Monday, August 27, 2007

The Protector, The Healer and The Rescuer by Dee Henderson

These are the last three of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series. All are wonderful crime novels with no garbage to get in the way of the story. This is the second time I have read the series and just loved it.
THE PROTECTOR (O'Malley #4) Jack O'Malley is a fireman who is fearless when it comes to facing an inferno. But when an arsonist begins targeting his district, his shift, his friends, Jack faces the ultimate challenge: protecting the lady who saw the arsonist before she pays an even higher price…
THE HEALER (O'Malley #5) Rachel O'Malley works disasters for a living, her specialty helping children through trauma. When a school shooting rips through her community, she finds herself dealing with more than just grief among the children she is trying to help. There's a secret. One of them was there. One of them saw the shooting. And the gun is still missing...
THE RESCUER (O'Malley #6) Stephen O'Malley is a paramedic who has been rescuing people all his life. His friend Meghan is in trouble: Stolen jewels are turning up in interesting places and she's in the middle of it. Stephen's about to run into a night he will never forget: a kidnapping, a tornado, and a race to rescue the woman he loves.

Terracotta Summer & Chamomile Winter by Anne Bradshaw

Terracotta Summer, the first book in Anne Bradshaw's series about the British O'Shea family, is a very interesting read. I love to learn about other cultures and countries, so it was intriguing to read about the LDS O'Shea family--their struggles and triumphs are universal. The characters are very fresh and I immediately liked them. The family starts out in Manchester, England, then life disperses them to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and America.

Of course after reading Terracotta Summer, I wanted more of the story, so I was happy to learn about the sequel, Camomile Winter. This novel focuses on Patrick, who gets mixed up in the Irish Republican Army. I found the political insights very interesting, and I also enjoyed the continuation of Rosie's story--and how she finds closure to her troubled childhood.

The most compelling aspect of these books are the way they are written--in true British style. The different language usuage and culture idiosyncrasies are quite fascinating. From what I understand, these books have been out for awhile and the best place to find them is from or the authors site:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I really enjoyed this book. Shannon Hale is a well-known middle-grade author, having won a Newbery Award for her book, Princess Academy. Austenland is Hale's first book written for adults. If you're a fan of Jane Austen, specifically of Pride and Prejudice (the book or the movies), I guarantee you'll find Austenland delightful. Publisher's Weekly had some not-so-complimentary things to say about the depth of characterization, but I picked it up anyway. And I was pleasantly entertained.

So on to the story. Thirty-three year old Jane Hayes, is seriously addicted to Mr. Darcy, more specifically Colin Firth in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Upon the death of a wealthy aunt, Jane inherits a trip to Pembrook Park, Kent, England, to a resort where guests pretend to live in Jane Austen's era. From the conversation, the mannerisms, the dress, the food . . .

Jane Hayes is looking for her Mr. Darcy. Ready to give up on dead-end relationships altogether, Jane struggles with overcoming her personal obsession and finding a "real" relationship in the twists and turns of Austenland.

This novel is unpredictable and quite funny, with a main character who's quirky at times, but easy to relate to.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Truth Seeker by Dee Henderson

Number three in the O'Malley series and just as gripping as the rest have been.
Women are turning up dead, and Lisa O'Malley has a habit of walking into crime scenes, curious. She's a forensic pathologist, and mysteries are her domain. U.S. marshall Quinn Diamond has found loving her is easier than keeping her safe. Lisa's found the killer, and now shes missing too.

The Guardian by Dee Henderson

Another great Dee Henderson book. This is #2 in the O'Malley series.

A federal judge has been murdered. There is only one witness, and an assassin wants her dead. U.S. Marshall Marcus O'Malley thought he knew the risks of the assignment . . . but he was wrong.

Idle Playgrounds by Sheralyn Pratt

Rhea Jensen is determined to put her career as a private investigator behind her, but her best friend, reporter Kathryn "Kay" McCoy, is just as determined to keep Rhea in the detective business. Rhea ends up on the trail of a mysterious group of daredevils, a case which makes her the target of an age-old secret society. Rhea's gutsiness is matched by her vulnerability; her confidence and brilliance when it comes to her work contrasts with her confusion and self-doubt when it comes to personal relationships. Mystery, action, romance--this book is great fun.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Negotiator by Dee Henderson

Another great read by Dee Henderson. This is the 1st book in the O'Malley series and kept me hooked from start to finish (for the second time).

FBI agent Dave Richman from Danger in the Shadows is back. He's about to meet Kate O'Malley, and his life will never be the same. She's a hostage negotiator. He protects people. He's about to find out that falling in love with a hostage negotiator is one thing, but keeping her safe is another.

Introducing the O'Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O'Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I'm sure someone will review Eclipse, so I might as well get New Moon in first. If you read Twilight, you'll enjoy it's sequel, New Moon. As a YA read, it's easy and fast-paced. Bella is faced with a new challenge, this time involving something nearly as menacing as vampires, and threads that are introduced in the first book are carried through in New Moon.

It's hard to review this book without giving spoilers . . . I can't talk about any main plot element without giving away something . . . so I'll just tell you some of my favorite things:

1. Bella goes through a period of depression. When she gets to the depths of despair, the months pass without her remembering them. The author tracks the passage of time with the name of each month on a blank page. Very creative.

2. I loved the Romeo and Juliet tie ins--they were a fun addition. Some reviewer somewhere will probably criticize this as being cliche. But it was perfectly fitting to the story and perfect for the genre.

3. The ending leaves you questioning (and hoping) that the two main elements of the first two books in the series will be tied up in book three.

4. Read the author's acknowledgements at the end. It's great to catch such a personal glimpse.

5. This is my own warning: When I read New Moon, I decided to read Twilight again. It was better the second time because I wasn't racing through it to find out what happens at the end. I was able to enjoy all the foreshadowing to New Moon and really appreciate the obsessiveness between Bella and Edward.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson

This is the 2nd time I have read this book and it kept me just a hooked as the first time, I finished it in less than a day. "Danger in the Shadows" is a crime novel with no foul language or graphic scenes. It is an intense story that captures you from page one. This is the prequel to the O'Malley Series.
Sara's terrified. She's doing the one thing she cannot afford to do: fall in love with former pro-football player Adam Black, a man everyone knows. Sara's been hidden away in the witness protection program, her safety dependent on staying invisible - and loving Adam could get her killed.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Trouble in Palmyra by Rob Ficiur

This is a children's novel but I really enjoyed reading it. Traveling back in time and experiencing the First Vision from the perspective of a teen from the 21st century was very enlightening. I look forward to getting my kids to read this book.
When teenagers Tom and Becky Long learn they must spend a few days with their brilliant but eccentric Uncle Daniel, they are less than pleased. They wonder how they will ever survive his long, boring tales and stale facts about Church history and early pioneers. Little do they know that Uncle Daniel has recently perfected a machine capable of transporting people into the past. Now Tom and Becky are off for the adventure of a lifetime as they accompany their uncle back through time—and come face-to-face with young Joseph Smith, Jr., and his family. Trouble in Palmyra is the first volume in the exciting Time Travelers in Church History series that takes young readers on a rollicking ride through some of the most fascinating events of the last two hundred years.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Secret Journal of Brett Colton by Kay Lynn Mangum

I really enjoyed this book. Getting into Kathy Colton’s mind was enlightening and thought provoking. Following her development through the story arc was totally absorbing. I found myself reading when I should have been writing or sleeping. In fact, this book is two for the price of one because the story of Kathy’s dead brother, Brett, came alive for me even though told through journal entries. I thought that might be boring, but it’s the opposite—tender and so real.

I put this at the top of my YA book list so far this year, and can’t wait to read more of Kay Lynn Mangum’s work.

Book Description from

Kathy Colton can’t stand her brother, Brett. Her family talks as if he were perfect! All Kathy knows for sure is that Brett is dead. He died of leukemia when he was sixteen and she was only two. But when Kathy turns sixteen, she discovers her brother’s hidden journal – a journal written especially for her - and learns about the brother she never knew. At the same time, Kathy is mortified by an assignment to tutor the popular high school quarterback Jason West, a football jock who, even worse, is a Mormon. Author Kay Lynn Mangum brilliantly weaves the dual stories of a dying brother and a coming-of-age sister who learn the importance of loving our family and our friends and nurturing our faith.

On Second Thought by Robison E. Wells

I really enjoyed this lighthearted romance. It was fun to read and hard to put down towards the end.
Until now, fate has been laughing at Walt Stewart. Unable to settle upon a single meaningful direction for his life, success has eluded him. Then, one day, just as his fiancĂ©e walks out of his apartment and into the arms of his roommate, the phone rings and everything changes. Walt is offered a job that takes him to Alamitos, New Mexico, a town beset with colorful, offbeat characters and a mystery that is begging to be solved. As the head of personnel for a tomato-growing greenhouse, Walt finds himself drawn to the weird happenings at a local observatory. Watch out however—deception lies up ahead, and danger, too. But the rewards for staying the course are great: true love and a GOLDEN opportunity that could change Walt’s lackluster life forever.