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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber

Her father dies, her mother is having difficulty coping and with her memory, her daughter is miserable with her life at college and determined to make everyone else, especially her mother, miserable, too. On top of it, her dreams are haunted by her high school boyfriend and sorting through her father's papers creates mysteries.

Though overwhelmed by this chapter in her life, she reunites with her best friend from school, learns the depths of her love for her husband and family and learns to understand her mother and her father.

This is an enjoyable book about the life changing events that the death of a parent can create and how we cope with it, learn from it and move forward.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell

Enemy of God is the second book in the Warlord trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. It continues with story of Arthur as written by Derfel, a Christian monk who was previously a Druid warrior in Arthur's employ.

The story continues where The Winter King left off. We follow southern Britain and the tragedies, successes, love and treacheries that occur to our main characters: Derfel, Arthur, Lancelot and others.

The author takes the reader through a wide range of emotions that completely immerse you into the story. I found myself in tears at one point, at a tragedy.

The title refers to Arthur, who, from the early legends, is thought to have been a follower of the Druid religion. In southern Britain, in the time of this story, the Druids were fighting very hard to maintain their religion against the Christian monks, who were heavily converting the British to Christianity. Again, in this book, much of the dynamic, contrast and even humor comes from the conflict between the two religions.

Again, I highly recommend this series to anyone. It is at times barbaric (because it is set in the Dark Ages) but is a wonderful tapestry of what the legend of Arthur may have been like.

Book three is called Excaliber, and I will be reading it next.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front is the first book in The Dresden Files.

Imagine Raymond Chandler writing a detective story that features a wizard in modern Chicago and you have the idea behind Jim Butcher's series.

Harry Dresden is low on money when the Chicago P.D. brings him in on a case. A double murder has been committed with black magic. One problem for Harry is that he is a suspect. The bigger problem is the black mage behind the murders knows Harry's name. When a black mage knows your name, he can use his magic to kill you.

This book is a definite page turner as Harry races the clock to see if he can stop the black mage before he gets killed.

Fans of the books in the Hard Case Crime line will enjoy this series. Any fan looking for a good series will be hooked from the start of this story.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hitler's Judas by Tom Lewis

Hitler’s Judas
By Tom Lewis
Published by VP Publishing
294 Pages / Fiction

An impressive page burner, Hitler’s Judas, the second book in the Pea Island Gold Trilogy by Tom Lewis is a grand experience.

In the midst of World War Two, Martin Bormann is the closest man to Hitler and possibly the second most powerful man in the Nazi regime. In the wake of Hitler’s insane plan to invade the Russians, Bormann designs a covert escape to an island off the coast of North Carolina, and a heist of fifty million in gold.

The story is packed full of real and memorable characters from the era. The setting is crafted with fine detail and the tension is wire tight. Lewis guides the reader through a maze of deception, murder, and war with little effort and does an impressive job getting the reader to the end.

Reading the book took me back in time to those holiday evenings listening to my grandpa tell stories of his training to be a “belly gunner” on a flying fortress, though he never saw combat and ended up being a butcher in the Army Air Corps. The movies we watch and the books we read, show us the devastation of combat in Europe and the lives our civilians living at home. This was a nice trip to the other side of the fence and read about our enemy, even if it was fiction

Hitler’s Judas is a must read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction of the World War Two era. Packed with suspense, tension, and great writing, I recommend this book for anyone searching for something different to read. The author’s note at the end suggests though Hitler’s Judas is based on fiction, Martin Bormann with his persona and access to virtually anyone and anything, had the ability to escape to South America and may not have died in the bunker bombings at the close of the war. That gives you something to think about…

Tom Lewis lives in New Bern, North Carolina. In addition to the Pea Island Gold Trilogy, He has written five other novels, a collection of short stories, and a nonfiction book. Visit his web-site

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Seven Up by Janet Evanovich

Step aside, Duane "Dog" Chapman. Meet Stephanie Plum, Trenton New Jersey's latest fugitive apprehension agent (aka bond enforcement officer and bounty hunter).

In Seven Up, the seventh book written by Janet Evanovich in the Stephanie Plum series, we find our humorous heroine aimlessly chasing after a semi-retired mobster named Eddie DeChooch for skipping his bond. DeChooch just happens to be an elusive old geezer, who is terribly depressed about his impotence.

Throughout the course of this book (and in typical fashion), Stephanie and her hilarious sidekicks (Grandma Mazur, Mooner, Lula, and Dougie) manage to chase fugitives, discover dead bodies, dodge gunshots, attend funerals, ride a Harley, purchase a pig heart and escape kidnapping three times. You'll get to meet all of her other nutty family members too.

Stephanie is not without her love interests. She has a long standing romance with Joe Morelli, a vice cop with whom she has had an on/off fling since she was six years old. They are even engaged, or at least they keep spreading that rumor. But she has a steamy chemistry with fellow bounty hunter, Ranger, whose mysterious ways make her lust and fear simultaneously. She finds them both irresistible and complicated.

There is never a dull moment as Stephanie Plum chases bail jumpers till the very end. You will laugh out loud and flip through each page quickly as you anticipate each new twist and adventure. And you'll discover Miss Plum is the sorriest and luckiest bounty hunter ever.

This is a series novel, so it is helpful to start the series at the first book, One For The Money. However, Evanovich tends to re-introduce each character and their background in each book, just in case. I recommend reading the whole series in sequence.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Duty by Bob Greene

In honor of the passing of Paul Tibbets on November 1, 2007, I immediately went back to the book written by Bob Green - Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War.

Bob Greene made a trip home to be with his dying father. Living quietly, almost anoymously, in the same town was Paul Tibbets - the man who flew the Enola Gay and dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, leading to the end of World War II.

Bob Greene was able to meet Paul Tibbets and to spend time with him. Through Paul Tibbets, Bob Greene learned about the ingrained sense of honor and duty he always saw in this father and in the ordinary heroes of the time of World War II.

This is a deeply personal journey, and one that is easy to embrace.

If you know any one from the WWII generation, this is a journey you should take. I intend to reread it now in honor of Paul Tibbets and all of the WWII vets.