Monthly Archives: November 2012

A trip into the world of organized crime during the Prohibition Era

  The only disappointing thing I have to write about this novel is that I left it sit on my shelf for far too long before I picked it up.  I picked it up approximately 24 hours ago and quickly read 300 pages, and then decided to head to bed last night.  But I was not fooling anyone, after Dave had fallen asleep, and Ruby began to snore softly at my feet.  I grabbed my slippers and threw on my robe (no, this is not The Night Before Christmas) and headed downstairs to find out what happen to Joe Coughlin.

The book is called Live By Night, and it is by bestselling author Dennis Lehane.  I have not read anything about him before, so this was my first intro to his writing talent.  He hypnotized my into the world of organized crime from page one.  The story starts in Boston in 1926 where we meet Joe Coughlin, a 19 year-old who has lead a life of crime since he was 13.  He is the son of a policeman and has turned from his family for a different career choice.  Joe is a wonderfully developed character that I could not help rooting for and falling for….not so much in love with, but something else.  He is flawed and one cannot help but love his flaws.  We follow Joe throughout his career….he falls in love, he robs banks, he goes to prison, and  he plays the game of organized crime very well…maybe too well.

The book is filled with many dicey scenes…. multiple murders, sexual encounters, and much violence.  Normally, I am not an explosion, car chase, shoot-em up kind of gal, but I ate this book up right until the last page.  At the end, I held the book and did not want to retire it to my shelves just yet, and I thought who might like this book.  I first thought of my old friend Pete (not that Pete is old….just that I have known him for a long time). Pete, if you are reading this….this is one for you (I think).  I also thought of my parents who have long been fans of The Godfather, so I believe this afternoon, I will be driving this book over to them.  Enjoy!



Filed under adult, fiction, williammorrow

Debut Mystery Writer

  I had the privilege of reading Betty McMahon’s first mystery novel that she has published herself!.  It is called A Rendezvous to Die For.    I had no idea what a Rendezvous was until reading this original mystery tale.  The book takes place in Minnesota (I would love to go to Minnesota!!), and the story centers around a  grisly murder that occurs at the Rendezvous….I guess this would be a good me to give a brief description of a Rendezvous.   It is a “weekend reenactment festival involving local citizen and Indians from the nearby reservation”.    So the people dress as trappers and such and live as if it is still the 19th century…they stay in character all weekend.  This is where ex New Yorker, Cassandra Cassidy comes into the story.  She is a lone wolf of sort, and she herself is a mysterious character.  She  is a professional photographer.  She is there to photograph the weekend.  Unfortunately, for her, she discovers the victim of the gruesome crime.  The story takes off from here….more bodies begin to pile up, the local police are heading in the wrong direction….in fact Cassandra is one of the prime suspects.  She is in a race not only to prove her innocence,  but to save her own skin.  The serial killer has her in his sites……

I must admit, the book was a bit slow in the middle, but I believe that was to set up this neatly woven mystery, but once I hit that last 60 pages…I could not put it down.  I flew through it.  A well-developed story….interesting characters….I am hoping there is more because I feel there is more to Cassandra’s character that is still a mystery to me.

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Winner of STARDUST by Neil Gaiman

Congratulations to Jean Fridy for winning a copy of r\Stardust  by Neil Gaiman.   Jean has been a long time fan of fantasy and science fiction, and has enjoyed all she has read by Neil Gaiman…especially Coraline.



Thanks all for who entered!  I will be having more giveaways in the near future!

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Enter the world of Neil Gaiman

  Fifteen years after its publication release, Stardust by Neil Gaiman has been released again in a beautiful hardback that reminds me of an old copy of Alice in Wonderland that I adore.   This is my first introduction to the world of Wall and Faerie where humans meet the supernatural.  Tristran Thorn is the result of a brief love affair between a faerie and Dunstan Thorn. Tristran grows up in Wall with no knowledge that he is half mortal.  One day he falls insanely in love with Victoria Forester, and he confesses his love to her.  She laughs and tells him she will give him his heart’s desire if he travels to Faerie and brings him a fallen star.

Like all loved-dazed teenagers, Tristran believes he can accomplish the task to win the heart of Victoria.  He sets off immediately and begins an adventure of the most bizarre and fanciful.  Tristran is naive enough not to understand the danger that lurks about, he is kind enough to see people as good, his is brave enough to fight for all, and smart enough to make his way through this unusual land.   He encounters unicorns, evil witches, poison, magical spells, enchantments, talking trees….all lead him to the star.  However, he is not the only one in pursuit of said star.  He must compete with others… who wants the star to unlock the secret to everlasting youth, another wants the star for power…while Tristran seeks love.  Tristran’s purpose seems pure…will that be enough?

It is a quick read….not appropriate for middle age readers or younger due to some mature situations, but for every lover of fantasy and fairy tales….it is a wonderful world to enter.

I have one copy available for a giveaway….see below for info:


If you would like to win a copy of Stardust by Neil Gaiman, please send me an email.  In the email tell me the following two things:

1. Favorite fairy tale/fantasy story

2. mailing address

I will pick one winner.  Contest ends November 9th at 6 pm.

Good Luck:


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Pay Attention lovers of Dystopia!

I have just had the pleasure of receiving and reading an early copy of John Barlow’s latest book….Islanders!   I feel quite privileged to have read the book before its release date (which is later this month).  I am a fan of dystopia….a big fan.  So I feel like I know a bit about the subject.  I will tell you Islanders  did not disappoint.  Here is the scenario: the people of this world have made a mess of things on the mainland.  Power has gotten to their heads, greed has taken over and all sense of compassion is gone.  The mainland is in disarray and survival is the only concern.

The book opens on an island where brave, young & loyal Ben is being chased by two rather large, overbearing twin boys…..the action starts on page one….I love that, and so do students.  What better way to grab their attention and get them trapped in a book.  Ben was born on the Island.  The Twins were brought here.  Ben is an Islander, and they are Survivors.  Though they quickly discover they are on the same side.   The chase leads them to the shore where they find something…someone….with a clue to where the Survivors came from and where Ben’s dad may be located.  Ben is driven to find his father and to discover what is out beyond the island.  He recruits a small group and they set off….off to find a better place, his father, but ultimately a solution for complete survival for all on the island.  You see, they have been on this island for 13 years and supplies and food are becoming scare….they need a solution.  Thirteen year-old Ben answers that call.

Their adventure takes them to a place with mutated creatures, genetically melted people, the Complex and answers to many questions.  The story moves fast and is filled with amazing backdrops, unforgettable characters and a story you want to continue even after the last page.

I am certain there will be a sequel (I am hoping).  This is one well worth reading!

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