Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

I received an advanced copy of Golden Son from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

After reading Red Rising, the first book in this trilogy, I was really looking forward to Golden Son. What I loved about the first book in the trilogy - Red Rising - was the development of the relationships between the characters and how they made it through together. In Golden Son, it was sometimes hard to tell who was a good guy and who was a bad guy. I found myself rooting for Augustus and his men and then all of a sudden remembering that Augustus was actually a bad guy. Golden Son blurred the lines between who was good and who was bad. While I wouldn't say that Golden Son wasn't a well written book, it didn't suck me in like Red Rising did. I hope that the third book, when it comes out, will satisfy all of my questions. 

Not a bad read.

The expected publication date is January 13, 2015.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck

Ellen Homes is invisible. Abused and abandoned as a child, she finds comfort in food and observing others.  Most people overlook her and she likes it that way.

One day, on her way to work, Ellen decides to step in and prevent a blind woman from being mugged.  Thus begins the unusual friendship between Ellen and Temerity.  Somehow her blind friend, Temerity, can “see” the real Ellen.

Ellen keeps watch over her neighbors. She considers them her pets. They are:  “T-bone” the drug dealer and “Heidi” the lonely pregnant woman across the courtyard.  When T-bone, whose real name is J.B., is robbed and shot, Ellen and Temerity begin “sleuthing” to find the culprit. 

Meanwhile, “Heidi” – whose real name is Cindy, is miserable because she is about to give up her baby for adoption. The father of the baby was killed in Iraq and a crushed Cindy is unable to handle the baby on her own.  When a letter from the sister of the baby’s father is accidentally delivered to Ellen’s apartment, she and Temerity try to find a way to get the sister and Cindy together.

At work, Ellen gets involved in trying to help a coworker out of a rough situation. 

Ellen, who used to like being invisible, is now finding ways to help others, and in doing so, finds herself.  This was a heartwarming book about friendship, personal transformation, and the power of connecting with others. It is one of my favorite books of 2014. 

You can purchase the book at AmazonBarnes and Nobleor your local independent bookstore. Don't forget to check your local library too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life and Death on the Tamiami Trail – Sheila Marie Palmer

I really enjoy when Amazon recommends a book that catches my eye. Several weeks ago, I spotted Life and Death on the Tamiami Trail in Amazon's recommendations for me.  If you live in or have visited Florida, you know that the road from Tampa to Miami is affectionately known as the Tamiami Trail. It goes right through the community where I live. I love to read books that visit areas I live in or have visited.  This was my kind of book. Here is a little bit about the book.

Life and Death on the Tamiami Trail by Sheila Marie Palmer

When Sarasota Sheriff Bernie Raines is called in to investigate a murder at a local gypsy bar, she finds her old childhood friend, Zindelo, is the prime suspect. She has not seen him in many years, yet she finds it hard to believe that he did it. In order to prevent anyone questioning the integrity of her investigation, Bernie calls in her friend Sheriff Buck Davis to help.

Bernie and Zindelo lived in the same housing complex when they were children. Zindelo and his family are gypsies.  When Bernie and Buck question the gypsies Dukker, David the Giant, Zindelo, and Elle the Midget, they are given cryptic answers.  Dukker, who is the king of the gypsies, tells Bernie that they will cooperate but she only has a week to figure out who killed Mr. Verde and why, clearing Zindelo - or he will run.  The only way to do this is to dig deep into her past and fill in the missing blanks of her memory.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were believable and the mystery of who the murderer was and exactly what happened, kept me interested and reading well past my bedtime.  A page turner with local references, Life and Death on the Tamiami Trail, is a winner in my book.

The Punta Gorda Library, where I work, celebrates our local authors by inviting them to come chat with our patrons, sell and sign copies of their books, and get their name out to the public.  I enjoyed the book so much that I contacted Sheila Palmer and hoping she would be interested in visiting.  SHE WAS!!! Sheila Palmer visited the Punta Gorda Library yesterday, November 4, 2014. Her local author table was well visited. Sheila graciously donated a copy of each of her books to the library.  They will be available for patrons to check out and enjoy. 

I purchased autographed copies of both of her books to send to my mother.  I have been collecting autographed local author books that I think she will enjoy as time and finances allow. I can't wait to send them to her! 

I am 60% of the way through the second book - Life and Death on Siesta Key and I am looking forward to more!!

Sheila Palmer visits the Punta Gorda Library 11/4/14
You can visit Sheila's website for more information - www.sheilamariepalmer.com.  You can buy the book or ebook from Amazon by clicking HERE or from Barnes and Noble by clicking HERE.

Don't forget to check out the what programs are being offered at all four of the Charlotte County Libraries.  You can visit the website by clicking on The Charlotte County Library System.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave

I received an advanced copy of Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave from NetGalley.com in exchange for my honest review.

Think what it would be like if crime victims were granted 5 minutes alone with their attackers.  It is a common request that police receive. "If you find the person who did this, please give me 5 minutes alone with them..."

When the body of a recently released convicted murder is found hit by a train, Theodore Tate, tries to determine if it is a suicide or a murder.  Theo consults with his friend, Carl Schroeder, an ex-cop who was shot in the head six months ago, leaving him emotionless.  Carl was the investigator on the case of the rapist who was killed.  Once it is determined that the rapist was murdered, Theo begins to think that the murderer was the woman who had been raped but also that she had help. While following leads, two more rapists are killed, and everyone on the police force seems to be cheering on the killer, whom the media has dubbed, The Five Minute Man.

When The Five Minute Man actually kills an innocent man, Theo and Carl find themselves battling each other.

This tense thriller had me on the edge of my seat and found me giving up my precious sleep time to race to the stunning end.

Is the Five Minute Man a good guy or a bad guy?  Read the book and let me know what you think.

Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave is set to be released on October 21, 2014. Buy a copy or check it out at your local library.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Look Back is a roller coaster ride through the jungle.

I received an advanced copy of Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz in exchange for my honest review.

Since meeting Mr. Gregg Hurwitz at the Punta Gorda Library earlier in the year, I have read three of his books. I started with The Tower, which was good.  Second I read "Troubleshooter" which was a high octane shoot em up police procedural story.  I was excited to get a chance to read "Don't Look Back".

After her husband leaves her for another woman, newly single mom, Eve, decides to go on the trip of a lifetime to the jungles of Mexico.  She hopes to rediscover the woman she lost in her marriage.

At the resort, Dias Felices Ecolodge, Eve and her fellow visitors shop for native crafts and explore the jungle.  During one of their outings, Eve witnesses a man mistreating an indigenous woman. While  investigating the man and the disappearance of the previous occupant of her hut, Eve discovers the mans identity as well as the lengths that he will go to to keep his identity secret.

The brutality of this stranger is a contrast to the beauty of the jungle surrounding them.  Visitors Eve, Jay, Will, Claire, Sue and Harry and their hosts Neto and Lulu are thrust into a life and death struggle to escape from a man who has everything to lose if they get away.

I had a terrible time putting this book down.  I found myself wanting to give up sleeping and eating in order to finish.

"Don't Look Back" will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the very, unexpected end.

The book is scheduled for an August 19, 2014 release.

Thanks for reading.

Find it on Amazon at Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to be a good library patron

I have been working in a public library as a Library Technician for 5 years and I am still shocked at how poorly people take care of the materials they check out.  Today we had a patron return a book he had just checked out because when he started to read it he noticed pencil marks throughout the book. I will now be spending several hours erasing all of the markings in a 200 + page book.  Torn pages, spaghetti sauce, sand, water damage - you name it, we see it.  My favorites are books returned with water damage that are still damp, but the patron claims that it was this way when they checked it out 9 weeks ago. Yeah...right.

I thought it might be good to create a "how to" list to help people be good library patrons.


  1. Don't lie.  If you spilled something on the book you checked out, bring it in to us. We are more than willing to work with you if you are honest. 
  2. If you know that your dog likes to chew on books, don't leave your library books where your dog can get them.
  3. READ the circulation policy handout we give you.  This will help you avoid fines.  Claiming we never told you that late fines for DVDs are a dollar a day per movie is not an excuse.  We give EVERY new card holder a copy of our circulation policies.
  4. Peanut butter & jelly + little fingers + DVD = a DVD that won't play. Please supervise your children when they are using library materials.
  5. We understand that you need to study for your GED, SAT, Praxis, nursing exam - but please don't check out the study guides and never return them.  There are others that need to study too.
  6. Writing in library books is NEVER acceptable.  If you want to write notes in the margins of books, buy your own copy.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Chase is the follow-up to The Heist, introduced us to tough-as-nails FBI agent, Kate O'Hare and master conman, Nicolas Fox, who have been forced to work together to catch the world's most wanted and untouchable criminals.

In The Chase, Kate and Nick are targeting Carter Grove, a former White House Chief of Staff who has a collection of stolen artwork, one of which is about to set off an international incident with China. How does one go about taking down such a powerful and dangerous man?  With more con-artists, Kate's ex-military father, and a lot of explosions.

The chemistry between Nick and Kate is palpable. Nick is forever flirting with Kate, who is always reminding herself that Nick is a criminal. I really like these two characters together and I am looking forward to seeing how their partnership blossoms.

As a Jersey girl, I enjoyed the Stephanie Plum character in Evanovich's other novels.  However, I like the Fox and O'Hare novels much better.  Maybe it is the lack of New Jersey stereotypes that are in her other books, but I found The Chase and it's predecessor, The Heist, to be much more enjoyable.

I received a free copy of The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Some of my favorite Young Adult Dystopian novels

I have to admit that I've been reading a lot of YA (young adult) dystopian novels.  Dystopian fiction, or apocalyptic literature, depicts a horrible or degraded society characterized by a focus on mass poverty, squalor, suffering, or oppression. In these novels the main characters are often faced with terrible danger. To me, they are a refreshing change from young adult books about sparkling vampires and rich, spoiled teens.

The young adult dystopian novels that I have found most compelling are the ones that I could actually see occurring. Some of my favorite novels and series, in no particular order, are:

1. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - In a post war future, citizens are separated into different districts based on the type of industry that they specialize in.  To control the citizens after a rebellion, the government gather one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each district each year, to take part in The Hunger Games, where they have to fight to the death until only one participant, or tribute, remains.  This violent, yet compelling story, follows what happens to the heroine, Katniss Everdeen.

2. Gone by Michael Grant - In this six book series, all persons 15 and over in Perdido Beach disappear.  They are gone and the town and surrounding area is encased in a giant bubble. Some of the children left behind develop "super" powers.  The protagonist, Sam Temple, is set up as the leader of the children.  During the series, the children must deal with hunger, disease, bad guys and an evil entity called the Gaiaphage. This series caught my attention and kept me involved right up to the end.  It does have a lot of violence and there is a hint of teen sex, which is not graphic.

3. Starters by Lissa Price - This two book series tells the story of Callie and her brother Tyler. They are "starters" or young people whose parents both died in the Spore Wars. With no grandparents to take them in, they are considered "unwanted". In order to obtain money to take care of her sick brother, Callie signs on as a "body donor" with Prime Destinations.  This company allows the older generation, or Enders, to rent out the bodies of the Starters for some fun by using a chip implanted in the Starters brain.  The owner of Prime Destinations has a sinister plan and Callie must figure out what that plan is before it is too late.  The story continues in the follow up book Enders. 

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth - Currently being made into a movie, Divergent tells the story of a future society where the public is separated into groups or "factions" based a particular virtue.  At the age of 16, teens are allowed to select the "faction" they would like to belong to, the one they grew up in or a different one. The main character Beatrice, or Tris, has a secret to hide which can be deadly. In Divergent and the two follow up books of the series, Insurgent and Allegiant, the war between the factions heats up and comes to an unpredictable conclusion. 

These are just some of the YA dystopian books out there. While not great literature, they are generally a good read.

Thanks for reading.

Retiring this blog

I am retiring my Blogger blogs.  Starting today, June 16, 2018 my blog posts will be found at  https://thislife225879410.wordpress.com