Saturday, June 14, 2014

{Review} THE EXECUTION by Dick Wolf

ISBN #: 978-0062064851
Page Count: 352
Copyright: January 7, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

NYPD Detective Jeremy Fisk—introduced in Law & Order creator Dick Wolf’s New York Times bestselling debut The Intercept—must stop an assassin in the pay of a shadowy cartel in The Execution, a tense thriller that superbly blends suspense, politics, intrigue and high-flying action in the tradition of Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, and Robert Crais.

Ten days after the Mexican presidential election, twenty-three bodies are discovered beheaded on the United States border, each marked with a carving of a Hummingbird. Detective Cecilia Garza of the Mexican intelligence agency recognizes it: it is the signature of an assassin called Chuparosa. Garza has been pursuing the killer for years, yet knows little about him, except that he’s heading to New York—with the rest of the world.

It’s United Nations Week in Manhattan and Jeremy Fisk can’t let grief over a devastating loss keep him from safeguarding his city. Complicating matters is the startling news of a mass murder in nearby Rockaway—and the arrival of a disturbingly beautiful and assertive Mexican cop.

To have a chance at finding Chuparosa, these uneasy allies must learn to work together and fast. As they soon discover, there’s more to this threat than meets the eye—and that justice is not always blind.

Mandy's Review:

One of the risks of a television show creator writing a novel is that you wonder if some of the details will be lost. Will he forget this is a novel and not a television show? Will too much be left to the reader's imagination? Well, no need to fear, fellow readers. Dick Wolf is a master at writing a television series as well as novels.

THE EXECUTION continues Jeremy Fisk's story. This book could be read by itself, but then you wouldn't have the background as to why he's seeing a psychiatrist and is on desk duty. THE EXECUTION does hint to what happened in THE INTERCEPT, but to fully know what happened it's best to read THE INTERCEPT. If you don't care about that kind of thing, though, you can certainly read THE EXECUTION by itself. I'm just the type of person that I hate to start a "series" out of order.

To give you some insight to these characters, let me start with Jeremy. He's a bit of a renegade. He knows the rules and he'll abide by them, but only if they don't interfere with a situation he deems more important. His boss gives him some leniency, but I think he feels that Jeremy's starting to take advantage of his niceness. Personally, Jeremy's a little distant ... and rightfully so. Like many of us, though, he deals with his despair and sadness in his own way. Depending on what day it is, it seems to work fairly well.

Cecilia has made herself into one tough cookie. Coming from a wealthy family is one strike against her, but when she wants to join the federales, well, her being female is a second strike. Her career may have been easy, but she won't allow herself to become corrupted with bribes. Many would say this is the third strike against her, especially in a land where cartels rule. It's one of these cartels that takes her to America and in the path of Jeremy Fisk.

Both Jeremy and Cecilia are hard-headed, obstinate, stubborn, and set in their ways. Can they come together to solve this latest series of murders?

As I mentioned: Dick Wolf knows how to write a novel. If you're looking for a new action-thriller writer, then give Dick Wolf a try. I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed.

*A physical copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, June 13, 2014

{Review} CRATCHIT & COMPANY by Garrett Gilchrist

ASIN #: B007J6KP3K
File Size: 166 KB
Page Count: 80
Copyright: March 9, 2012
Publisher: Orange Cow Productions

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Bob Cratchit, a poor, underpaid clerk at the counting-house of Scrooge and Marley, has lost his youngest son. He is alone and freezing to death on a cold Christmas Eve, when he is visited by three spirits ...

Garrett Gilchrist brings you a new perspective on the classic characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Mandy's Review:

Authors who take a well-known story and play around with it a bit are authors I love to read. I may not always like what they've done and think they should have left the story alone, but I encourage their creativity.

CRATCHIT & COMPANY is centered around Bob Cratchit, the famous literary father of Tiny Tim. I'm actually a little confused about his being visited by the three spirits. Are they trying to make him say he chose the wrong path in life? Are they trying to make him realize he has a lot to live for? Are they trying to make him want the richness that Scrooge is blessed with? I'm just a little lost as to their purpose.

What I do enjoy is seeing that Scrooge does have a (somewhat) warm heart despite his gruff exterior. He chooses to help Bob Cratchit during his time of need ... and this is before Scrooge is approached by the three spirits himself. Which now makes me wonder ... Was Scrooge's change of heart kickstarted by his helping Bob Cratchit?

This story should be read for entertaining purposes only. It's definitely different and good enough to give a once over ... and at 80 pages, how much of your day is it really going to take away?

*An ecopy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

{Review} PRESSED PENNIES by Steven Manchester

File Size: 716 KB
Page Count: 357
Copyright: May 13, 2014
Publisher: The Story Plant

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

Mandy's Review:

Once I write a rave review for an author, I feel obligated to keep it going with subsequent books. However, while I enjoyed this book I can't bring myself to rave about it as I did about Manchester's past works.

PRESSED PENNIES is a sweet story about two people who thought they lost love only to be brought back together again. The years changed both Rick and Abby, as is expected, and they're trying to figure out if what they felt as children was real. Do they base a relationship on who they used to be or can they be attracted to the adults they are now? Add into the mix a pre-teen who is in no way interested in having a new male role model and you have your conflict of the story.

I think this is where my interest waned a little. I can understand Paige not wanting her mom to become involved with another man. My mother stayed single for 10 to 11 years after her divorce from my father, so I totally understand Paige's feelings. What bothered me is how selfish she was about the whole situation. No, she didn't have to like it, but she could have been more polite. Abby was part of the problem as well. She basically allowed Paige to dictate her life. Yes, be there for your child. Yes, be concerned about her mental well-being, but don't let your child run your life. Abby was the parent. She should have put her foot down; gently, but firmly.

Overall, as I mentioned earlier, I did enjoy this book. I especially loved seeing the past being repeated in the present with the group of children in the neighborhood ... the whole "Circle of Life" aspect really drew me in ... but, despite that, I cannot rave about PRESSED PENNIES. Worth the read, but not a must.

*An ecopy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{Contest} THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert

In celebration of the paperback release of THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS—Elizabeth Gilbert’s NY Times bestselling novel of science, love, and the thirst for knowledge—Penguin is offering a sweepstakes for a chance to win a plant a moth for an entire year, courtesy of White Flower Farm.

For full terms, conditions, and a chance to win, please visit here.

Below is a copy of the contest flier for your perusal. Contest ends July 24, 2014!

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