A Very Black Cat!
It’s done, sent to the publishers, and is now on Amazon!
I’m talking about my latest novel, of course, A Very Black Cat, and you can see the black cat on the fence if you look between the hero and heroine on the book cover. (Nice cover, Cynthia! Thanks!)
Here’s the link to Amazon to check it out for yourself.
So what’s it about? It’s the second in the Johns Falls series of clean, wholesome romances and here’s the back cover blurb:
Welcome to Johns Falls, Minnesota, where everyone knows everything about everybody, often before they know it themselves.
So it’s not surprising that two people who are falling in love are the last to know, even though everyone’s talking about their romance and asking them personally for the lurid, juicy details. (Of which there aren’t any because this is a clean, fun romance.)
But for the lovers to deny there’s a romance even after being told straight out that they are in love? That’s beyond belief.
Meet Becky, dedicated small-town career girl following her pre-determined course to be the best bookkeeper in the area and now, with the blessings of her boss and all-around nice guy Tobias Whittaker, she’ll also be a genuine business consultant with a framed diploma on the wall as soon as she finishes an online course that she’ll fail without help from someone who understands the nuances of the people side of small town businesses.
Enter Jackson, hunky, former football jock and newish, charismatic owner of the lumberyard in town whose charm can convince the must obstinate customer to buy something, whether that customer knew he wanted it or not, and whose boyish smile can subdue even the most stubborn heart but who can’t keep his books straight no matter how hard he tries.
Add one small, black cat with a mind of its own into the mix that’s not about to watch his two favorite people live without each other one second longer than necessary.
Then, along with the entire town of Johns Falls, Minnesota, sit back and enjoy the action.
Sound like something you’d like to read? Again, here’s the link to Amazon. And reviews are always appreciated!
Review of Finding Eden by Camilla Beavers
This is the perfect example of a young adult urban fantasy story so I thought I’d review it here. And, by the way, I liked it. Most of all, I loved the cover.
It’s the story of Eden, a high school student close to graduation, who has always known she was ‘different’ because she could read the colors around people. That’s auras to those of you conversant with psychic stuff. I’ve known a couple people who said they could read auras. I don’t know if I believe them or not. Maybe I do, a little.
Anyway, Eden is informed by a really hunky new student that she’s the granddaughter of the king of the Fae world and is needed back home because her grandfather was murdered and someone has to take charge of the kingdom. Her father informs her that, yes, her mother (deceased) was the king’s daughter so yes, she’s about to become a queen. She agrees and goes with the hunky new student who turns out to be her personal security detail in this world sent when her grandfather was murdered to make sure she was safe.
From there the plot is predictable. She overcomes the bad guys, saves the throne, becomes a decent if not great queen and marries the hunky security guy. Like I said, it’s all predictable stuff.
But what’s wrong with predictable? I read romances because I know there’s a happily-ever-after ending. I dislike grim, depressing, horrific endings. I hate the feeling they leave with me. I like the feeling I get after reading a book with a happy ending. And if the way to get to that predictable happily-ever-after ending and the feeling it engenders is through a predictable story line, then I’m all for it.
And, yes, the grammar and typos and spelling, etc, were well vetted and nothing took me from the story. So, all in all, it was a decent read, even more so since it was free, at least for now.
I’m not sure I’d have chosen it if it cost money because I knew it would be predictable and that there are a lot of decent predictable books out there for free. But the cover was great, so maybe I would have paid something for it after all and I’d have been glad I did.
Review: Space Junque by L K Rigel
I liked this book enough to read it straight through. Though the book is complete in itself, (a wonderful and somewhat rare thing in a series), if you want to truly know what happens later, you must read the sequel. A generous portion of the next book is included at the back and I liked that but I’m not sure I’ll go looking for the sequel though I will read it if I happen to come across it.
It’s the dystopian sci-fi story of the end of the world as we know it and of the few people who can start anew because they were on one of several space stations when the end came. The plot is a bit more complicated than I prefer but I like straight-as-an-arrow plots that go in a predictable manner from beginning to end. This book’s complex route took a couple twists and turns that I believe would have come off better if they’d been foreshadowed. If there’s anything truly negative about Space Junque, that lack of foreshadowing when the plot suddenly makes a 190 degree turn is it.
But I liked the story. I like end-of-the-world stories as long as there’s a new future in sight and there is in this book. And I liked the characters, all of whom were the right people in the right place at the right time to do what needed to be done. And I loved that the sex, of which there was a fair amount, was done right. I got the feel for the emotions of the characters without being overwhelmed with details.
So it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. And maybe I will read the next in the series after all. I want to now what new world they can create.
Review: Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer
This the first of a series of really fun reads that I read because it was recommended. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement and this time was no exception.
Mary Faber is a street urchin in old London who knows how to read. She disguises herself as a boy, takes the name Jacky, and gets a job as ship’s boy on a merchant sailing ship. She carries off the disguise and learns how to sail and eventually earns the respect of the ship’s crew when they are attacked by pirates. After the fight, she’s nicknamed Bloody Jacky. From there, the story gets wonky in a good way. She ends up sailing through the sky across the ocean on a tree limb, fights the pirates a second time, and is rescued by her shipmates after they discover she’s a girl. The end of the story is her arrival at a girl’s school, complements of her share of the pirates’ loot and the captain’s wishes.
I think the best way to describe this book is to say that it’s rollicking good fun. The best thing about it is that it’s the first of a series so I can continue to follow Jacky’s story as she changes from a street urchin to a lady to, or so I’ve been told, a ship’s captain. I look forward to those books.
Of course it’s well edited and lacking the typos, etc,of some self-published books, being published by Harcourt, Inc.
Review of Fated by Carolyn McCray
(Sorry about the picture copied from Amazon. I wanted to show the cover and am still working on the technical details of how to get just the cover and a buy link up.)
I must admit that I didn’t read every word. This doesn’t mean it was too long or wordy, it just means that I often skip parts of books when I become more interested in the story line than the depth of the characters. I liked the story because I find the period of history it is set in to be rather intriguing.
It takes place in the era when Caesar ruled Rome and Brutus was a part of the patrician elite. It follows the love affair of Brutus and one of his slaves, Torvus. The two were drawn to each other and fated to meet but after that they were held apart by convention and politics. Carolyn McCray tries to be historically accurate so what happens in the novel is dictated by what happened in reality. Okay, she doesn’t succeed in that historical accuracy but she’s in the ball park and, for a fictional novel, that’s close enough for me.
I’m a former history major so that may explain why I got caught up in the story line. Reading this book took me back to a childhood in which I learned a huge amount of history by reading the historical romances that were so popular back then. (And, yes, I’m dating myself.) Novels such as this were a large part of why I became that history major. Some of that history I read while young turned out to be very inaccurate but it piqued an interest in long ago events. The consequences of those events still resonate today because history matters and any book that encourages kids to study history deserves a big plus. I’m glad to see someone writing today who is hopefully having the same effect on young readers as those earlier novels had on me.
My second book review. Unicorn Bait by S.A.Hunter. Hey, I like fun fantasy stories!
This is such a story and the title is the most fun thing of all but I won’t tell you what the unicorn bait is because that would be a spoiler. But I’ll say this much. It made reading the book worth it in spite of the fact that, to me at least, the book was a little longer than necessary. A bit wordy. And not exactly high English but definitely readable.
It’s a familiar tale with a twist. Modern day woman inherits a joke unicorn horn from her father that turns out to be the real thing and when she dusts it off she’s whisked away to a magical kingdom where unicorns and magic are commonplace. Since her only wish is to return to her home and since she’s smart enough to figure out that it was the unicorn horn that got her there, she figures that she needs another one to whisk her back. The rest of the book is the search for a unicorn and a virgin (which she isn’t) to use as bait because, as everyone knows, unicorns only communicate with virgins. And, of course, in the process she falls in love with the prince of the kingdom who starts out being nasty and ends up being nice even though he remains a little rough around the edges. Much better than Prince Charming, to my way of thinking.
So there you have it. I’m discovering that I actually enjoy writing reviews though I’ll never write a bad review. If I don’t like a book (and I’ve started many books I didn’t like) I don’t review it at all. I just put it down without finishing it.
This is the first of what I hope will be many book reviews. Not of New York’s best-sellers. Of books by both writers I know and those I don’t but like what they are saying. Some are wonderfully written and awesome. Others aren’t exceptional in any specific way but give the reader a good read. So on to Progress by Amy Queau, available on Amazon:
I’m not sure what category Amy was thinking of when she wrote Progress, but it seems to me to fit nicely in the literary genre as well as in a couple of other genres, namely romance and contemporary women’s fiction. I said literary because of the writing style and the feel of the whole thing. I always think of fiction in terms of color and the cover Amy chose for Progress is fitting. Gray, a color that’s is perfect for literary fiction.
There is explicit sex but it’s not your usual romance. The end isn’t the usual HEA but it’s appropriate for the story. Still, if you don’t like literary fiction and you do like romance, you might like this story. The protagonist falls in love with a man she works with. Or she’s addicted to him. The protagonist sees her affair both ways and is often unsure which it is. Whichever it is, it starts her on a path to self improvement that eventually causes her to reevaluate her life.
If I told you more, it would be a spoiler but I will reiterate that it’s the right ending for the book. The ending separates it from many works of literary fiction… and from many romances. I was surprised. You might be too.