Friday, July 27, 2007


My most recent read was THE QUICKIE by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge(Little, Brown & Co., c2007, ISBN 0-316-11736-4).

When Lauren Stillwell sees her husband cheating on her she does the only thing to do: she cheats back. However, while glowing in that post-coital way, she witnesses her husband fighting with the man she's just slept with and sees them drive off together.

One glitch: Lauren's lover turns up dead and Lauren must make some tough choices, both personally and professionally. Some could cost her her job, others may cost her her life.

The first sentence:

I knew this was a terrific idea, if I didn't say so myself, surprising Paul for lunch at his office down on Pearl Street.

I hadn't read any reviews of this book so when I got to certain point I said, "WHOA!" and then my heart started beating again and I finished the book in a matter of hours.

Typical Patterson here, but it was a great book to relax me after reading my last book, SHADOW MAN.

Shadow Man

SHADOW MAN by Cody McFadyen (Bantam Books, c2006, ISBN 978-0-553-58993-1) is my favorite read so far this year! This is what I've been waiting for!

Smoky Barrett is the coordinator for the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime aka Death Central in LA. Six months earlier, Smokey was brutalized, raped, scarred and her husband and daughter murdered by a madman. Now, she is tracking another ruthless killer who believes he is a descendant of Jack the Ripper and he has asked for Smokey personally. The Shadow Man stalks, threatens and hurts Smokey and her team (Callie, Alan & James) to get them to do what he wants. And what he wants if for them to hunt him, because they are the best.

When he comes knocking on her door, Smokey answers. With a vengeance and a realllly big gun!

The book begins:

I have one of the dreams.

I cannot say I loved this book anymore than I already have but I'll give it a shot.

McFadyen has the cop down to a T. I live with one and I kept looking up from my book saying, "Honey, listen to this..." My favorite chapter of the book was an interrogation. It sounded just like my husband.

Fair warning: This book is very dark. It is very violent. It is very graphic. And a dog gets hurt. So if you are opposed to any of these things, I do not recommend it. However, if you are not, get ye to a bookstore or a library and request this book. Because I mean it. It was fabulous.


Up next, was PEEPS by Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Group, c2005, ISBN 1-595-14083-2). Yeah, I know...I was on a vampire kick this month.

First of all, you need to know that PEEP stands for Parasite-positive, or short for vampire, more or less. Set in New York City, Cal Thompson is a carrier and he shares several characteristics with the Peeps although he's not a full blown Peep. He works with a group called Night Watch that works at keeping the Peeps under control and to aid in keeping normal humans safe and he has been trying to track down the women he infected with the parasite via sexual contact to get them the help that they need. When he meets Lacy, or Lace for short, he gets a bead on the woman, Morgan, who infected him and the two of them set out to track his progenitor down.

The story begins:

After a year of hunting, I finally caught up with Sarah.

I'm a big fan of Westerfeld and I'm working my way through all of his books. I'm not huge into science fiction and fantasy type material but Westerfeld has played a big part in my changing opinion of this type of book. I like that the books he writes are for the young adult crowd so my head isn't swimming with words and concepts that are too hard for me to follow or believe. His has the right consistency and I've enjoyed eating his books up!

If you read this book, be prepared! The even chapters are filled with information about real parasites and let me tell you, some of them are positively "icky". (How's that for an adult word?!?)

Don't Scream

Next up, was DON'T SCREAM by Wendy Corsi Staub (Zebra Books, c2007, ISBN 0-8217-7972-9).

10 years ago Rachel Lorent plunged to her death with her sorority sisters Brynn, Tildy, Cassie and Fiona all present. They swore they would never tell.

But now, someone is sending the four surviving friends menacing notes and wicked messages and lurking in the sleepy little town of Cedar Crest, Massachusetts. When the first one dies, the rest become panicked as well they should.

Because payback is hell and it's just beginning.
The book starts:

"...and I do solemnly swear that I will never ever tell another living soul what happened here tonight..."

DON'T SCREAM is a terrific thriller from Wendy Corsi Staub. Her books would appeal to lovers of Mary Higgins Clark, Mariah Stewart, Allison Brennan, Danielle Girard and Erica Spindler. Check this one out!

Glass Houses

My next book is the first in a series for young adults (The Morganville Vampire series) by Rachel Caine. GLASS HOUSES (NAL Jam, c2006, ISBN 0-451-21994-5) is set in Morganville, Texas.
Claire Danvers is 16-years-old and a college student which causes some problems in and of itself. When she is hazed mercilessly at the dorms, she worries for her safety and looks for a place off campus to live. She meets Eve Rosser at the Glass House and with a nod from the other roommates, Shane Collins and Michael Glass, she is allowed to move in.
But then she finds out the town is overrun by vampires and life gets a little crazy as living in a town overrun by vampires might get.

The book starts:

On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, someone stole her laundry.

I found this to be a fun start to an interesting series and I would recommend it to anyone who is fans of the Westerfeld books, the Darren Shan books, and even adults like myself who like the vampire books by Charlaine Harris and Mary Janice Davidson.

Break your mother's back

Next, I read STEP ON A CRACK by James Patterson (Little, Brown & Co., c2007, ISBN 978-0-316-01394-9).

Set in New York City, the story revolves around Detective Michael Bennett who has 10 - YIKES! - kids and a wife who is dying of cancer.

When the first lady dies, hundreds turn out for her memorial service and the mourners at the church are taken hostage by some unknowns. Michael Bennett, with experience as a hostage negotiator, is on the job.

Like most of Patterson's books, this one was a real page turner and nice break from his serials. I could see this turning into a series as Detective Bennett was a real, down-to-earth guy, just trying to do right by his family and getting sucked into the rat race that we call life.

An enjoyable read.

It begins:

The back of the table captain's cream-colored evening jacket had just turned away when Stephen Hopkins leaned acrosss the secluded corner booth and kissed his wife.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lucky Number 13

Aah, how I hated for it to end.

What? Why, I'm talking about Janet Evanovich's latest book, LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN (St. Martin's Press, c2007, ISBN 0-312-34949-1).

Set in "the Burg", in Trenton, New Jersey, this is of course the 13th in a long line of number books featuring Stephanie Plum, the hunky Joe Morelli and the delicious Ranger. Also making appearances are Lula, Connie, Joyce Bernhardt, Grandma Mazur, Stephanie's parents and her ex-husband Dickie Orr.

It begins:

For the last five minutes, I'd been parked outside my cousin Vinnie's bail bonds office in my crapola car, debating whether to continue on with my day, or return to my apartment and crawl back into bed.

That's all I have to say about the book. This is one series where I keep everything really close to the vest because so many of my readers read this series and I'm not taking away from their enjoyment.

But I will say this: Duck! That's not an exploding car!

6th Target

June was definitely a months for sixes for me. The sixth month, the sixth Sookie Stackhouse book, 6th TARGET and I read 6 books. I had to throw the last one in there, although true, I couldn't have a 666 post.

The 6TH TARGET by James Patterson (Little, Brown & Co., c2007, ISBN 978-0-316-01479-3) is the 6th book in the Women's Murder Club books featuring Lindsay Boxer, Yuki Castellano, Cindy Thomas, and Claire Washburn in sunny San Fran, CA.

In this book, Claire is a victim along with four others on a ferry shooting. Lindsay collars him, Yuki prosecutes him and Cindy writes about him. There is a second storyline with missing children.

Definitely typical Patterson. 1 page chapters, good and quick story. His books don't challenge me at all (and I'm not sure they ever did) but I don't think he is trying to be a Salinger or a McCarthy.

I know several people on one of my list-servs who just groan when they hear Patterson's name mentioned as being read. But the fact remains, whether he's writing the books, has a co-writer or a ghost writer, he has a formula that works, people eat up his stuff and he sells a lot of books.
He must be doing something write.

The book starts:

A killer in waiting, Fred Brinkley slumps in the blue-upholstered banquette on the top deck of the ferry.

I see that starting this fall on ABC, the Women's Murder Club comes to prime-time. I don't know if I'll watch it because I have the characters in my head already and I don't want them to be ruined by actors that don't fit the image I have. But, who knows? The show might be broken down into 45 second spots and quite palatable. We'll see. Take a look.

Definitely Dead

DEFINITELY DEAD by Charlaine Harris (Ace Books, c2006, ISBN 978-0-441-01491-0) is #6 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Set in Bon Temps and New Orleans, Louisiana Sookie's cousin Hadley, a vampire girlfriend to the Queen vampire of New Orleans has been killed and is now "definitely dead" (hence the title.) Sookie has to go take care of Hadley's estate but certain somebodies don't want Sookie digging to deep and they'll do anything in their power to stop her.

Charlaine Harris has this thing with sexy male otherworldly characters this book hosts Quinn, a steamy, sexy weretiger that Sookie hooks up with.
This is a very fun series and I look forward to each new installment.

It begins:

I was draped over the arm of one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen, and he was staring into my eyes.

I heard that song before

In I HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster, c2007, ISBN 978-0-7432-6491-4), Kay Lansing meets and marries the wealthy Peter Carrington in a whirlwind affair. Shortly thereafter, Peter is indicted on double murders and Kay fights to figure out who the bad guy is to free her husband.

Set in Edgewood, New Jersey (as far as I can tell, a fictional location) this book was typical MHC stuff.
In my opinion, people who read her books (and I'm one of them) read her books because she writes a very formulaic story; there aren't ever a lot of surprises. Decent storytelling, same story-different characters syndrome but the bad guy always loses and the good always prevails.

And who doesn't like a happy ending?

The first sentence:

My father was the landscaper for the Carrington Estate.

To whom it may concern

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN by Kay Cervetti (Camel Knee Publishing, c2000, ISBN 0-9701781-0-7) is an autobiographical account of a woman's search and discovery of her birth mother. She also finds out she has many more siblings.

The author is a local author and I found her book when I was browsing through a local library (not my own.) I read it for the local flavor as well as the successful end result. For those who may not know, I have a brother who was given up for adoption in 1968 and I've been looking for him since my father told me about him in 1988. But alas, to know avail. I hoped to glean some helpful information from this book but her search was very quick and pretty painless. Mine is almost 20 years and going strong...

If you know of any guys who were born here in Dubuque, IA on July 19, 1968 and were given up for adoption, please pass this post on to them. It could bring a family together and end my search once and for all.

First sentence?
Yeah, I forgot to write it down...Sorry!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blind Fear

My next read was BLIND FEAR by Lynn Abercrombie (Pinnacle, c2006, ISBN 0-7860-1728-7).

Set in Atlanta, Georgia it starts with a young rookie officer searching out retired Hank Gooch (fuzz that was) to help locate Officer Mechelle Deakes who has disappeared. Deakes has been kidnapped, blinded and locked in a room and has a certain amount of time to solve one of their old cold cases or she will die.

This book is written in 3rd person and is apparently the second in a series although I don't think that matters as this story is fine if read as a stand-alone.

The first sentence:

Hank Gooch ran the glowing bar of steel through the blazing tube of the propane forge one more time, pulled it out, thrust it into the water.

I enjoyed the story but I didn't care for the dialogue. I have a picky-picky thing about writing dialogue per the locale. I understand that if they live in Atlanta, Georgia they are going to have an accent but to see it written is just weird to me. I guess I want to envision in my head the way they talk...I don't want the author to do it for me. The words are one thing, the inflection another.

Like I said, picky-picky.

Moon Called

Aside from Janet Evanovich, I am finding out (somewhat to my chagrin) that my favorite genre has become fantasy, or I guess anything that includes vampires or werewolves.

Patricia Briggs' book, MOON CALLED (Ace Books, c2006, ISBN 0-441-01381-3) has the latter.

It begins:

I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first.

Set in the Tri-Cities, Washington, Mercedes aka Mercy Thompson works as an auto mechanic and she takes a new wolf on to work at her shop and soon, wolves and people alike are trying to kill her and Adam, her neighbor and the Alpha pack leader.

This book has a lot of werewolf politicking happening in it, but it is a great, quick and easy fantasy read.

First in a series, the second BLOOD BOUND, quickly made it to my TBR pile.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Kettle Corn

Are you all familiar with the joys of kettle corn? I had always thought I'd had it, until I attended one of our local fairs recently and had some pushed upon me. Apparently I was wrong because although I'm not a beeg popcorn-eater, I do love kettle corn.

It was too late for me to return and get a bag for myself but I found two things:
Velma's Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn and microwaveable kettle corn in the aisle of my local grocery store. Although not as sweet as the kind you get at fairs, it's a definite keeper snack since I can limit myself to an individual bag versus a 5-lb bag.

That doesn't mean I won't splurge.

Yummy! Kettle corn makes life good.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Things that make me laugh

Simple things in life make me laugh. I especially love to laugh at life and other people.
Like this guy for example.
Married to a cop, I know that sometimes the job can get to be too much and it's good to see this guy laughing at himself (or someone off camera) during his dance moves.

I'm recommending dance lessons for my husband's force!

The winner

The winner of my portion of the Dorothy-L contest is Patty Andersen. Thanks to all of the members who played and submitted recipes! I'll be back to my Hook, Line and Stinker posts directly after the weekend.