Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Bullet

The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly
 Netgally review













Amazon Blurb -

Two words: The bullet.

That’s all it takes to shatter her life.

Caroline Cashion is beautiful, intelligent, a professor of French literature. But in a split second, everything she’s known is proved to be a lie.

A single bullet, gracefully tapered at one end, is found lodged at the base of her skull. Caroline is stunned. It makes no sense: she has never been shot. She has no entry wound. No scar. Then, over the course of one awful evening, she learns the truth: that she was adopted when she was three years old, after her real parents were murdered. Caroline was there the night they were attacked. She was wounded too, a gunshot to the neck. Surgeons had stitched up the traumatized little girl, with the bullet still there, nestled deep among vital nerves and blood vessels.

That was thirty-four years ago.

Now, Caroline has to find the truth of her past. Why were her parents killed? Why is she still alive? She returns to her hometown where she meets a cop who lets slip that the bullet in her neck is the same bullet that killed her mother. Full-metal jacket, .38 Special. It hit Caroline’s mother and kept going, hurtling through the mother’s chest and into the child hiding behind her.

She is horrified—and in danger. When a gun is fired it leaves markings on the bullet. Tiny grooves, almost as unique as a fingerprint. The bullet in her neck could finger a murderer. A frantic race is set in motion: Can Caroline unravel the clues to her past, before the killer tracks her down?

*****

This was a great thriller! I totally enjoyed it right to the very last page! I never expected what was coming which makes a book all the better for me.


Caroline Cashion is an unassuming professor at Georgetown who adores her job. French Literature is her subject and she loves it and the fact that she gets paid to immerse herself in it. There's nothing better than getting paid for something that doesn't feel like work. She's been having pain in her wrist as of late, her doctor attributing carpal tunnel syndrome, sends her for x rays. The finding destroys everything she thought she was. Buried in her neck kissing her spine is a bullet.  How is it possible? Who did this? How did she not know?

The ensuing tumult turns her life upside down. Her parents and brothers are her adoptive family. Her true parents were killed in a home invasion gone bad, or was it something more sinister than that?

To find out Caroline journeys home to get to the bottom of it all and find out who she really is and just what happened that fateful day. Will it put her in the killer's sights after a case gone cold for 34 years? You'll just have to read and find out!

Awesome story, fantastic writing style. I highly recommend this book.

4 cannolis

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Winter Family

The Winter Family
Clifford Jackman
Book received by publisher
in exchange for unbiased review














Amazon Blurb -

 Spanning the better part of three decades, The Winter Family traverses America's harsh, untamed terrain, both serving and opposing the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens, the Winter Family includes the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross, the mean and moronic Empire brothers, the impassive ex-slave Fred Johnson, and the dangerous child prodigy Lukas Shakespeare But at the malevolent center of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, hardened leader, Augustus Winter—a man with an almost pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery. 
     From their service as political thugs in a brutal Chicago election to their work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, there's a hypnotic logic to Winter's grim borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage.
     With its haunting, hard-edged style, The Winter Family is a feverishly paced meditation on human nature and the dark contradictions of progress.

*****

I was quite surprised that I enjoyed this book. In a million years I never would have picked it up at the book store nor library.Westerns are not my thing, but this one grabbed me.Graphic and blunt in its violence and mayhem, I found myself riveted to this crazy psychotic band of brothers as they travel from the south heading out west then back to Oklahoma.

Quentin Ross is one crazy son of a gun, a liar in the truest sense of the word, smart as a whip, almost poet like when he speaks at times yet a stone cold killer. A Union soldier, he's leading his men in Georgia as they tackle the end tasks of the Civil War, lying to his superiors at every turn. Here is where he connects with the Empire brothers, Jan Muller, freed slave Fred Johnson, Indian Bill Bread and Augustus Winter, the young and angry boy man who with his haunting amber colored eyes brings people to their knees. 

Winter becomes the leader of this family of killing misfits, takes this crew on a ride of murderous destruction. No one is spared and Winter is ruthless. Hired as mercenary type thugs, one has to wonder what would possess someone to even entertain doing any kind of business with this group. Those who do find out just what a mistake they have made, for there is no controlling Augustus, and there is nothing any of these men will stop at to protect themselves and each other.

What a ride this was, I found the twisted wickedness fascinating. Jackman writes with vibrant detail so that you feel you're right in the middle of the whole situation. If westerns coupled with stone cold killers are your thing, pick this book up!

3 1/2 Cannolis

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hey There Longmire Fans!!!


photo-Johnny Louis Photography

This is the latest book in the loved Longmire series by Craig Johnson. Have you started the series on Netflix? Which do you like better, reading a series first, or watching then checking the book out? The latest sounds like a ride of KING size proportions! 

Read on for all the info from book summary to tour dates -

When the largest, most complete T. rex skeleton ever found turns up—along with a dead rancher—in Absaroka County, Wyoming, Sherriff Walt Longmire must solve a sixty-six million year-old cold case that’s heating up fast. DRY BONES (Viking; $27.95; ISBN: 9780525426936; On-sale: May 12, 2015), by New York Timesbestselling author Craig Johnson, is the 13th in the mystery series which inspired the hit TV show Longmire, soon to be on Netflix for its upcoming fourth season.

Walt and Undersheriff Victoria Morretti don’t know what to make of it when they find Danny Lone Elk, a Cheyenne rancher, dead and floating in a turtle pond—until they learn that “Jen”, a T. rex skeleton named for the paleontologist who discovered her, has been unearthed on his land. Walt soon finds himself in the middle of an ownership dispute between the deceased man’s family, a local natural history museum, and the Cheyenne tribe, as well as a political charade involving Wyoming’s ambitious acting Deputy U.S. Attorney.

With the case growing more complex by the day, Walt is blindsided by a shocking tragedy that leaves his daughter heartbroken. Meanwhile, residents of Absaroka County are determined to “save Jen” from those who would claim her for the federal government and remove the dinosaur from her Wyoming home. It's up to Sheriff Longmire to get the bottom of Danny Lone Elk’s death, determine where rightful ownership lies, and, hopefully, win the dinosaur for Wyoming. Toxic Cheyenne artifacts, illegal prescription drugs, missing film footage and missing persons all come into play as Walt and Vic try their best to “save Jen.”

About the Author:
Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series. Johnson’s series is the basis for Longmire, the hit TV original drama that has been picked up by Netflix for its fourth season. He is the recipient of the Wyoming Historical Award for fiction, the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Rocky Award from Left Coast Crime, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and thePrix 813. His novella, Spirit of Steamboat, was selected by the Wyoming Library Association as the One-Book-Wyoming, the inaugural state read. Find Craig’s events at www.craigallenjohnson.com (Tour of Duty tab). He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five (still).

Longmire was the highest-rated scripted program in A&E’s history and stars Robert Taylor (MatrixVertical Limit) as Sheriff Walt Longmire, Lou Diamond Phillips (La BambaYoung Guns) as Henry Standing Bear and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica24Riddick) as Victoria Moretti. Longmire was developed by Shephard/Robin Productions for Warner Horizon. In fall 2015, all 10 new episodes of Longmire Season 4 will be available to stream on Netflix.


 Events for Craig Johnson’s DRY BONES Tour:


Tuesday, May 12, 12Noon      Tome on the Range                                         Las Vegas, NM
Tuesday, May 12, 6PM                        Collected Works                                              Santa Fe, NM
Wednesday, May 13, 7PM       Tattered Cover (Colfax)                                  Denver, CO
Thursday, May 14, 7PM          Old Firehouse Books/ Midtown Arts Ctr.      Fort Collins, CO
Friday, May 15, 5:30PM          Sunriver Books & Music/ SHARC Center      Sunriver, OR
Saturday, May 16, 2PM                       Powell’s (Cedar Hills Crossing)                       Portland, OR
Sunday, May 17, 2PM             Sunrise Mountain Library                                Phoenix, AZ
Monday, May 18, 12Noon       Clues Unlimited                                               Tucson, AZ
Monday, May 18, 7PM                        Poisoned Pen                                                   Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday, May 19, 7PM                        Book Passage (Corte Madera)                         San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, May 20, 7:30PM  Book Shop Santa Cruz                                    Santa Cruz, CA
Thursday, May 21, 7PM          Book People                                                    Austin, TX
Friday, May 22, 6:30PM          Murder by the Book                                        Houston, TX
Saturday, May 23, 3PM                       Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park                                     Dallas, TX
Sunday, May 24, 2PM             Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookstore                  Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, May 26, 7PM                        Chester County Books                                     Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, May 27, 7PM       Left Bank Books/ St. Louis County Library    St. Louis, MO
Thursday, May 28, 7PM          BookSmart/ Circle Cinema                             Tulsa, OK
Friday, May 29, 7PM               Books & Co.                                                    Dayton, OH
Saturday, May 30, 11AM         McIntyre’s Fine Books                                                Pittsboro, NC
Sunday, May 31, 3PM             Quail Ridge Bookstore                                                Raleigh, NC
Monday, June 1, 6PM              Watermark Books                                            Wichita, KS
Tuesday, June 2, 7PM             Once Upon a Crime                                        Minneapolis, MN
Wednesday, June 3, 7PM         Mystery to Me / Hotel Red                             Madison, WI
Friday, June 5, 7PM                 Anderson’s Bookshop                                     Chicago, IL
Sunday, June 7th, Time TK      Printers Row Lit Festival                                 Chicago, IL
Monday, June 8th, 7PM                        Barnes & Noble                                               Billings, MT


Events for Craig Johnson’s Outlaw Motorcycle Tour:

Sunday, June 14, 2PM             Red Lodge Book                                              Red Lodge MT
Sunday, June 14, 4PM             Red Lodge Library                                           Red Lodge MT
Monday, June 15, 12 PM         Elk River Book                                               Livingston, MT
Monday, June 15, 7PM                        Country Bookshelf                                          Bozeman MT
Tuesday, June 16, 7PM                       Fact & Fiction                                                 Missoula MT
Wednesday, June 17, 7PM       Polson Public Library                                      Polson MT
Thursday, June 18, 7PM          Auntie's Bookstore                                          Spokane WA
Saturday, June 20, 12 PM        Seattle Mystery Bookstore                               Seattle WA
Sunday, June 21, 4PM             Paulina Springs Books                                     Sisters, OR
Sunday, June 21, 6PM             Paulina Springs Books                                     Redmond OR
Monday, June 22, 12PM          Burns Public Library                                        Burns OR
Tuesday, June 23, 7PM                       Betty's Books                                                  Baker City OR
Wednesday, June 24, 7PM       Rediscovered Books                                        Boise ID
Thursday, June 25, 6PM          Haley Public Library                                        Haley ID
Friday, -June 26, 4PM             Dubois Public Library                                     Dubois WY
Saturday, June 27, Time TK    Mountain Spirit Habitat Groundbreaking        Cody WY




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Aunt Dimity And The Summer King


Aunt Dimity and the Summer King
By Nancy Atherton
book received by publisher in exchange for fair review








Amazon Blurb - 
It’s June, the roses are in bloom, and the small English village of Finch may be in big trouble.  Two cottages are for sale, but something—or someone—is driving buyers away.  Has a developer targeted Finch?  Will property values skyrocket?  Will a wave of wealthy weekenders drive out the longtime locals?

Lori Shepherd has a lot on her plate—a brand-new baby daughter, her father-in-law’s impending nuptials, and a visit from her dreaded aunts-in-law—but she refuses to stand back and watch while big money destroys her beloved village.  Lori suspects that a local real estate agent is illicitly lining her pockets at Finch’s expense, but before she can prove it, she’s sidetracked by a chance encounter with eccentric inventor Arthur Hargreaves, dubbed the Summer King by his quirky family, is as warmhearted as the summer sun.  In his presence, Lori forgets her troubles—and Finch’s.

Lori snaps out of her happy trance when a series of unsettling discoveries shakes her faith in Arthur Hargreaves.  She stumbles across a detailed map of Finch in Hillfont Abbey.  An ancient feud between Finch and the Hargreaves family comes to light.  Arthur appears to be making secret deals with the shady realtor.  Is the Summer King as kind as he seems?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help—and her new baby girl in her arms—Lori mounts a crusade to save her village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.

*****

I just loved this wonderful cozy! This was my very first cozy and what a great way to start one. Aunt Dimity And The Summer King was delightful. Each character was so vibrant it was as if they were standing in front of me. What a lovely writing style Nancy has, smooth and descriptive without being tedious. As someone who really enjoys psychotic thrillers, this book surprised me and has me wanting more.

Lori Shepherd has been very busy. Her new baby girl, young twin boys, her father in law is getting married and his snotty wicked sisters are coming from America. Add empty cottages in her beloved town to her list of worries and she starts digging into the mystery as to why no one wants to move to her sweet Finch. A bit of snooping uncovers an ancient feud between Finch and the neighboring town of Tillcoate that all have been privy to but her. In the middle of this mix is the mysterious Arthur Hargreaves Lord of Hillfont Abbey who just may have a hand in keeping buyers away. Lori is on the case with some solid adivice from the beyond in her departed Aunt Dimity.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book! If you need a break from hard core thrillers, love quirky funny characters, and a bit of mystery do read Aunt Dimity And The Summer King!  

4 cannolis


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive, Jessica Knoll
Amazon Blurb - 

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?
*****
*Fair and unbiased review given in exchange for ARC*

This book was great. It kept me going to the last page! Ani is a bold brash, ballsy, girl!

Ani (pronounced AHni) FaNelli has it all. Beautiful, awesome job at a great magazine, a handsome filthy rich fiance, lives in Tribeca, what more can a girl want right? Well, there's a storm brewing underneath Ani's well constructed facade. It's bubbling right there at the surface and it's taking all of her inner fortitude to keep it from not exploding. How bad? The first pages has her imagining sliding the kitchen knife she's deciding on (Wustof or Shun)  right into her fiance. Oh, she likes the Shun by the way.

And so we're introduced to a character that is complex to the nth degree. Every single aspect of her life is thought out, crafted, from what clothes she wears, the food she puts in her body, to the words she uses to speak to others. Oh yes friends, "Nice to meet you.", vs "Nice to see you.", can show your hand as to your real background in a flash.

Why? Who is Ani Fanelli and what has made her this way? Born TifAni FaNelli in a Philly suburb to a dad who she has no interaction with and a mother who is obsessed with labels, luxury cars and dreams of living in the high falootin Main Line. A silly indescretion as a 14 year old kid gets her taken out of her Catholic school and put into this "hoity toity" private school where she'll be hob knobbing with all the goober smoochers and where her life takes a drastic turn that will alter her forever.

Wow, this book takes you on a ride! It was absolutely exhausting trying to keep up with Ani. Every single aspect of her life was so planned I don't know how she could keep up with it. You feel for her and what she went through as a kid. You struggle with not hating her as an adult, she is razor sharp and will slice right through you, yet she is quite vulnerable under that sculpted exterior. Jessica has crafted quite the tale, her writing keeps you going, never getting tedious. You keep waiting for what's coming anticipating it with each page turned, get ready friends, climb aboard and enjoy the thrill that is the Luckiest Girl Alive.

4 cannolis





Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ask The Dark

Ask The Dark
Henry Turner, Netgally review













Amazon Blurb -

Billy Zeets has a story to tell. About being a vandal and petty thief. About missing boys and an elusive killer. And about what happens if a boy who breaks all the rules is the only person who can piece together the truth.
*****

Billy is a scrappy tough little kid. Dealt a real crappy hand with the death of his mother. His father is on  disability and pretty much a zero, he spends his day carousing the neighborhood doing odd jobs with some fellow townsfolk. His big sister informs him that they are losing their home so Billy takes it upon himself to try and earn money to stave off the inevitable. A daunting task but one he takes head on becoming more like the adult and his father the child.

When he discovers the body of a missing local boy he becomes a bit of a detective as well, telling no one that he stumbled upon the child first.  He starts piecing clues together bit by bit. All the while juggling little jobs here and there saving his money. When he gets too close to the truth Billy finds himself at risk and you get taken on a ride of suspense and danger as he tries to put it all together before he becomes the next victim

Told all in Billy's voice, you are literally there with him, running through yards, talking to friends, yelling at his dad. Great story, great thriller, I highly recommend it.

3 1/2 cannolis


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bettyville



Bettyville: A Memoir 
By George Hodgeman
read and reviewed at request
of publisher 













Amazon Blurb -

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
*****

George Hodgman is a single man living in Manhattan, a writer and editor he worked for Vanity Fair frequented many of the "hot-spots" is an addict in remission. That he's gay seems to be more of a fixation and issue to him than to the story itself.

He travels home to Paris Missouri to care for his mother Betty who is suffering from the beginnings of dementia is in her 90's and sadly in the end stage of life. Not an easy task for this only child to tackle. Betty doesn't want to go to a home, she also doesn't want help. She is fiercely independent unwilling to lean on her son.  George tries in vain to just get her to accept his help but it's a brick wall. This story unfolds before your eyes, seeing Betty ask over and over, "What's that drink we have at Christmas? What's the capital of Portugal?" and her writing the answers down on her notepad of things to remember. Her repeated mantra of don't fall, don't fall as she walks. You ache for her as she fights to not slip away, and you feel for George struggling to do what's right by his mother. This is no easy task, one every child truly dreads having to face let alone when you have no siblings to share the burden. 

A sad story when you get to the crux of it, I have but one complaint, this book should have been called Georgetown not Bettyville. This story was more about him and his bitterness at never fitting in, being accepted for who he is. He zings back and forth from present to past. That he's from a hokey little town filled with traditional down home folksy people should be no shock to anyone that he's viewed as the odd one. I kept waiting for this spitfire to show her face and it never came but for a couple of little quips from Betty such as "they still make that?" when George cooked tuna casserole for her. 

It was an ok book, not great, not terrible, just ok. If you can handle what is in my opinion a sad tale, do read.

*Book received by the publisher in return of fair unbiased review.


2 1/2 cannolis



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