This is an interesting character story; there are two main characters Jem (the title character) and Devon. Additional there are (basically) four seconThis is an interesting character story; there are two main characters Jem (the title character) and Devon. Additional there are (basically) four secondary ones in Devon's son, her ex, and her two neighbors.
The story has its setup in the past (so you have the foundation) when Jem and Devon are young. The friendship is as solid as can be (when kids are kids) but at the hands of parental abuse (of Jem) it becomes complex. The story then brings you to "the present".
Jem is employed but sort of stalled in his life (basically set in his routine, such as it is) and Devon has recently relocated (to the same area where Jem now lives) with her small child in tow.
During a chance meeting, Jem recognizes Devon but she does not recognize him, despite the fact that she remembers fondly and regularly the little boy that meant so much to her from when she was young.
As with all "grown up" things, life gets in the way - Jem's aggressiveness, a misunderstanding, Jem's distrust with his emotions and feelings, Devon's mistrust of men, the ex coming back into the picture, and other things, all hamper the situation.
Will they be able to bridge the gap that time and situation have brought or is it too little, too late?
I really liked the premise of the story and the author's style; it allowed for POV changing (and it was easy to follow) and she gave you enough narrative details to set a stage but in a manner that allowed your own imagination to fill in the blanks the way your own mind sees fit (big plus for me).
Overall, a very solid “recommend” for anyone that enjoys a "people" story and one where peoples' demons must be defeated in order for them to continue on as individuals, with, or without, the people that matter the most to them in their lives.
I recommend "Jem" by Michelle Abbott * * * * Four Stars (out of five)...more
“Deadly Secrets” (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1) by Gordon Bickerstaff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A solid thriller / suspense story “Deadly Secrets” (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1) by Gordon Bickerstaff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A solid thriller / suspense story
FOUR STARS * * * *
The locale of the story (after a short and graphic opening) starts the reader off in the United Kingdom nations of Scotland and England and then carries them to other areas of Europe as the tale unwinds.
Gavin Shawlens is a biochemist who is working with creator Emma Patersun on her new food process that will revolutionize the industry. In the right hands Emma’s work could help ease the food demand burden and feed the hungry; in the wrong hands, it would mean ultimate control for whoever possessed it and could possibly threaten the stability of the world wide food supply.
James Barscadden and his company BARSCO are determined to steal the process in order to gain that control and to profiteer from it.
The story is written expressively and author Gordon Bickerstaff offers much detail into the setting, the backstory, and some of the business dealings and practices of the Barscadden Corporation (which offers additional insight as to why the company works and functions as ruthlessly and efficiently as it does). These are just a few examples of the detail and style found within the story.
I also felt the descriptive dialog and detailed explanations of some of the scientific and chemical processes added to the story. While I appreciated the details, there were times I thought it was “holding up” the story. (That’s more my issue than the work – I basically have an attention span of a gnat). I wanted to get to the next turn in the story and while the details keep my attention, I did catch myself wanting to “move on” ahead of the “telling”.
Overall, a very enticing read and a solid “recommend” for anyone that enjoys the crime / thriller / suspense genres.
I recommend “Deadly Secrets” (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1) by Gordon Bickerstaff * * * * Four Stars (out of five)
FOUR STARS * * *Murder at Cold Creek College by Christa Nardi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Murder mystery at a small private college
FOUR STARS * * * *
Psychology Professor Sheridan Hendley is the main character in this murder mystery. The story begins with the murder of Dr. Adam Millberg, a member of the psychology department, just before the semester starts. There is the possibility that one of her friends might be arrested as a suspect and that motivates some of Sheridan’s actions, with the whole psychology department under scrutiny.
With information becoming available during the initial investigation, it becomes apparent that the dead psychology professor was of questionable character and there was more than one person with possible motive or intent.
The story is told from her point of view and shows Sheridan's attempts to piece together what happened using her own psychology skills. She tries to identify those that are plainly innocent, but then works through others with questionable or possible motives. Because there is more to police work than the psychology side, her efforts are not totally successful on their own, but it does get her involved with the investigation.
The local police begin the handling of the murder until Detective Brett McMann from the state police arrives and assumes control which causes resistance between Detective McMann and the local police. Sheridan is assigned to show the detective around the campus and introduce him to all the members of her department which mainly serves to get her fully thrust into the thick of things.
A small romance between Sheridan and Brett becomes a secondary theme to the story. It is done in a fitting manner, which adds rather than detracts to the story (as some romances into story-lines sometimes seem forced for the sake of just having them there – not the case in this situation).
The overall story has good pacing; it never seems to drag and the characters are realistic and believable. There are small twists to the plot that make it an engaging read.
The story is complete but the characters continue in the second book in the series, "Murder in the Arboretum" (there was a sample chapter at the end of the Kindle e-book).
I recommend “Murder at Cold Creek College” by Christa Nardi – * * * * Four Stars (out of five) ...more
Not your average down and out, rise to occasion, story.
I recently had the opportunity to read Reject High (A Young Adult Science Fiction SNot your average down and out, rise to occasion, story.
I recently had the opportunity to read Reject High (A Young Adult Science Fiction Series Book 1) by Brian Thompson
Reject High is an alternative school for high school students who have been removed from the mainstream school system. These are mainly at risk students, those with behavior issues, threat issues, and so forth. It’s a place where they are given a final chance to finish their education as close to normal school environment as possible or be fully removed from the originated education system.
Jason is the main character of this book and he is new to the school (he is there due to ADHD and rage blackouts; he was thrown out of mainstream school due to a fight with another student at his old school that was the last in a series of rage events). At the new school he meets Rhapsody who has been at the school a while and tells him some of the ins and outs. Not everything is as it seems on the surface with Rhapsody as Jason soon learns.
She has an ability granted to her through a crystal she wears around her neck and when Jason ends up with a crystal of his own he too gains powers he must manage and control.
The pair soon have to deal with not only the responsibilities of having the powers but also keeping their friends and family safe. They also end up needing to keep the source of their powers out of the hands of others who they believe they would misuse them.
I am a big superhero fan and while this story is geared for the young adult set I found it enjoyable. It did start out a little slow but the pace picked up and it was a great read.
Just a quick FYI – there were some borderline mature / adult parts to the story and depending on your sensitively level to what you want your teens to read, I think it makes sense to read the story for yourself first to make sure your teen is either good with the content or if you should talk some of the issues the characters deal with in the story out with them first. ...more
AEGIS INCURSION is an Action Adventure / Fantasy story by S. S. Segran that was recommended to me; it is the second book of the Aegis League Series BoAEGIS INCURSION is an Action Adventure / Fantasy story by S. S. Segran that was recommended to me; it is the second book of the Aegis League Series Book 2. I asked a few other readers regarding the book as I had not read the prior title and it is one of the rare few that works good as a stand-alone story.
While it is geared for the Teen / Young Adult audience it was still a very good book for an adult that enjoys Action Adventure / Fantasy story that is part paranormal, part magic and one that pits good versus evil.
It is not a particularly sophisticated book (because it is written for that Young Adult audience) but it is involved and well written enough where it is NOT simple / boring; it will keep you engaged throughout the entire story.
Additionally, because it is a Young Adult read, it isn't laced with profanity or other heavy adult themes.
Now that I am done with it I am going to put it on the list for my eleven year old to read....more