Mallory Caine just wants to live her life quietly, at least as quiet as a lawyer in L.A. can. Being hit on by lascivious judges, pursued by an ex-boyfMallory Caine just wants to live her life quietly, at least as quiet as a lawyer in L.A. can. Being hit on by lascivious judges, pursued by an ex-boyfriend and having a killer roaming the streets is not helping in that department.
But then, neither is being a zombie.
Mallory died about a year ago, but was brought back to life by some unknown person and now survives as a zombie in the Hollywood Hills. Her own murder (not that anyone knows that was what it was) is unsolved and now she discovers that someone is killing zombies. Zombies do not have souls, and if Mallory is killed (again) before she gets her soul back she will end up in Hell. On top of all this is a new case from a woman who proclaims she is innocent of murder, and Mallory has first-hand knowledge her client is telling the truth.
There is a lot thrown at the reader in Pay Me In Flesh, first in a new series by K. Bennett, but nothing that really confuses the story line or set up for the next book. Everything is introduced by Mallory matter-of-factly. She has been "living" as a zombie for a year, and knows that while not all of her decisions would be considered morally acceptable, she will do what she has to survive. Survive she must, not only against the zombie killer roaming the streets, but trying to navigate a life with bills to pay, an ex-boyfriend intent on reigniting their relationship and the continuing mystery of her own resurrection. Bennett has started a fun series with a lead character who does not apologize for who she is; even when she eats their brains....more
Mallory James is a cool-headed firefighter paramedic (aptly nicknamed Ice) who leads a band of smokejumpers six months out of the year in Montana. TraMallory James is a cool-headed firefighter paramedic (aptly nicknamed Ice) who leads a band of smokejumpers six months out of the year in Montana. Training rookies in thirty days takes all her time and attention, but when Jac Russo shows up unexpectedly to fill a slot, Mallory finds herself fighting an attraction she hasn't felt in a long time, which makes Jac trouble with a capital T. Jac has the skills to be on the team and is running from both the tabloids and her conservative father, who is on the campaign trail and courting followers. Mallory does her best to put Jac in her place, but Jac isn't afraid to pursue the woman, or the work, she wants. The relationship heats up as a subtle cat and mouse game between the two women culminates in passion that cannot be denied. However, when Jac is called back to family duty, will Mallory let her go or fight for the one who finally melted Ice?
I liked this story. I do think it took a long time for the characters to come together, even with the obvious attraction between the two. Not that it wasn't completely unbelieveable: workplace relationships, especially between supervisor and rookie, can be frowned upon. The emotional angst of the two were palpable: Jac has her conservative father and his Presidental run, Mallory has her loss of two smoke jumpers the summer before to increase her concerns about leading the group. The self-doubt would be enough for anyone to question their feelings about everything else in their lives. The whole twist of how Jac ended up in Montana was a bit convoluted, even for those involved in politics, but made the dramatic tension palpable through the end. Radclyffe has a way with words. Her scenes are vivid, both in their visual set up of scenes and the sensual and emotional tension between Jac and Mallory. Having the taunting instigator named Hooker made me chuckle through most of the book, but the secondary characters are solid, especially Sarah.
Radclyffe bring another hot lesbian romance for her readers in Firestorm. ...more
It's good. Fascinating from a world building point of view. I am definitely going to be reading the next one. I think I am out of patience for extremeIt's good. Fascinating from a world building point of view. I am definitely going to be reading the next one. I think I am out of patience for extreme "I was meant for you" love stories at this point, but liked the twists of the story. ...more
Excellent reference that is great for a beginner, but intermediate and advanced knitters can find something in here also. Nice patterns and referencesExcellent reference that is great for a beginner, but intermediate and advanced knitters can find something in here also. Nice patterns and references, photo illustrations are a boon for those who craft visually.
I have always been a visual learner. When I decided a few years ago to relearn how to knit I ended up getting a couple of CD-ROMs (remember those?) to use on my laptop. It gave me the basics, and I supplemented with other books and classes over the years. Teach Yourself Visually: Circular Knitting would have been in my hands if it existed, and I am still glad it is now.
This book takes you from the basics of what you actually need for not just circular knitting, but handy accessories in general, on to the various cast-ons and methods used in circular knitting. Techniques for common problems, like how many times I have twisted when I joined the cast-on row, or caused jogs when colors are changed, are outlined along with how techniques are adjusted from flat to circular knitting. You can knit a flat pattern chart in the round!
The projects range from a basic ear warmer to various pullovers in stripes and cables. For the hat, mitten and sock projects Melissa shows you how to take measurements to adapt each one for fit. Each pattern comes with helpful hints, such as "Choosing Your Yarn" when making the Double-Thick Potholder or "Choosing Your Stitch Pattern" when you move up to socks. Melissa emphasizes when you must knit a swatch for gauge (sigh) and how to not be afraid of steeks in a project (gasp). Applying scissors to knitted objects are as scary as cables, but maybe with guidance I will find myself with one of the lovely projects provided. Chapters on various stitch patterns to liven up your circular projects and technique overviews complete the book.
I have been fortunate to actually take a class with Melissa before, and now I feel I have a way to go back to her instruction at any time with Teach Yourself Visually: Circular Knitting. Whether this is the first time you are picking up circular knitting needles or you have been doing it for years, this book will be a handy reference for all....more
Decent mystery. Background set up of Cassie (lead character) will be interesting to follow through the series. Formulaic as cozies go (especially in tDecent mystery. Background set up of Cassie (lead character) will be interesting to follow through the series. Formulaic as cozies go (especially in the love interest development) but has nice gardening information stuck inside the story, not just the information at the end....more
Harper Alessi is the little rich girl being raised by her grandparents in Arizona; Grace Dunlop is the precocious English-born debutante. Fast friendsHarper Alessi is the little rich girl being raised by her grandparents in Arizona; Grace Dunlop is the precocious English-born debutante. Fast friends from age eleven, Grace and Harper grow even closer as they get older. What's love got to do with it? Everything.
This is Harper's story--her story of meeting Grace for the first time in 1984 during tennis camp and of going to private school in Arizona, raised more by her grandparents than her world-traveling parents. Her world revolves around Grace and most of the time Grace doesn't even realize it. Harper knows she loves Grace, and as they pursue college and summer trips together, they finally admit their love for each other. Yet it is a love in denial: of course they love each other, of course they are intimate, but that doesn't mean they are lesbians!
Or does it? As Harper slowly comes into her own identity, she finally admits the truth of her love. Can she and Grace take that final step to truly be together, or will their own privileged circumstances keep them apart?
Sometimes when a story features rich kid characters, it is hard to get in the mood. The privilege of Grace and Harper's early years really sets the tone of most of the story. The money, the private school, the lack of financial issues in college, the summer trips abroad. It both scrapes at my nerves with the sense of entitlement that all the characters seem to have from the beginning and makes the story that much more believable when conflicts arise with Grace's mother and boyfriend, and surrounding Grace's trust fund.
While the start of Jukebox deals with the back story from their childhood to the fateful evening that Harper declares her love and identity to Grace, the second half of it is set twelve years later, in 2005, as both Harper and Grace deal with the choices and feelings of the past. For me, this was the hardest part of the book to connect with. While some of the underlying feelings are completely believable (who hasn't pined for a lost love?), the way that Daggett set up and broke various plot lines and characters in the story were rather hard to read without rolling my eyes. I also struggled to feel any empathy for Grace. She reminded me of those brash, assuming men in the Harlequin romances that turn the woman inside out and then say, "Hey, guess what, I do love you!" Um, no thank you.
On the plus side, I did connect to Harper's struggle with her love for Grace and denial of her sexual identity. I also enjoyed Daggett's scene-setting throughout the years. As a girl of the 80s who loves a working jukebox, that was a big draw for me. It was the songs in the jukebox that let Harper first express herself, from "Lost In Your Eyes" to "I Hate Everything About You." Chapters are not numbered, instead they are titled with expressive songs through the years. Any woman who has made a mix tape for her love will enjoy the weaving of music through the book. ...more
Turn For Home follows up after the holiday break for Time Trails, the sci-fi series that both Cassidy and Brenna star on. Trying to find time to contiTurn For Home follows up after the holiday break for Time Trails, the sci-fi series that both Cassidy and Brenna star on. Trying to find time to continue building their relationship is full of pitfalls: not only do Brenna's sons give her the cold shoulder, but as well-known actresses, trying to hide from reporters and photographers is all but impossible. When Cassidy's abusive ex-husband Mitch arrives on the scene, the doors are thrown wide-open, leaving the women to face the challenge of surviving under the microscope of Hollywood.
Compared to its prequel, Turning Point, Turn for Home moves at a much faster clip. This is an action-and-reaction based storyline, as opposed to the relationship discovery of the first book. When their relationship becomes public, Brenna and Cassidy must both face shocked and angry people in their lives. When Brenna is forced to give a statement to the press by the show's producers, she experiences first-hand the animosity that some have toward gays and lesbians. For Cassidy, it hits even closer to home as she once again must deal with her conservative, self-righteous father and passive mother. Zielinsky demonstrates that with the bad comes the good, as support comes at the hands of not only cast and crew on the show, but in smaller figures such as a patient rights advocate. Brenna's relationship with her sons and their activities is another focus of this book. While it becomes a nice plot device to bring Cassidy back into the boys' good graces by having her act as the go-between for Brenna and her younger son, James, I found the sequence of events served more to tie the characters together neatly towards the end than any other reason. The active storylines overshadow most of the romance and emotion that was evident in Turning Point, but I believe the book still presents a relationship that is being built in the face of adversity and self-recognition for both Cassidy and Brenna.
Turn for Home is an fast but engaging read. While not as romantic as its predecessor, it is one that will pack a punch for those who pick it up. It is a book about a new relationship that has to survive many obstacles, and many will recognize the love - or the pain - to connect to from their own experiences. ...more
Lara Zielinsky highlights two women who find themselves on opposite sides of the acting divide: Brenna is approaching the "over-the-hill" status thatLara Zielinsky highlights two women who find themselves on opposite sides of the acting divide: Brenna is approaching the "over-the-hill" status that actresses over 40 find themselves facing; Cassidy is the younger, gorgeous woman brought in to bring a fresh face and look to the series. After a period of time of aloofness, Cassidy uses her son's birthday party to show Brenna that she is a good person, sparking more than a truce in their dealings with each other.
After finishing the book, I realized that I knew so much about these two women and how they deal with their changing feelings. The friendship that grows between the two women is born of work and motherhood, but the attraction is there from the beginning, more so for Cassidy. As she tries to figure out what draws her to Brenna, she works on disentangling herself from both her issues with her abusive ex-husband and her relationship with show writer Cameron, which puts her in more and more uncomfortable positions on set. Brenna's second marriage to upcoming politician Kevin Shea was a fast decision and one that does not provide Brenna the stability she expected it to bring. The emotional connection between the two is tenuous at best, living and working long-distance. Brenna's sons still refer to him as "Mr. Shea" even after a year.
At first I was concerned about how slow the story seemed to be progressing. Hollywood is full of "in bed in fifteen minutes" storylines, as are lesbian romances. While the story take a long time to build, readers get to see not only the development of Brenna and Cassidy's relationship, but glimpses into their lives as actresses and mothers. The plot uses some devices that seem a little far-fetched: both women travel to the same store in all of Los Angeles to shop for their fateful camping trip, Cameron catches the two in a kiss and immediately wonders if "Cassidy will let him watch". Even with those trite moments, the growing love between the two, and the self-reflection that it causes them both, is sure to touch a memory in many readers' minds. It certainly did mine.
Turning Point is a slow but steady heart-felt story of two women discovering their feelings for each other. Decorated in the glitter of stardom, it is the people behind the television characters that have to strip away the artifice to find the love they really want. ...more
"I was born in the year of the Tiger with a lucky star over my head and a knife in my hand." (p.7) This is how Tan introduces us to her childhood in S"I was born in the year of the Tiger with a lucky star over my head and a knife in my hand." (p.7) This is how Tan introduces us to her childhood in Singapore. After a childhood of generational intent and dreams, Tan shows a life full of ambition and food. While she was happy to build her life in New York, Tan missed her home dishes even as she learned to appreciate meatloaf and bread. After her grandmother's death, she realizes that she has no concept of the dishes she grew up with and makes plans to spend the next year in Singapore, learning in the kitchens of her aunts and mother. As she learns the family recipes, she also learns details about her family's history. Food is just the beginning as Tan realizes she has so much more to gain than just recipes. Through failures and successes in cooking, the kitchen becomes a gateway into Tan's family past and a lifeline that connects her in the present.
I love culinary memoirs. Tan's descriptive prose of her time in the kitchen, both in her tiny space in New York and in her relatives' spaces in Singapore, drew me in. I got lost not only in her family history, but in the process of cooking. As someone who feels that food is a definite way to connect to family, I really enjoyed the details. Even as she moves back and forth between reminiscing about her childhood and the present day, I had no trouble keeping pace with the story.
Fans of Michael Ruhlman's Soul of a Chef or Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone should enjoy this memoir, which is a personal journey into Tan's family life and kitchen. ...more
In Burn Down The Sky, James Jaros brings us a family struggling to survive. Cities are a wasteland, the population has been decimated by a disease thaIn Burn Down The Sky, James Jaros brings us a family struggling to survive. Cities are a wasteland, the population has been decimated by a disease that causes insanity and death. There are some groups that have determined that they are chosen to survive by God, and will continue to ensure their survival by finding girls young enough to not be virus carriers to impregnate and enslave. A raid at Jessie's camp kills almost everyone and the girls, including Ananda, Jessie's younger daughter, are taken to the Hands of God. Jessie, her older daughter Bliss, and others met along the way travel a desolate landscape to rescue the children.
If you are not a fan of seeing children being used and abused, this book won't be for you. There is violence, both physical and sexual, but not explicit enough to discourage the story. There are a few medical references thrown into a section of dialogue that brings light to the creation of the virus and the downfall of mankind, but is a little less like a actual conversation and more like Jaros is trying to fill in the details of how the world went wrong.
I wasn't sure what I would think of this book going in. It isn't part the genres I usually turn to now, plus my own personal issue with using the word "Wicca" to describe a killing virus rubbed me the wrong way. However, once I started reading the action quickly picked up and carried me along, as did the main characters. Jessie and Ananda alternate the lead voices through the book. The perspective of a mother who knew what the world was like before contrasted with the child who never knew a grocery store or school. Added to this was Ananda's older sister Bliss. Caught between teen and adult, Bliss demonstrates the hardness girls have to take on to survive. These three women kept me in this book; the core issue of what a mother will do for her children is one that no parent will question.
Burn Down the Sky will appeal to those who enjoy post-apocalyptic tales, stories of humanity's survival against our own created curse. While the language of science versus fanatical religion is not unique, this fast-paced story may make the reader ponder the extremes of both. ...more
Jaz and Vayl are trying to enjoy a little alone time (with a sexy game of hide and seek) when an assassin strikes at their doorstep. Jaz's "kill firstJaz and Vayl are trying to enjoy a little alone time (with a sexy game of hide and seek) when an assassin strikes at their doorstep. Jaz's "kill first ask questions later" technique is superseded by some surprise information from Cassandra and Raoul. However the assassin is not the last surprise that Jaz and Vayl receive as the team gathers together one more time to help Jaz save the day - and herself.
This book is the eighth and last of the Jaz Parks series, due to Rardin's untimely death last year. Luckily for fans it gives an tidy ending to Jaz and her group and answers a lot of the questions that have been asked through the series. There is no let down in the action as Jaz, Vayl, Bergman, Cassandra, Cole, Dave and even Raoul gather together to take on demons and ghosts, along with a wedding, a baby, and a few family members in between. Rardin delivers a strong story and balances the fights and mayhem with a lot of humor.
I have enjoyed all the books in this series and am sorry to see its end. These books definitely build on each other and there is little backstory given so readers will want to start at the beginning with Once Bitten, Twice Shy. Urban fantasy enthusiasts who like a sharp and funny heroine that knows how to kick some butt will enjoy this series....more