Monday, June 25, 2012

GIANT Book Fair This Weekend!

Just so you know, there is a GARGANTUAN book fair this weekend from June 28-30 at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Freehold, NJ. If you go on Saturday the 30th, you will be given a large brown shopping bag and however many books you can or want to fit into it, the cost is only $5! I look forward to this fair every year, so I just thought I'd share it with all you bookworms out there. See you there!

Happy readings!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kissed by an Angel (Omnibus) by Elizabeth Chandler

Kissed by an Angel (Omnibus) by Elizabeth Chandler (pseudonym of Mary Claire Helldorfer) contains three very intriguing, fast-paced, and suspense filled books: Kissed by an Angel, The Power of Love, and Soulmates. The trilogy follows the star-crossed love story of Tristan and Ivy (note the Tristan and Isolde similarities?) and their ill-fated romance. Ivy, after being wooed for months, finally succumbs to Tristan's romantic interests and agrees to go on a date with him. One date turns into two, and before long the two are inseparable. But their once-in-a-lifetime love is short lived when a car accident kills Tristan. Tristan reawakens as an angel, stuck somewhere between our world and the next, with a mission. The only problem: he doesn't know what his mission is, but as the circumstances surrounding the accident become murkier, his determination to save Ivy from whatever killed him becomes clearer. Meanwhile, Ivy is suffering from the loss and turns to her new stepbrother, Greg, for comfort. Greg recently lost his mother to an alleged suicide, and right now he seems to be the only one who understands what Ivy is encountering. As time goes on, Tristan, with the help of a fellow angel, begins to suspect that Ivy's friends are not what they seem and one of them is responsible for his death. With the plot thickening as a classmate of Ivy's and Greg's dies from what appears to be (another) suicide, Tristan doesn't know how to stop what's coming next: Ivy's murder. The trilogy takes the reader down a path more winding than the mountain that Tristan and Ivy drove on the night he was killed. Riddled with suspense, powerful emotions, and much more, Kissed by an Angel puts love to the test. But will love be able to conquer all?

Chandler wrote a phenomenal trilogy (these are from 1995) which she recently picked up again with two recent installations: Evercrossed and Everlasting, which have come out within the past sixteen months. The books are an easy read, but the plot makes up for any feelings of too-simple writing. There are very few curses, a few scenes with underage drinking, and one or two more violent episodes. If I had to apply an MPAA rating to Kissed by an Angel, it would be PG. This is definitely a strong recommendation, though. I couldn't put it down. I read the whole omnibus within 36 hours or less (I had a very long car trip to Virginia!)

Happy readings!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fracture by Megan Miranda

After having drowned for 11 minutes, Delaney Maxwell is miraculously revived with no brain damage. In fact, she has just the opposite: a gift - or rather a curse - to sense when someone near her is about to die. Soon thereafter, she meets Troy Varga, a boy with an identical ability. Seemingly harmless and the only one capable of truly understanding what Delaney is going through, the two grow close. But something about Troy is a little bit fishy. Troy has another secret - one much more deadly than knowing when someone's about to die. But can Delaney change fate, especially when she can sense one of her friends is going to die?

Miranda crafted an interesting novel with some twists that, though foreseeable, still had me enraptured in her work. Overall, the book was fairly appropriate, with only a few scattered swear words. It's an easy read; I read it in one night (also credit to Miranda's skillful writing). The overall concept of the book, though explore in other pieces of literature, brought a fresh perspective to the idea of someone being able to sense death. We read stories about animals who have a gift similar to Delaney's, but it becomes so much more curious when it is a human who has been given this ability. I would definitely recommend this book, but it's not at the top of my list. Be warned, though; it is fairly chilling, and not just because Delaney was drowning in a frozen lake.

Happy readings!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Thieves of Heaven by Richard Doetsch

To start off, this is probably one of the best books I've read in quite a while.

Michael St. Pierre is a reformed thief who now has a legitimate life, business, and small circle of friends. But when his loving wife, Mary, who stood by him through thick and thin - including jail - is diagnosed with cancer, Michael is offered a chance to pay for her pulling off one more heist. Morally torn between the promise he made to Mary never to steal again and the one opportunity to save her life, Michael chooses the latter and heads off to Vatican City to steal a pair of keys. What he doesn't know, however, that these keys open - and close - the gates of Heaven, and the man who hired Michael to do the job is the Devil himself. He completes the job, but money can't save Mary's life now. The only thing she has left is her soul, and her faith, and with the Devil in possession of the keys, Michael knows he must steal them back to save her soul, and maybe his faith too. But how do you beat Satan at his own game? Throw into the mix a parole violation, a sociopath serial killer, a priest who will stop at no end to protect that in which he believes, and a cop (who just happens to be Michael's best friend) whose values are always on the side of the law, and you've got a thriller you're not soon to forget!

Doetsch's writing style is superb, with a great variety of sentence structure, a wide vocabulary, and a well-crafted plot filled with ingenuity that is hard to come by these days. I was originally expecting something along the lines of The da Vinci Code, but was excited and enchanted with a story far from the adventures of Robert Langdon. The book is riddled with curses, some sexual references, and several fairly graphic scenes. This book is not for the weak-hearted - or the weak-stomached.

Happy readings!