My reading and thoughts



 NEW Review: Lemon Reef by Robin Silverman

       Robin Silverman has created something quite extraordinary and I’m not entirely sure how she did it. The result however, is three-dimensional. The story is tightly written, carefully conceived, and fluid. It is a love story with land mines carefully hidden within. Her characters are authentic and flawed but irresistible each in their own unique fashion.

There’s nothing easy about this story and it contains peeks into many lives that make the reader feel at times like a voyeur but I doubt there’s a reader out there who won’t relate to one or more of these uncomfortable glimpses. It’s the discomfort that allows us to share the experience and to feel a tiny bit less alone.

Jen and Del continue to do well on the edge of my consciousness because their story has such resonance. In spite of the difficulties they endure, I was still left feeling that these women were more the rule than the exception—sadly.

Robin’s remarkable ability to weave together the past and present provided instant references for current actions without pulling the reader out of the story. Amazing.

The pacing accelerated story evenly to a can’t-put-it-down denouement that perfectly defined that word. [The final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel.]

“Lemon Reef” is not always an easy read but it is immensely satisfying and deserving. This is another author I intend to follow.




A new book review “Jericho”

Posted on March 26, 2012

My reading pile grew steadily as I worked through revisions, edits, and hand wringing for my second book. Since my latest baby has taken her first breath, I gratefully sat back in my recliner with Kindle in hand and lost myself in the lush landscape of “Jericho”.

As yet another happy reader, I drank the Kool-Aid. Yup, and what a sweet treat.

It’s always wonderful when a new author peeks out from the wings with a unique new voice.This time, however, Ann McMan burst onto the stage with a rich, unrushed carefully woven tale of fun, friendship, and adventure. The romance emerges in measured steps—one forward,  one back, one halting, and the dance continues as the two protagonists point, thrust, parry, and spar with one another.

Maddie and Syd, along with a cast of unique and quirky characters bring small town Jericho alive with sparkling, witty dialog.  With picture-perfect details, Ms. McMan paints the canvas light and depth that creates the perfect ambiance to suit each scene.

Her slim narrative and rapier dialog wend through a somewhat bucolic beginning seducing the reader with a comfortable pace. Once the bliss sets in, the author amps up the story and the pacing with hellz-a-poppin plot twists.

This was fun, endearing, and pleasurable read. A sequel is promised and I’ll be more than ready. This author possesses a rare and enjoyable gift; I’m guessing we’ll hear a lot more from her.

Find out more about Ann McMan  or Bedazzled Ink


96 Hours96 Hours by Georgia Beers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was eagerly expecting this book, and was not disappointed. I don’t think anyone can question Georgia Beers’s skill in creating a romance. Combining that, with the epoch tragedy of 9-11 required skill and a deft touch. That wound is still raw for many people.

The passengers caught on the flight from London and diverted to Gander, Newfoundland became three-dimensional representations of hundreds of Americans. The wonderful people of Gander brought back wonderful memories of the mythical people in the musical “Finian’s Rainbow”. It also made me want to write thank you notes to the wonderful people, everywhere, who opened their homes during some of the darkest days in our recent history.

I think what I like the most about this book is the skillful balance between the heinous evil and the unconditional goodwill. The author took us up close and personal to the emotional roller coaster endured by a small cross section of uniquely individual characters. The anxiety, fear, denial, despair, and hope that we all experienced resonated deeply.

For Abby and Erica, who were thrown together by fate, the possibility of re-creating their lives in a very different direction seemed ideal. Tragedies have a way of revealing our best and our worst. What a perfect time to change.

This book will provide a unique experience for every reader because of how they viewed the events surrounding September 11th. What’s special is that all of us share the experience.

View all my reviews


(Delayed note, I read this a while ago but didn’t add the review)Miles to Go: A Rennie Vogel Intrigue

Miles to Go: A Rennie Vogel Intrigue by Amy Dawson Robertson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rennie Vogel is compelling. This story never takes a breath. I was completely held captive by the suspense and the intense narrative. Loved the pacing and the detail.
Amy Dawson Robertson wrote a book that, for me, is unforgettable.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly I fell into the story and started rooting for Rennie Vogel. Her guts and determination drew me in immediately. The story took twists I didn’t expect but I never once doubted that I was running by her side. And I was thirsty– all.the.time. Now how did she do that?

I’ve never read anything so compelling that held us with almost completely narrative! This is a new style of really “fresh” writing.

View all my reviews


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This ranks up there with some of the best writing I’ve read. Not only is it informative and entertaining, it’s instructive. Anne Lamott is amazing.


Vera's Still PointVera’s Still Point by Ruth Perkinson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ruth Perkinson brings her unforgettable characters to life. “Vera’s Still Point” is a tightly woven, layered story with eccentric and endearing characters. Bittersweet and touching. It left me rooting through my memory box for Still points.


With Her Body by Nicola Griffith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always I immersed myself in the lush, enticing prose with which Nicola Griffith paints each story.

These shorts were each unique and satisfying.

Few authors can captivate my senses in the same way and I willingly yield.

“Yaguara” felt almost mythical.


    Beyond Instinct by Lynn Ames

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fast paced and well researched international thriller with courageous, professional women driving the story. Add in some insidious bad guys and some resourceful allies and the story sizzled.

View all my reviews


The River Within      The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Sat. 7/23/11)  Just finished this sensational novel. I am still reeling from the experience and will add more when I’m able . This truly is a “Must Read”

Mon. 7/25/11

I’m not a reviewer*, but I was knocked sideways–emotionally– by this book. I read it over a few days and grew more and more sad, despairing, and restless. The storyline for each of the three women wound tighter as their connection to one another became more complex. The back story in some flashbacks added color and depth to the portrait that the author created.

The detailed picture of “War” through letters and stories became, in itself, another character even more terrifying.

The author’s ability to evoke that intensity of emotion is laudable and masterful.

Greer,Dar, and Kate continue to compete for my attention.These characters are more than three-dimensional, I could feel their breath and feel the heat.

Baxter Clare has created an amazing novel.   Read this book…   The River Within

*and for a real review, please read this

View all my reviews


Love in the Balance“* Marianne K. Martin

I finished this book like a runaway train. I started to read it at intervals for the first third and gradually slipped into the world built around Kasey and Connie. Then, well, I became part of the audience for what seemed like a live performance.
Ms Martin writes beautifully and I easily flowed along with her and the story.The current moves like a gentle river, but beneath the surface a more complex terrain provides the reader a with something more akin to white water.
The protagonists are attractive, likeable, and three-dimensional. Their conflicted reactions were never artificial and the sudden plot twist shocked me.
The romance was genuine and sensual and I can’t wait for the sequel.

*For a far more thorough review


Shadow Point      Shadow Point by Amy Briant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a ripping good story with well-defined characters and palpable tension and intrigue. Madison McPeake is real, flawed, and believable. The setting becomes part of the story and draws the reader closer to the main characters.
I would like to see what becomes of Madison, Katie, and Pipe.

2 thoughts on “My reading and thoughts

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