July 20, 2009

Review #23 – Androgynous Murder House Party – Steven Rigolosi

Posted in fiction, quill reviews, Review at 11:25 am by reviewsonbooks

androgynous

This review originally posted on Feathered Quill Reviews

Androgynous Murder House Party: Tales From the Back Page #3.

A strange holiday weekend commences when Robin Anders, an extreme fussbudget and wealthy estate owner, invites six friends to stay in his mansion. When a few dreadfully near-fatal mishaps occur during their stay, Robin gets a sneaking suspicion that one of his friends is plotting murder, and worse yet, he just may be the victim. However, all of the friends manage to survive the lavish weekend and return to their normal lives in Manhattan. Well, normal until someone unexpectedly dies thus giving Robin the impetus to start his own private investigation of all the remaining friends. In the meantime, readers are taken on a whirlwind ride, one in which the author questions the sexual orientation and identity of the characters — for you see, Robin, Lee, Alex, Law, Chris, Terry and J, are all of ambiguous gender. Are they male or female, straight or gay, and who did the murdering in the first place? Hopefully it will all be tidied up in a succinct answer by the time the reader finishes the story, or will it?

Author Steven Rigolosi’s strange tale of androgyny and unknown sexual orientation wrapped up in a great murder mystery that has plenty of plot twists, keeps the reader on his toes. It is a bit confusing at times, but definitely thought provoking. Robin, the main character is quite hilarious, but also nasty, and has a few strange quirks including narcissism, and a constant need for wonder pills which are oddly named after numerous fruits and vegetables. What keeps readers riveted throughout the story is Rigolosi’s vivid descriptions of all the characters. At the same time, the author leaves critically important points out of the mix that keep readers guessing as to the characters’ gender. The suspense thickens when Robin, who is seen as more of a wilting flower than an FBI trained investigator, decides he/she must discover who killed one of the friends. Androgynous Murder House Party is an enjoyable read and written in such a way to both confuse and hook readers with countless questions of “what is it?” and “who did it?”

June 12, 2009

Review #21 – Serial – Jack Kilborn & Blake Crouch and Death Will Clean Your Closet – Elizabeth Zelvin

Posted in DelGals books, e-books, fiction, horror, Review at 3:22 am by reviewsonbooks

serialdeath

Reading can be a delightful adventure, and reading a good story for free only enhances the fun. Unfortunately, good free reading can tend to be few and far between, if you don’t take a visit to your local library. It also seems, from what I’ve experienced as a reader and reviewer, that the flashy best-sellers are sometimes pricey, and the not-so-good titles given away are of course, free.

I also have noticed that I am personally not a big fan of the short story because I feel somehow cheated of a more elaborately created story, as if there’s always something missing or more to say. But fortunately I’ve discovered two short stories both well written, intriguing until the end, and of course the best part is – they’re free and easily accessible on the Internet.

The first story is entitled Serial, written by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch, and has an interesting and creepy concept, which is an excellent twist on the “normal” life rules with regards to safety and behavior. We’ve all been told never to pick up hitchhikers, just in case they’re psycho, and we’ve likewise been warned the opposite is true, one should never attempt to hitch a ride, just in case…
But what might happen if neither person pays attention to the “rule” and both of them are psychos? Readers can find out the answer to this horrific tale, by pointing their browser to author Blake Crouch’s website at http://www.blakecrouch.com/serialchapter.shtml.
But please heed this warning, this story is gory, shocking and brutal at times, a must for horror fans, but definitely not for the faint of heart.

The second story has a bit of a different plot twist and is less gory, but nonetheless eerie, by psychotherapist and author, Elizabeth Zelvin, entitled Death Will Clean Your Closet. Fairly new to sobriety after being an alcoholic for many years, Bruce finally gets a chance one Saturday morning to clean out his walk-in closet. Unfortunately, not only does he find some bugs, he discovers the body of a woman laying on top of a pile of garbage bags filled with his clothes he planned on donating to charity someday. But as if that wasn’t strange enough, while Bruce is on the phone relaying this to his friends, he goes back to take another look at the body before he calls the police, and the body is no where to be found. What exactly is going on, is it related to his recent sobriety or is there something else going on? Death Will Clean Your Closet can be downloaded off of Ms. Zelvin’s site at http://www.elizabethzelvin.com/Books.htm.

June 6, 2009

Review #20 – Brushed Back – Richard Paloma

Posted in e-books, fiction, Manic Readers, Review at 3:00 pm by reviewsonbooks

brushed
Detective Gino Spinelli unfortunately finds himself having to relocate and rebuild his credibility in the field by accepting a position in a small suburban community as a Sergeant in order to avoid serious disciplinary action when he is linked to the suicide of one of his ex-girlfriends. While adjusting to his new life and position on the police force, Spinelli is informed that one of his staff officers has become the prime suspect in the murder of his wife. Although some evidence suggests the man committed the crime, Sergeant Spinelli is assigned to lead the internal investigation and takes the controversial position that the officer is not guilty of murder. This task is of course not without troubles, which he soon finds out when he accidentally uncovers possible leads that hook the dead wife with a person who is in the Federal witness protection program, as well as disagreements with other police agencies and a difficult boss. But fortunately for Sergeant Spinelli despite his infamous love life which included two ex-wives and a lot of live-in relationships, he happens upon one of his old flames, who is looking remarkably good, which prompts him to rekindle the relationship all the while trying his best to discover who’s the real murderer and keep himself out of any further troubles.

Author Richard Paloma, who is a veteran in law enforcement for the past twenty years, spins an excellent story that is filled with both humor, a taste of spicy romance, and bits of critical policing details that only a fellow comrade in the field could so adeptly accomplish. The many characters, including some suspicious, while others, intriguing, are wonderfully described in this crime suspense novel that has the ability to keep the reader wondering “whodunit?” and “will he get the girl?”throughout the entire novel.

June 5, 2009

Friday Finds

Posted in DelGals books, fiction, Friday Finds, memes at 3:10 pm by reviewsonbooks

Here’s more from my never ending TBR collection. Happy weekend all!

pets

The House of a Million Pets

by Ann Hodgman

(hope this won’t give me any hints on getting more pets for my house)

Ann Hodgman’s basement is home to three guinea pigs, a cage full of birds, a big gray rabbit, a prairie dog, a bulbul (look it up), two little rabbits, a hamster, and twenty-six pygmy mice. And that’s just the basement.Would your parents ever let you have that many pets at once?
If Ann Hodgman were your parents, she’d let you.
Here is the true story of what it’s like to live in her barnyard—er, house—with more animals than you’ll be able to keep track of. Any kid (or adult) who has ever owned or wanted a pet will love these furry, feathered, slimy, and scaly stories.

4women

Porn For Women

by Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative

Prepare to enter a fantasy world. A world where clothes get folded just so, delicious dinners await, and flatulence is just not that funny. Give the fairer sex what they really want beautiful PG photos of hunky men cooking, listening, asking for directions, accompanied by steamy captions: “I love a clean house!” or “As long as I have two legs to walk on, you’ll never take out the trash.” Now this is porn that will leave women begging for more!

June 3, 2009

Review #19 – The Cape Cod Witch and the Legend of the Pirate – J. Bean Palmer

Posted in children's books, fiction, Odyssey Reviews, Review at 12:00 am by reviewsonbooks

ccwitch2

This review originally posted on Odyssey Reviews

The youngest witch in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Elsbeth Amelia Thistle, finds herself caught up in the midst of another wild adventure, this time Elsbeth and her classmates venture to Boston, Massachusetts on a class trip. What seemed to be an exciting school trip off Cape turns out to be anything but, especially when the children find themselves involved with a ghostly privateer (don’t ye dare call him a pirate, matey!) in a desperate hunt for their kidnapped friends. Will Elsbeth be able to use her witch status to the rescue, or will she be doomed to sail around aimlessly in hopes of catching the villains?

J. Bean Palmer has once again captured young readers’ attention with this next edition of the youngest witch in Cape Cod. This story is filled to the brim with adventure, plenty of vivid and likable characters (even the cranky teacher, Ms. Finch) and topped with history and important environmental lessons for the young reader. Elsbeth serves as a lovely example of a tenacious and passionate girl, who is able to navigate and overcome some fairly scary adversities to positively help those in need in the end. Finally, illustrator Melanie Therrien has also returned to include her vibrant pictures that add a perfect touch and emphasis to this Cape Cod Witch Series.  And if that’s not enough to capture a reader’s attention, there is real history information and recipes tucked in the back of the book. The treasures in this tale will undoubtedly capture young readers’ heart, as they wonder what will happen next, and should definitely not be passed over.

May 27, 2009

Review #17 – Hawkes Harbor – S.E. Hinton

Posted in DelGals books, fiction, Review at 12:10 am by reviewsonbooks

hawkes

Author, S. E. Hinton, who is most known for her great tales of the lives of tough male teens such as The Outsiders, has once again enlightened the reader with a male centered story about the life of orphan bastard, Jamie Sommers. From early on, Jamie was destined to get into some type of trouble or another. This lifestyle continued well into his adulthood where he took up sailing the wildly treacherous seas and lived to tell tales of his adventures, which included murder, smuggling, a shark attack, pirates, and imprisonment, to name a few. Luckily, Jamie managed to survive all of this and finds himself living in a quiet town in Delaware, which should offer him some much needed peaceful tranquility. However, as the story progresses, he uncovers such a mysterious evil which not only completely destroys Jamie’s sanity and turns him inside-out, but changes his demeanor and threatens his mere existence.

Although the story of Hawkes Harbor remains dominated by a male character, it is quite a change from Hinton’s earlier novels. This story is filled with detailed descriptions, and carries the reader quickly from page to page learning of the wild adventures of Jamie Sommers and the people and events he encounters. Unfortunately, despite this book being a page-turner which will undoubtedly immediately hook fans and new readers alike, many fans of Hinton may not appreciate the different writing style in this story, and may be left wondering about a few critical parts of the story, including the most important, how Jamie involved himself in the predicament which ultimately led him to near destruction.

May 26, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Posted in e-books, fiction, Manic Readers, memes, teaser tuesday at 1:24 am by reviewsonbooks

It’s hard to believe the time flying by so fast that it’s Teaser Tuesday again.

I’m reading an ebook this week entitled Brushed Back by Richard Paloma

brushed

“Look Pooch, I don’t think you killed your wife.” page 62

“When cops get together, the conversation, when not discussing police work, or departmental dirt, usually centers around one of three things – women, money or sports.” page 98

May 24, 2009

Review #16 – The Heroes of Googley Woogley – Dalton James

Posted in children's books, DelGals books, fiction, Review at 11:51 pm by reviewsonbooks

googly

Cute, seven year old author and illustrator, Dalton James, captures readers’ attention once again with his second book. Our heroes from the previous story, The Sneakiest Pirates, are now rich and they decide to embark on a journey in space to help people. What will this adventure entail for Pete and his daddy James? Of course you’ll have to read the wonderful adventure to find out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

The Heroes of Googley Woogley is an excellent read for young children. Not only is it filled with detailed and colorful images created by the author, is quite humorous, and it also touches on the classic theme of good vs. evil. This book is a great way to teach children to help out those less fortunate, and to strive to be on the good side.

May 15, 2009

Review #12 – The Sneakiest Pirates – Dalton James

Posted in children's books, DelGals books, fiction, Review at 2:16 am by reviewsonbooks

sneaky

For author/illustrator, Dalton James, The Sneakiest Pirates, is one of his many accomplishments in the short seven years of his life. Amazingly he has written an absolutely cute and quite humorous book for young children, and what a better way to enrapture a child in the adventures of reading, than to have a child describe the tale to them? This book introduces readers to the first quest of Pirate Pete and his Daddy Scurvy James, who happen upon a treasure and of course become rich in the process. There is adventure and treachery included in this tale, but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens.

May 13, 2009

Review #11 – The Ring of Knowledge – Carl Wiley

Posted in fiction, Odyssey Reviews, Review at 12:43 am by reviewsonbooks

ring

This review originally posted on Odyssey Reviews

Prince Corwin, who is without his parents due to their untimely death by the hands of an evil man, is living in a far away kingdom ruled by his Uncle and Aunt. He learns that he is the rightful air to the throne in the kingdom where he was born and decides that he must return there despite possible danger to his own life. Corwin embarks on the return journey accompanied by two young citizens from Plyorth who assist him in overcoming wild obstacles, including coming face-to-face with horrid creatures, faeries and his parents’ killer. The Ring of Knowledge adequately depicts the universal theme of good versus evil and affords young readers a chance to root for the underdog main character as he perseveres through many adversities in his quest to return to his kingdom of Plyorth. Unfortunately, readers may be quite unsettled by the similar nature this story has with the famous Harry Potter series. Specifically, both main characters have deceased parents who were killed by an evil character and both are on a quest to find a specific powerful object with their two friends (one male, one female) at their side through the adventure. Perhaps this was an honest coincidence not purposely intended to mimic the Harry Potter series and ride on it’s successful coattails, but the strange similarities makes it hard to concentrate on the unique positive merits in the story.

Next page