Day: August 28, 2018

Book Review: Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

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I’ve been trying to catch up on the Hannah Swensen series this summer, so I picked up the 17th book in the series, Blackberry Pie Murder, written in 2013 by Joanne Fluke. All I can say is I just can’t get enough of this silliness. The murders and mysteries are very light, but the characters are fantastic. I want to live in Lake Eden and be Hannah’s new best friend solving crimes together. No, I don’t want to be killed… just putting that out there!

In this one, Hannah accidentally hits someone with her car. She’s then charged with vehicular manslaughter because of a few interesting traffic laws. Although it’s completely not how it should happen, the laws are actually in place and could be used to convict someone. After 17 books, you have to cut the author some leeway to make the reason for the mystery be something stronger. For that reason alone, I give 5 stars to Fluke for coming up with this one…. but then it gets a bit dull with the actual investigation once we learn the guy was already beaten up and likely to die from a head injury. And he’s really not connected to many people we know, so for those reasons, I dropped it down to a 3.

That said… I still want to read more and it’s fun for 2-3 hours of light reading. Bring on more!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Winter Blossoms by Paul Iasevoli

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Both the title and the cover of this book caught my attention. Winter Blossoms, a novel published in 2018 by Paul Iasevoli, takes place in 1980s New York City where a young twenty-something named Chris struggles to survive amidst everything blowing up around him. Friends dying of a mysterious disease, his boyfriend cheating on him with a woman, learning how to date in a very sexually-charged gay culture… Iasevoli tackles it all in small doses and scenes in this very realistic novella. It’s under 100 pages and reads quickly… taking us through several of NYC’s boroughs where we understand the different types of opportunities presented to Chris over the course of a few months. With each page that passes by, you wonder… will he end up okay or will he disappear and/or fall down along his path?

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Running the range of both graphic physical and lighthearted emotional tension, we see Chris handle a break-up, casual sex, the bar scene, falling in love, and learning to trust himself. Iasevoli will transport you to the not-so-distant past and show you a different side of life you may not know of or ever experienced. In some ways, it’s much the same today in terms of trying to find love amidst immediate gratification. It’s also very different than today where our mobile phones, internet-culture, and general acceptance of a different lifestyle offers things much more easily. Thirty-five years ago, it wasn’t easy finding someone to potentially fall in love with in a culture and environment were much was still taboo and opportunity was often slim. Casual might have been easier to find, but that’s not what Chris wants.

As an intro to this author, I very much enjoyed the writing style and scenery depicted in this work. The characters were well-drawn for a short novel… just enough to get a feel for who they are but not too much where the picture is fully painted. I look forward to seeing more from Paul Iasevoli.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: A Bloody Day in Destiny: Four Stories of the Wild West by Russ Towne

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Over the last year, I’ve read a few children’s books by Russ Towne and loved their strong lessons, vivid characters, and well-thought out settings. Then I noticed on his blog that he’d written a short collection of stories based on western adventures, A Bloody Day In Destiny: Four Stories of the Wild West: A Western Adventure. I snagged a copy (thank you!) and dove into it this week. What a remarkable thing to be able to write in a completely different genre but still offer the same wonderful appeal.

Of the four stories, I was most fond of the first, then the third one. All 4 were good, but the characters greatly appealed to me in these two legends. Between the fantastic western settings, the spot-on dialect, and the clever way to end with a wish the story could keep going on… Towne succeeded again. Unfortunately, he made me a tad upset that they were only short stories. I wanted to read more about the woman searching for a husband and/or for her own land, or the sheriff who may or may not have stolen a bank robber’s girl. Who are we supposed to trust? Way to keep us guessing!

Towne has a gift for creating characters you don’t want to forget or walk away from. I really hope he continues in this genre and shares more about the Old West… there’s quite a lot of history he could help convey to those who haven’t been exposed to it in the past. Kudos to a great leap into the genre… bring us more, please!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Author & Book Alert: All Systems Down by Sam Boush

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I’m back today with another author spotlight… and this time it’s the Cyber War series debut by Sam Boush: All Systems Down. If you love apocalyptic thrillers, this is one for you… especially with that cover. A fireball, an unsuspecting city, crazy programming codes, and murky water — what could possibly go wrong in this society? Definitely read the Kirkus review below; it’s incredibly enticing! I’ll be reading it sometime in the next few months. Perhaps a future buddy read together?

What’s even better than the cover —  there are still 3 days left to snag this intense ride for only .99 cents. In September, it will go back to full price, so grab it now while you can!

All Systems Down - eBook

 

Key Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672702-all-systems-down

https://www.amazon.com/All-Systems-Down-Cyber-War-ebook/dp/B078CXKYQF

https://twitter.com/thecyberwar

http://cyberwarbooks.com

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Kirkus Reviews

ALL SYSTEMS DOWN Sam Boush Lakewater Press (284 pp.) ISBN: 978-0-9944512-7-9; February 8, 2018 – BOOK REVIEW

“In Boush’s debut thriller, a North Korean cyberattack cripples America’s infrastructure, sparking chaos and leaving the country vulnerable to a military invasion.
Brendan Chogan first senses trouble afoot during his job interview for a security-guard position at a Portland, Oregon, robotics company. A computer virus is apparently affecting the building, which then loses internet access. A report comes in by phone that the internet is down across the country. It’s merely the beginning of a North Korean strike against U.S. systems, and soon citizens nationwide lose their cellular service and electricity. Panic ensues, and Brendan realizes that he, his wife, Vailea, and their 8-year-old twin daughters may not be safe. Meanwhile, hacker Xandra Strandlien’s boss at U.S. Cyber Command sends her to Oregon. Intelligence on Chinese-Russian joint military exercises has led to a fear of a post-cyberattack armed invasion, and the Oregon area, which has no military bases nearby, is a potential target. As Brendan and Vailea struggle to secure their home and stockpile food and water, they encounter allies, including Xandra and a couple of U.S. Navy fighter pilots who lost contact with their supercarrier. When an invasion indeed materializes, this small group works together on a mission to upload malware to the enemies’ servers. Despite the fact that the attack is nationwide, Boush concentrates on the characters in Oregon, who later include vacationing campers from Los Angeles. It’s a wise choice, as the story mixes smaller battles (such as characters fending off would-be intruders at the Chogan house) with large-scale ones; Xandra’s plan, for example, entails jumping from a low-flying plane into a river. The author also richly details the cyberattack’s chaotic aftermath; for instance, Vailea gets a workout in a grocery store that’s besieged by a horde of frenzied shoppers: “She gasped for breath, muscles straining like treading water.” Interestingly, the most striking character is a relatively minor one: Sierra Eigelb, a random survivor who first appears about halfway through the novel. Her newfound affinity for killing turns her into a terrifying villain. The story’s swift pace leads to a surprisingly thorough wrap-up. A tightly plotted tale with characters that could energize a planned series.”

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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In the 16th book in the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series,Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, written in 2012 by Joanne Fluke, Hannah’s under suspicion for killing the competition for her love-interest. Could she have done it? Did she finally go bonkers and make a decision between Norman and Mike? Nah… she just looks guilty. But you’ll have to read more to find out who actually committed murder.

The book starts off with an old-favorite, Barbara, the secretary at the police force we’ve come to know over the years, taking a topple off the roof of a new hotel. Was she pushed, did she fall, or was it suicide? Given another mystery from the last book involved suicide (and spills over into this book), we know that didn’t happen twice, but the truth takes a while to come out. Fluke weaves together these storylines until we get a clearer picture of the sinister and shady on-goings around Lake Eden.

I’d give the book 3.5 stars, and I’ll round up on Goodreads, but down on Amazon. As a mystery plot, it lacked multiple suspects. There was only 1 new character introduced and suspicion was never cast on anyone other than Hannah. It needed more red herrings. As a fun story about the townspeople, it was overly sweet-and-simple when it came to Barbara’s head injury. To be honest, it felt like we were dealing with Rose Nylund from the Golden Girls… whom I love… but is always funnier in smaller doses. Pages of dialogue trying to associate names and playing word games was a distraction.

But I adore Hannah and her family. I like getting lost in this world, so the series will always be something I want to read. I just may not like some of the books as much as others.

All Systems Down - eBook

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.