Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts

Monday, June 6, 2022

[Review] - Death of the Black Widow by James Patterson & J.D. Barker

When I hear the name Black Widow, I automatically think of Scarlett Johansson's Marvel character and not the newest novel from bestselling author James Patterson. No, Mr. Patterson hasn't stepped into the MCU world. Instead, he teamed up with J.D. Barker to coauthor the crime-thriller Death of the Black Widow (Grand Central Publishing; paperback; 560 pages).   

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

[Review] - Midnight's Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller

Available on Kindle and Paperback

About the Series 

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

[Review] - Shadows in the Mind's Eye by Janyre Tromp

About the Book

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on—responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand—but that everyone is learning to fear.

Friday, April 8, 2022

[Review} - Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Company, recently released the Christian thriller Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn. It's the second installment in the Defend and Protect series. I had never even heard of the series before reading Malicious Intent. The cover reminds me of the black & white movie-of-the-week ads in TV Guide during the 1990s. Weirdly, that's the only reason why I wanted to read this book - I liked the cover.

The plot is as simplistic as it gets - a woman is in danger, and a law enforcement agent is assigned to protect her. In this story, the woman is Dr. Ivy Collins, the founder, and CEO of the prosthetic company Hedera, Inc., and someone is trying to sabotage her life's work. The only person who can protect Ivy is her childhood best friend - US Secret Service Agent Gil Dixon.

Final Thoughts

I had trouble connecting with the two central characters, Dr. Ivy Collins and Agent Gil Dixon. They come across as one-dimensional soap opera characters, and I didn't like them from the get-go. The plot is a cliched by-the-book mystery with a little bit of romance sprinkled into the mix. I got bored midway and took a break from the book for a few days. I only continued reading it so I could write this review.  

Overall, Malicious Intent is a predictable Chrisitan romantic thriller that is somehow neither romantic nor thrilling in any shape or form. Other readers have praised this novel, so maybe it's just me. Or maybe my taste in books is quite different from theirs. Or I'm tired of reading run-of-the-mill thrillers. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

[Review] - Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson & Dolly Parton

Recently, I read the newest James Patterson novel - Run, Rose, Run. The New York Times Bestselling Author teamed up with the Country music legend Dolly Parton, who recorded a companion album, Rose's Story. (Note - Sorry, folks, the album isn't included with the book. You have to purchase it separately. Or you can do what I did, listen to the album on Dolly's YouTube Channel.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

[Review] - Becoming My Sister by V.C. Andrews

I have talked about my love for Flowers in the Attic, its three sequels (Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday), and the standalone tale My Sweet Audrina, all written by the late great V.C. Andrews (1923 - 1986), many times over the years on this blog. When it comes to the ghostwritten novels by Andrew Neiderman, my reviews tend to be repetitive because I have to spend two-thirds explaining to readers about the ghostwriter. Since most V.C. Andrews fans already know Mr. Neiderman has been writing under her name for thirty-six years, I'm jumping right into my final thoughts for Becoming My Sister.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

[Review] - Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

About the Book 

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves—or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down? 

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

[Review] - To Disguise the Truth (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency)

Never judge a book by its cover. Right? I almost skipped over To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano based upon its artwork because it looked like a Victorian romance. I have nothing against romances. I used to live and breathe in the genre. Eventually, the plots became too cliched and stale, leading me to take a break. Now I'm stepping back into the genre, but on a book-by-book basis. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

[Review]- Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land

To tie in with the upcoming Paramount+ premiere of the second season of Star Trek: PicardSimon & Schuster Audio published the original audio drama, Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land, written by Kristen Beyer & Mike Johnson. The 99-minute audiobook features the voices of Michelle Hurd (Raffi), Jerri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Jack Cutmore-Scott, John Kassir, Fred Tatasciore, Chris Andrew Ciulla, Lisa Flanagan, Gibson Frazier, Lameece Issaq, Natalie Naudus, Xe Sands, and Emily Woo Zeller.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

[Review] - Dark Shadows by Marilyn Ross

One Upon a Time in the '80s, I was a little bitty kid who would curl up with his grandma in the extra bedroom/laundry room and watch reruns of Dark Shadows on PBS on an old black & white television. That was my first introduction to the mysterious world of the Collins family and their vampire ancestor, Barnabas Collins. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

[Review] - Reacher: Killing Floor by Lee Child

For the very first time (that I can think of), I read a novel before the adaptation got released. Yep, that's right. I read Reacher: Killing Floor by Lee Child from beginning to end over a few days. G.P. Putnam's Sons first published it in 1997 under the title Killing Floor. The publisher retitled the book to Reacher: Killing Floor to tie in with the new streaming series Reacher which debuts tomorrow on Amazon Prime.  

Thursday, January 6, 2022

[Review] - Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Judy and the Beast by R.L. Stine

The Goosebumps franchise will be turning the big 30 this year. So, in other words, I've been reading R.L. Stine's scary tales for over thirty years.  Yes, I feel old just writing that. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

[Review] - The Christmas Promise by Richard Paul Evans

If my memory serves me correctly, I was 17 years old when I stumbled upon The Christmas Box Collection, an omnibus paperback featuring The Christmas Box, Timepiece, and The Letter by Richard Paul Evans. It was my first venture in the sentimental holiday romance genre, and I've been a fan of Evans's stories ever since.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

[Review]- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Revenant

New in bookstores today is the science fiction thriller Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Revenant ($16.00 U.S./$22.00 Canada, Gallery Booksby Alex White, author of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Galaxy and Alien: The Cold Forge. It's the first novel set during the television series timeline since 2005's Hollow Men by Una McCormack. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[Review] - Out of the Rain by V.C. Andrews

The newest ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novel, Out of the Rain, was published last month by Gallery Books. It's the sequel to "The Umbrella Lady" (here's the link to my review if anyone wants to read it) written by Andrew Neiderman - otherwise known as the ghostwriter. After V.C. Andrews died in 1986, her family and publisher hired Andrew Neiderman (The Devil's Advocate) to write the Flowers in the Attic prequel Garden of Shadows, based on Ms. Andrews' notes, and finish the Casteel series. Since then, Mr. Neiderman has penned each new V.C. Andrews title, who just celebrated his 81st birthday in October.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

[Review] - The Debutante's Code by Erica Vetsch

Available on Kindle and Paperback

About the Book

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series.

Newly returning from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Monday, December 6, 2021

[Review] - Star Trek: Coda: Book 3: Oblivion's Gate

The Star Trek "litverse" concluded last week with the publication of Star Trek: Coda: Oblivion's Gate by David Mack.

For the past twenty years, Trek authors have been telling stories beyond the episodes and movies. Well, all that came to a halt because of the streaming series Star Trek: Picard, which is set twenty years after 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis and ignores the litverse continuity. Dayton Ward, James Swallow, and David Mack worked together to create the litverse swang song trilogy.

Monday, October 25, 2021

[Review] - Revival Road by Chris DiLeo


On an average street in a typical suburban town, a child dies in an all-too-plausible accident. For Sherri Matthews, a neighbor who has dedicated her life to God’s calling, this is part of God’s plan. And when the child wakes in the morgue seemingly healed, Sherri knows she must now prepare the way for what comes next.


“Something big is coming,” the revived child promises. His pet dog, dead and buried weeks prior, has come back as well, but more monster than mutt. Abbott French and Ellie Pike have never trusted Sherri or her unwavering belief and don’t believe these resurrections are God’s work. But how to explain when his sickly mother dies and is resurrected? And what about the horror Chance Gold encounters in the woods and the voice that insists, You’re mine? Or the secret a mental patient who murdered her friend knows? Or the terrible thing Carl Nichols is hiding in his basement? Or the hundreds of crows gathering across the street as if in anticipation?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

[Review] - Octopussy and The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming

Nearly two years after the death of Ian Fleming in 1964, Jonathan Cape published the author's short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights. The first edition had only 94 pages and didn't par too well with critics, who called the two stories predictable and complained about the overuse of violence and sex. Subsequent editions included The Property of a Lady and 007 in New York.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

[Review] - The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming

Before the death of Ian Fleming in August 1964, he wrote one more full-length James Bond novel - The Man with the Golden Gun. Fleming wrote the 184-page tale at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica between January and March 1964. Usually, Fleming would write 2,000 words per day. But because of his declining health, he would only write for an hour per day. It wasn't Fleming's best work. He planned on rewriting it in the spring of 1965, but, unfortunately, he died of a heart attack on August 2, 1964. Jonathan Cape published the novel posthumously eight months after Fleming's death. Like the previous 007 novel You Only Live Twice, critics didn't care much about Bond's newest adventure.