FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
"Well, it is finally here," Wrye announced as he finger brushes imaginary dust off his shoulders.
Twirling about in her sparkly new gown, Tattle added, "Yes it is! The following are all the nominees for the Tattle and Wrye Book Award. Otherwise known as:
THE FABULOUS FICTION FABRICATOR FEATHER IN THE FEDORA, WRYE TOAST FROM BALDERDASH AND TATTLE... JAM OPTIONAL AWARD, DENOTING THAT BALDERDASH BABBLES AND TATTLE PRATTLES AND GOOD WRITERS WRITE WELL...
TAA DAA! WITH BOW AND CURTSY
First, is the author's book blurb followed, in italics, by a partial, though pertinent, part of our review.
(You can find the reviews in their entirety at either http://champagnebooks.blogspot.com/ or http://angelicahartandzi.com/index_files/Page814.htm)
MEDIUM RARE by Julie Eberhart Painter - cozy mystery
Penny volunteers as a bereavement caller at a local hospice where she runs into a whole new set of nutty buddies. Hospice workers, under stress and subject to burnout, romp through the offices chased by a psychic medium who uncovers their life secrets with eerie accuracy. The hapless humans become entangled in the predictions they hear at their readings in Cassadaga, Florida, a real spiritualist town. All hell breaks loose, and the medium ends up stabbed through the heart with her largest most annoying knitting needle. Click, click.
All in all, Julie took the backdrop of a serious setting like hospice and managed to add the type of humor and light-fare associated with a cozy mystery. The genius of this book is that you can pick up clues along the way, play with the possibilities, yet the cornerstone clues, though obvious in the aftermath, were virtually invisible." Pause, and then, "Everything is viewed from the workers perceptions and how they manage to keep their sanity while dealing with hospice patients and their families, better their skills, yet retain empathy without becoming emotionally involved. There is complete authenticity in both the feel of the characters and the hospice setting. The story and plot line moves delightfully along, making one smile in some parts as well as laugh outright in others, and then occasionally blurting out, that's the killer only to be uncertain a few pages later. Simply put, a fun, fun read."
Confessions Of The Sausage Queen by Ute Carbone - humor
Mandy Minhouser figures she’s already had her fifteen minutes of fame and excitement. The hype created by the picture that her husband Randy sent in to Girls! Girls! Girls! which featured Mandy wearing nothing but a garden hat, has finally died down. And life in the little town of Kassenburg goes on as it ever has. Until Big Bill Ludowski, founder and owner of the town’s largest employer - Bill’s Big and Tasty Sausage- dies while he and Mandy’s grandmother Lila Rose were, as Mandy puts it, doing their best Adam and Eve imitation under the hydrangea bushes. That Gran and Big Bill have had an affair that began around the same time as World War II is a secret that everyone in Kassenburg knows. But a new secret is about to be revealed. Big Bill has, in a DVD that only he, his lawyers and Mandy’s Gran know about, bequeathed the sausage factory to Lila. And he’s posthumously offered the job of CEO to Mandy, much to the consternation of his relatives.
Mandy doesn’t know squat about the sausage biz and Bill’s grandson Hughes, the factory’s CFO, does everything in his power to discredit her and close the Big and Tasty. But Mandy has the one thing that Hughes doesn’t-- family and friends willing to put themselves on the line to save the sausage people. With hope, faith and a whole lot of luck, Mandy and company manage to do just that.
CONFESSIONS OF THE SAUSAGE QUEEN is one hysterical romp through the perspective of a small town, uninhibited gal whose family and friends are as uproariously hilarious and peculiar as the heroine. Ute Carbone has created relatable characters, yes, relatable, for isn't everyone a bit eccentric. And the easy readable prose keep the pages turning and the laughter coming. Yet, through the humor a shade of mystery and danger seep through giving the story extra depth, taking it a notch above your typical comic contemporary story.
It is important to note, however, allow a single sitting to read the book cause you won't be able to put it down, and if you read into the night, you will wake any and all in the household with laughter. The duo proclaim they haven't had such a gala time of it while reading for ages.
Ute Carbone is a fresh voice and this team will be anxiously looking forward to her next book.
ALMOST ADEPT by Olga Godim - fantasy
To prove her Adept potential, seventeen-year-old mage Eriale embarks on her first magical quest. She expects a glittering foreign escapade but ends up in Grumesh, the land rife with poverty and violence, where local courier Kealan becomes her only friend and ally. Together, they survive an explosion, a treacherous incarceration, and a daring escape. Sparks of interest ignite between them, but before Eriale can explore her attraction to Kealan, she discovers blood magic running amok in the city. Her priorities must change. As an aspiring Adept, she is duty-bound to find and eliminate the blood mage of Grumesh, or the blood magic will taint the entire land. No matter the cost—her life or her heart—she can’t let the vile mage win.
They will enjoy every twist and turn, every interlude and every ominous misstep. If you like fantasy, it will cater to those spell-twirling needs. If you like adventure, it'll have you clamoring after every word. And if you like a touch of romance, you'll find just enough to trigger a swoon.
Yes, yes, yes! As a consummate fantasy reader, I highly recommend ALMOST ADEPT. Olga Godim's writing style is like being on a sled ride, downward on a steep hill, without brakes. It is smooth, racy, and breathless. You simply don't want to put the book aside. The only hitch is if you start reading it at night, prepare yourself to greet the dawn without having a bit of sleep.
THE WITCH'S DAUGHTER by Ron D. Voigt - A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book
Investigative reporter and recent widower, Cavendish Brown, is unemployed and floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the town's eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who seeks Cavendish’s help.
Immersed in a never-ending spiral of clues and secrets, he must unlock the darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law, and come to terms with his own grief.
Still literally in the scenes of the story, Wrye settles himself on a rock, viewing a waterfall while trying to avoid looking at a washed-up body on the bank. “All I can say is this is one fabulous read. It pulls you into Cavendish’s shattered world and keeps you wanting more. He’s a decent and gallant man who keeps trying to do the right thing, and keeps courting trouble. You just can’t help feeling for the guy. He has some flaws and that makes him all the more real.”
Tattle joins Wrye. “All the characters are dimensional, unique and true-to-life. Paradoxically, despite being dead, even Emma has texture as you feel her through Cavendish’s heart. A flashback scene with Cavendish and Emma actually prompted tears, and totally ruined my mascara! Additionally, the story flows easily from one page to the next, and the paranormal elements add just the right spice to enhance an already flawlessly plotted murder mystery. In the end, you might have many answers, but not everything is tied up in a neat little parochial school girl saddle shoes bow. After all, this is a series, and Ron D. Voigts makes certain you will want to come back again and again. Will Cavendish cut back on the booze? Will Alexandra, the antithesis to his Emma, garner his attention and just what is it that has brutes fleeing from her stare? And what will happen to Jane with her mysterious quirks and unusual ability? Those are just a few of the queries that need answers. So, be prepared, like potato chips, one Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery will not ever be enough!”
TRACKS by K. M. TOLAN - fantasy
Ever look out of a train car’s window and think the world rushing by isn’t yours? Welcome to Hobohemia, where hobo kings vie with rail barons over the value of the human spirit, and steam engines still ply the living rails. Vincent arrives searching for his long lost sister, but quickly finds himself immersed in a battle to stop the Erie Railroad from unleashing a horror that will see the end of hobo jungles and craftsmen alike.
Seriously, I repeat the word BRILLIANT! The characters were dimensional and unexpected, the imagery was like watching a movie rather than just reading words, the storyline never gave you a chance to catch your breath. It was unlike anything I have ever read, and I couldn’t stop reading it. I truly hope the very talented K. M. TOLAN creates another story in this universe.”
TRACKS is such an imaginative work, where heroes aren’t who you imagine and the creativity of every scene is beyond what you could conceive. Way to go, Tolan! This is certainly his best work to date. Keep them coming.
IN THE SPIRIT by Linda Rettstatt - paranormal
Author Jessica Windsor is suffering a severe case of writer's block. Hoping a change of scenery will get the words flowing again, she retreats to a mountain cabin where she soon discovers she is not alone. A ghost with unfinished business enlists her help and Jessica finds herself on a madman's hit list.
Ben Gearing has been something of a recluse since he destroyed his marriage and lost his family. But there’s something about Jessica Windsor that makes him want to smile again, makes him feel more like his old self. Could he be ready to finally get on with his life?
…this book is wild ride that keeps pages turning and anticipation churning. You never know if you are in for a laugh or a bump in the night, and not all the bumps are the ghostly kind. The characters interact well, and keep you cheering them onward to their resolutions. Ben and Jessica have that meant-to-happen aura, but there is also that fear they may be doomed or star-crossed.
Secondary characters are three dimensional and you find yourself either liking them immensely or hating them totally. All are well-drawn and real. Then there is Andrew, the very charismatic specter with a tragic love-lost back story that has one bemoaning his demise." Tattle pulls out a hanky and dabs at her eyes.
Linda has created her own romantic mystery genre with this story. It has just the right mixture of romantic tension, mystery, and humor. Everything in life was ignored until I read the last page, and then I was off looking for more books by the author.
Her style is fast paced and clean. It is a book to be enjoyed and savored.
AN ALIEN’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION by LIZ FOUNTAIN –Humorous sci-fi
Louise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime jelly gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to her boss, confront her oldest enemy, and make peace with her Aunt Emma, who annoys her in the way only true family can. She also has to rely on Buddy, the little blind mini-Schnauzer who saves her life twice – and really is from Mars.
AN ALIEN’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION is a refreshing twist on sci-fi. Humor tuned to the beat of a different accordion player, catches you off guard and you find yourself chuckling at mundane incidences that reflects everyday normalcy gone berserk.
The characters are likeable, even the villains are those you love to hate. You keep telling yourself you’re going to bookmark and go to bed at the end of the next chapter, but find yourself reading away. It just draws you in and doesn’t want to spit you out. Tattle looked at Wrye, nose wrinkled at his choice
Overall, if you are prepared to take a trip down sci-fi lane on a lopsided roller coaster with a laugh here and there, you will certainly enjoy this book. If we were the sort to give a rating, which we don’t, it would be five blind alien dogs.
WHEN THE DAM BREAKS by Cathy Coburn – contemporary suspense
When Kelly’s husband, homicide detective Bob Martin, starts to pursue a serial killer it soon becomes clear that his new found passion, the one which ignites his sexuality into a raging force is his passion for the kill itself.
Her world spirals out of control as she realizes the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a manipulative, well-organized, and lethal mastermind. What Kelly doesn’t realize, is that Bob is only the tip of the iceberg, for what lies beneath the surface, is more sinister then anything she could have ever envisioned.
Cathy Coburn’s writing style is much like that of a hypnotist. We simply couldn’t look away. …We were drawn further and further into the plot, twirled about in the same vortex of the character's irrationality, driven to turn the page and to read faster and faster. She hooked us on page one, and we barely breathed until the last page had been read. Even after we finished, we felt haunted by the prose and the characters.
Cathy’s work is brilliant and imaginative. Can’t wait to see more from this talented author. If you want to read a thriller that takes you to the cliff’s edge and shoves you over for the literary rush of your life, then read Cathy Coburn's WHEN THE DAM BREAKS.
DESTINY by Celia Breslin – vampire/supernatural
In HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.
Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed. Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.
The readers will be dying to find out the outcome. …Celia Breslin has created a new twist on the vampire theme, giving us a novel vampire universe, a young heroine that has fresh abilities, and an eye-candy entourage that is pleasing to any vampire lover's palette. Her writing is smooth and sophisticated, making this particular reader want to suck on every bit of dialogue and prose. All while leaving just enough of a blood trail to make me anxiously await the next instalment of the series.
…I especially like her use of a ticking clock, which isn't a clock, but a nice little gift that Dixon sends her at the beginning of the story. (Read the book to find out what it is.) It provides a deep piercing bite of suspense that keeps the pages turning. Simultaneously, the evil is so well crafted, it offers an unquenchable thirst for vengeance on behalf of Carina. Great book! Excellent writing style.
(You can find the reviews in its entirety at http://angelicahartandzi.com/index_files/Page814.htm)
Hope you all enjoyed our jaunt into our book reviews and nominees. Next month we will announce the criterion we used to select the winner as well as the winner! Until then, keep reading!
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by: Angelica Hart and Zi
Books by: Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~
CHASING YESTERDAY ~ CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL
Books by: Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
BOOK NOOKIE-A LIBRARIAN'S BUIDE TO THE DO-ME DECIMAL SYSTEM