St. Martin's First Fall 2015 Sampler is a diverse and strong sampler of debut fiction in the genres of crime, young adult, historical fiction and regu St. Martin's First Fall 2015 Sampler is a diverse and strong sampler of debut fiction in the genres of crime, young adult, historical fiction and regular fiction. The novel samples are fairly long. You get a good impression of the novel genre, the author's writing style and the subject. In addition to the actual writing, the covers are also contained in this sampler. The beautiful covers appear at the beginning. The artwork is stunning!
Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox
The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck
A Good Family by Erik Fassnacht
Dark Reservations by John Fortunato
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus
How To Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Bliss by Shay Mitchell & Michaela Blaney
The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen
Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield
In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward
Avelynn by Marissa Campbell
So many excellent books! Where do I start? I really enjoyed the Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox. In this book sample, the narrator's name is Theo. She ran away from England to San Francisco to hide from a family scandal. However soon after she arrives, she witnesses a man falling from a window. A short while after that, one of her business partners is murdered. The police investigate both deaths which they consider as murders; and they think Theo is involved. Since Theo is more concerned about what she is running from in England, she will go to great lengths to protect her anonymity. She tries to uncover the mystery behind the murders. This sample is very intriguing. The reader wonders what was so bad in England, that Theo must run away to another country. This is a book I want to read.
Sarah Ward's book excerpt Bitter Chill starts out with a very suspenseful scene. A man in a tweed jacket is digging with an ax or pick. He has a woman with him. There is some urgency in their actions but we, as readers don't know yet. There was a kidnapping. Are these two the kidnappers or are they the investigators? This piece is very exciting! I am thinking of the novel, Girl on the Train, as I read it. It has that flair of the Scandanavian crime novels. I want to read this book too.
The other books represented in this sampler are equally compelling.
Joan Callaway’s "It's an Ill Will, Indeed,...that blows no good" is a heart wrenching memoir of a strong resilient woman. Joan, we learn from the begiJoan Callaway’s "It's an Ill Will, Indeed,...that blows no good" is a heart wrenching memoir of a strong resilient woman. Joan, we learn from the beginning of the book, has a wonderfully supportive family. She has a loving husband and four children. They go on skiing trips. They do many things together as a family. Everything seems fine and wonderfully normal until it isn’t. Soon, we as readers, realize the impetus for this book, a tragic house fire which suddenly left Joan without her youngest child and husband. It is a stunner. The author’s rendition of the mind numbing details of that horrible day pull us into the center of her story. We can almost feel her shock and grief. (I didn’t want to stop reading. I sat in front of my computer reading the book until midnight.) I had to know: how did she get through it? What happened to Joan? I won’t give the ending away. But I will say it is not all sadness and tears. Wonderful things happen to Joan. But most of all, the way she reacted to the tragedy and the way she worked through the grief, can teach us all something about life. Joan is a woman full of life.
"It's an Ill Will, Indeed," will be a welcome read for someone who lost a dear loved one. It not only depicts the tragedy of a great loss, but also what it takes to rebuild a future of joy and gratitude. ...more
Barbara Alfaro’s Mirror Talk is a delightful book of essays and poems all tied in together to form a memoir. She weaves the many tales of her CatholicBarbara Alfaro’s Mirror Talk is a delightful book of essays and poems all tied in together to form a memoir. She weaves the many tales of her Catholic childhood in New York and her years of theatre work. The memoir is full of humor and sadness as the reader watches Barbara grow up. It shows a young girl growing into maturity who is full of spunk and has the courage to ask the difficult questions. In one essay, she asks, as a young woman, “What is love? Was it putting stone in your shoes and offering the pain to Gad as the nuns said some saints did? Was it wanting to beat up the bully who had beaten my brother? Was it mama who no matter how closely she held you, never held you too tightly?” All throughout the memoir, you can see into the depth of humanity through the author’s insight into herself and her life. I found myself reflecting on my life as I read Barbara’s memoir. So many of her pieces took me back to a similar time in my life.
This novel is a mystery and well told. The main character is America Miles. The town is Hyacinth Missouri. America, we discover right away is a reportThis novel is a mystery and well told. The main character is America Miles. The town is Hyacinth Missouri. America, we discover right away is a reporter on a Midwestern small town newspaper. Nothing really happens in Hyacinth until now! America's unfriendly editor dies of unnatural causes. Since he is not well liked, everyone at the newspaper is suspect. America investigates the story on her own. However there is danger! (I won't give away the surprising events or outcome.)
The author, Majeske, offers up the mundane ins and outs of being a small time reporter with humor. The newspaper environment is very true to life. The main character is funny, and of course she has blind spots that always make the main character more interesting. She's a real person, with an everyday job.
We as readers can see the trouble she's getting into. Will she get out? Solve the murder? You must read it to find out.
Castles is a book that reads like a memoir. When you read it you believe it is true. The book is filled with believable characters that have lots of pCastles is a book that reads like a memoir. When you read it you believe it is true. The book is filled with believable characters that have lots of problems which they are unwilling to face. It’s hard to read because you believe it is true even though the author says it is fiction. The writing is excellent. It is set in a desert town. It is set up as several distinct stories but with the same characters. The first story involves the main character Maggie and her grandmother. Her mother and abusive boyfriends also people the story. What is so beautiful about this first story is the contrast between the mother and the grandmother. The mother has a foul mouth and abusive manner. Her choice of men reveal her low character. She abuses Maggie, blames her and calls her names. The grandmother is very kind and protective of Maggie. She inspires Maggie and the reader. She is a lifeline for Maggie. We as readers realize this, so when she dies we realize how devastating it is for Maggie. It sets her on a downward spiral that leads to the ultimate deadly end. Castles is a dark story of abuse, rape, victimization and revenge; however it is REAL LIFE. In our darkest moments we are alone, with a voice, the voice of someone who loved us. If we listen to that voice are we “mad” or just wise? I loved this book! I really loved it! ...more
In Ken Lindsey’s book River Runes, we enter the city of Caithiir. It is inhabited by humans but visited daily and protected through the river runes byIn Ken Lindsey’s book River Runes, we enter the city of Caithiir. It is inhabited by humans but visited daily and protected through the river runes by magicians. Jonathan is the protagonist who is an apprentice to a magician. He is coming into his own. Soon he will assume the Master's place as magician of Third Chapel. However a curious newcomer makes his way into Third Chapel by the name of Bixby. He is a faerie. He is naïve and unsupervised. Trouble brews since the overwhelming force of Mother has been set in motion, and there are consequences. How can Jonathan and the magician, Imlay, protect Bixby? This book is dramatic, in that, events are always unfolding and since we care about the fully developed main characters, we as readers want to read on. The language that the author Ken Lindsey uses to describe the city and the magician and his apprentice working on the runes is very detailed and precise. You can easily picture a scene of what is happening. It should be made into a movie. I especially like the subtle comparisons between the humans who live in Caithiir and real people in everyday life. They are so ignorant of the forces that impact their lives—the power of the river that they so desperately try to control and the magicians everywhere around them. At the same time they think they are so in control when they are not. I really liked this book. I will not give away the plot or the ending. All I can say is, “Read it!” Review by Kimberly Fujioka
I loved this book from the beginning to the end. It is so much better than I thought because the main character is so multifaceted. It really makes yoI loved this book from the beginning to the end. It is so much better than I thought because the main character is so multifaceted. It really makes you think about so many things--how our obsessions with other people keep us going. Eng is overly fascinated/obsessed with another character (I won't say who) and it is really insightful how the author keeps it going and, in the process, shows us(the reader) how our obsessions reveal so much about who we are as human beings. We as readers get to know Eng so well just based upon his obsession with this other person. In addition, through this novel I learned so much about the love/hate relationship and deep conflict. Unlike other characters in a novel, these two Chang and Eng cannot get away from each other. They cannot refuse to speak to each other and they cannot run away from each other. Because of that fact alone, we can learn something very precious about being a human being in relation to others. That is what I loved most about this novel....more
Testimonials from the book website "Kimberly's book gave me the information I needed to start tutoring. My husband is in the military and we move arounTestimonials from the book website "Kimberly's book gave me the information I needed to start tutoring. My husband is in the military and we move around a lot so I needed a job that I could start over in a new location. With tutoring I can do that! " Joan Honolulu, HI...more
This is a very good book. I didn't read it until after I saw the movie. The book is written for young adults but the topic is very adult. It deservesThis is a very good book. I didn't read it until after I saw the movie. The book is written for young adults but the topic is very adult. It deserves five stars. ...more
I am reading this book now. I have read all of Kidd's other books and loved them. I am really liking this one too ! I love the structure of the book,I am reading this book now. I have read all of Kidd's other books and loved them. I am really liking this one too ! I love the structure of the book, the time with her daughter in Greece and then the two different points of view on the mother-daughter relationship. Maybe I can ask my boss if I can write a book review on this one. (I am a book reviewer.)
I like how she writes about the relationship as evolving. It makes me realize that even though memories seem to be stagnant, they are not. It depends what stage you are in life, how you interpret the past. I also like ti that the narrator in the book (Sue) can learn from her daughter. It's like she is so open to learning from the whole world around her. I really like that ! It feels so expansive and spiritual....more