullman, Washington in 1949 to fictionalized accounts of events using characters loosely based on parolees he supervised over the years, like “Pinky and the Piper,” the story of a botched bank robbery in Priest River, Idaho. Continue reading

Book Review: The Winter King

The Winter King, a novel by Christine Cohen
Available from Amazon for $16.99 (Hardcover)

A Delightful Winter Read

I picked up an autographed copy of this book at an author signing event at BookPeople of Moscow.  It can be a little frightening to try a new author, but Christine Cohen did not disappoint.  Being a person who also dislikes having other people’s winter holidays thrust upon me, I found the main character’s resistance to winter festivities not only relatable, but a delightfully refreshing character trait.

Being an impoverished fifteen-year-old kitchen maid is tough.  Survival is even more difficult when the entire village believes your family has been cursed.  Yet, this is Cora Nikolson’s lot in life.  And she knows exactly where the blame lays, with the Winter King.  The God cursed her family, took her father’s life, and brought them to the brink of starvation.  Cora has no love for God, King, or country.  She despises religion and the Aldormany who carry out the Winter King’s cruel edicts.

After her mother loses her position as head cook, Cora takes on additional work as a housemaid, hoping the extra wages will keep her family from starving.  While dusting shelves in the library, she overhears a conversation between the Master House Steward and the High Aldorman.  They are discussing a book containing secrets regarding the Winter King.  Despite repeated attempts, they have been unable to destroy the book and it is imperative that no one in the village learns about its existence. Continue reading

Book Review: A Sharp Solitude

A Sharp Solitude, a novel of suspense by Christine Carbo
Available from Amazon for $12.99

Best Book I’ve Read All Year!

I picked up this book at random while perusing the library shelves and gave it little thought as I tossed the audio book into the front seat of my car.  It turned out to be the best book I’ve read all year.

In the Flathead region of Montana, a journalist has been murdered and FBI Agent Ali Paige is determined to find the killer. Unfortunately, the detectives with the County Sheriff’s Office have fingered Reeve Landon, the father of her child, as a person of interest, resulting in a conflict of interests that keeps her off the case. As the noose tightens, Ali must decide if she is willing to betray her partner’s trust in order to save the father of her child.  To avoid the law, Reeve escapes into the wilderness where he ultimately meets with disaster and needs to be rescued of the very agencies he’s been trying to aviod.  Continue reading

Book Review: Snow City

Snow City, a novel by G. A. Kathryns  
Available on Amazon for $12.99

Hooked from the first sentence!

“Sometimes one has to dream very hard to keep oneself sane.”  From the moment I read the opening line in the prologue, I was hooked.  As the book progressed I wondered, who is really doing the dreaming?  What reality is she trying to escape?  Is this a futuristic dystopian SciFi novel or an exposé on mental illness?  And who is that dead girl?

Snow City is the creation of Echo Japonica, a reclusive guitarist, who strives to live in a perfect world.  A world that she created.  Unfortunately, the nightmares of reality spill into Echo’s dream of perfection for Snow City.  Those nightmares threaten to cause the entire system to collapse, taking Echo with it.  As Echo puts is, “Here [at the Blue Rose] I can be the simple, black-garbed and blonde-braided guitarist I was months ago, before gangsters and lost ghost have entered my life.  But gangsters and lost ghosts have entered my life . . .” Continue reading

Book Review: This Darkness Mine

This Darkness Mine.  A novel by Mindy McGinnis.
Price: $17.99
Set for release October 10, 2017.

A blind date gone bad . . .

This Darkness Mine is the story of Sasha Stone, a highly disturbed over-achieving teen.  Mental illness and medical malady turns Sasha’s well organized life into chaos as she tumbles from grace.  She manipulates her parents, makes friends and enemies while waiting for a heart transplant, and manages to cost a social worker her job.  Absolutely no character growth occurs in the novel, so that in the end, Sasha is just as twisted as she was at the beginning of the book.

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Book Review: A Culinary Journey through Time

A Culinary Journey through Time: A Cookery Book with Recipes from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages,
by Sabine Karg, Regula Steinhauser-Zimmermann, and Irmgard Bauer.
Price: 20 euros

A Culinary Journey through Time is a must have for adventurous cooks, European history enthusiast, and period writers.  The recipes in the book are based on actual archeological finds and analysis of food remains found in cook pots and the charred food remains found near hearths during archaeological excavations.  All recipes are marked by period: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Times, Viking Age, and Middle Ages.  Also, recipes are color coded by season according to when ingredients are naturally available.

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Book Review: The Book Of Polly

The Book of Polly, a novel by Kathy Hepinstall.
Set for release March 14, 2017; $26.00 US ($35.00 CAN)

After unwrapping the plain brown packaging, I looked with trepidation at the cover of the next book in my Blind Date with a Book series.  A blurry image of a perfectly appointed southern woman holding a garden trowel and sporting a falcon on her shoulder stared up at me.  I’d been burned on blind dates before and feared I was in for another scorching.  Figuring I may as well get on with it, I opened the book to page one and began to read.

By page seven I was hooked, laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes, eager for more.  As the book progressed I was introduced to hazards of Havens family, their personal shortcomings, and neighborhood feuds.

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Book Review: Blood in the Snow

The Guardian: Blood in the Snow, a novel by MJ Kobernus.
$14.99 Paperback.

Blood in the Snow is the second book in the Guardian series and was a fast paced read that kept me engaged and eager for more.

Philip Entwhistle is desperately attempting to settle back into his comfortable and boring life as a university history professor.  Unfortunately, all hopes for a quiet English life are shattered when his girlfriend leaves him and he is forced to flee the country to avoid being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

Arriving in Norway, Philip is determined to stay one step ahead of the detectives eager to arrest on suspicion of arson and murder, and win back his girlfriend’s affections.  In the process he uncovers an ancient mystery hidden in a Viking Age burial located on his girlfriend’s family farm, which has left her father cursed.  The only clues to saving him are scribbles in margins of a little studied saga.

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Blind Date with a Book


As odd as it may seem, I very seldom visit a book store.  Several years back I had a vision of becoming an old hoarder lady who dies after a stack of books topples over on her.  I resolved then to get books from the library whenever possible as a means of staving off dying under the weight of the written word.  That said, my quest for a better critique group lead me to Book People of Moscow.

The critique group was a flop.  One man proudly informed me that, “sometimes the fringe element of society tries to join, but we just don’t allow that.”  Being a card carrying member of the fringe element myself, I wasn’t impressed.  Their rotation for getting work critiqued left a lot to be desired as well.  Members are eligible to have up to 3,000 words critiqued twice a year.  At that rate it would take 17.5 years to work through a novel.  A pair of orangutans with type-writers could produce something publishable in less time.

DSCF2523But, the experience wasn’t all bad.  I did manage to pick up a date; two actually.

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Book Review: The Vanishing Throne

Vanishing Throne_final front cover.pdfThe Vanishing Throne, a novel by Elizabeth May (Book 2 of The Falconer Trilogy.)
Set for release June 7, 2016.
Suggested Price; $17.99 USD.

The end is only another beginning.

The Falconer, Aileana Kameron, wakes up trapped on a cliff in a strange world with no idea how she got there.  Tortured repeatedly by her captor, Lonnrach, over daysweeksmonthsyears Aileana loses her memories and nearly loses hope.  Rescued by her lover and his sister, Aileana escapes her prison and returns to the human world only to find that Scotland has been decimated by war.  The few humans who survived now live in a Fairy city, hidden deep underground.  But life isn’t as safe or comfortable as it was before the war, nor has the war really ended.  The fae may have won, but Lonnarch will stop at nothing until the last Falconer is killed and in the process he may destroy them all.

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