Sunday, 24 September 2017

Mid-Life Crisis Diaries - Geraldine Solon

                Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is a book destined to be on a list for best beach reads. It is the type of book you read while sipping from a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice). It is written in the entertaining and fun style that many of Ms. Solon’s books are known for.
                Marsha is the Love Guru and ready to renew her vows to her husband of twenty-five years on national TV. Her husband, however, has other plans and leaves her high and dry, alone and dishevelled, until she runs into her old nemesis, Dr. Lee, a sex therapist. Dr. Lee gives Marsha a makeover and convinces her to take part in an experiment about having a mid-life crisis. Marsha will go and stay for a month in a beautiful tropical location where she will spend time with a pre-selected much younger man named Andre. The idea is to see what will happen between two people at different stages in their lives when they spend time together without any worries and live carefree.
                Ms. Solon always develops some of the best multi-dimensional characters in her books and Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is no exception. Marsha is very relatable to women of a similar age and her inability to completely let go and be adventurous rings true for so many of us. The feelings of confusion she has throughout the book in regards to her husband and what he’s done is what makes the reader really care about having Marsha find happiness. The chemistry between Marsha and Andre almost jumps off the page and the slow burn of their blossoming friendship makes for fantastic reading. I love the fact that Ms. Solon manages to create this romance and make it seem steamy without any blatant sexual description.  Another thing I love about this book is the setting. A tropical paradise is written in such detail that it feels like you are there, smelling the food, feeling the sun, and seeing the sights. It’s a place designed for romance.
                Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is truly a book that is a guilty pleasure and one that I’m not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed. The cover is quirky and catches your attention. I read this in digital form and it formatted well.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tiffany - Rob Kelley

                Let me start by saying don’t judge this book by its cover or its title. Although the young lady on the cover is attractive, when I first was looking for something to read, at first glance I passed this book over because it looked like some vapid romance novel which is not what I was looking for at all. The book is actually a small town cozy mystery, my favourite type of mystery, but you wouldn’t know that with just a quick look. Those things aside, it’s quite a good little whodunit. The body appears right at the start which is how I like it. No long introductions or lengthy character development before the murder, just two mischievous boys and their remote control car providing a unique way to discover a body. The character development comes throughout the book and, although it’s not particularly in-depth, it’s still quite well done.
                A man is dead and his wife is missing and when she is found she doesn’t remember anything. The sheriff isn’t particularly likeable and may even be a bit crooked. Tiffany’s lawyer, Jack, is a young man who may be in over his head and has to work with a retired sheriff who doesn’t seem to have much faith in young Jack. There’s a plethora of suspects and every time I thought I had it all figured out, somebody else would enter the pool of maybe murderers.
                I absolutely loved the setting that Mr. Kelley created in this book and, having lived in a small town most of my life, it was easy to see similarities in how things are done. The characters are well written and the style of writing is nice and easy. This is the type of book I would take on vacation to enjoy, no deep thinking required, just a fun mystery to solve. The one thing in the book I would add is a bit more about life in the town and the personal lives of characters. It would add a bit more atmosphere to the book. It’s not a big problem in the book but it would be nice to see how the characters interact in their everyday lives a bit more. Otherwise, this is a fun and enjoyable book that is worth picking up to read.
                I read this book on my ereader and it formatted well.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Ethereal Entanglements - Lee French

                Ethereal Entanglements is the third novel in the Spirit Knights series written by Lee French. This book continues the story of brand new teenage knight, Clare, and her mentor knight, Justin. In the past two novels, Clare has discovered a bit about her past and why she has been chosen to be a spirit knight. Justin has been trying to teach her but various evils keep getting in the way, just as they do in this current book.
                Before starting this book, it is necessary to have read the previous two books in the series. Unlike a lot of other series, you can’t pick this book up and find out enough about the previous story to continue along. There is no information as to what has happened before in the other books and the reader is dropped right into the story where book two left off. It may also help to read the books close together because, for me, I read them a fair amount apart and completely forgot what was happening in the story. Since there is no information given about the other books, it does become fairly confusing as to some of the story specifics.
                Ethereal Entanglements is geared towards young adults and perhaps pre-teen readers who are a bit stronger with their reading skills. As in the previous books, Ms. French has carried on with the fantastic fantasy world of the Spirit Knights and she has created strong characters that represent both the good and evil in the world. Clare is a well written teenage girl who has had a lot of heart break in the past and is searching for a way to fit in and belong to a family. She’s well rounded and realistically written in regard to the emotions of a girl her age. The other characters are just as fleshed out, including the newly discovered evil who I won’t mention so has not to give anything away.
I love Ms. French’s style of writing and believe that this series will appeal to young readers who have an interest in a fantasy world full of knights, witches, and dragons. The ending was sad but as there is another book to come in the series I’m hoping for a happier resolution to the situation. This series is entertaining and full of action as well as being fairly easy to read for young adults. I look forward to reading the fourth and final instalment in the Spirit Knight series.
                I read this on my ereader and it formatted well. I love the beautiful cover and it definitely draws the eye.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Redemption of Charlie McCoy - Christopher Wilsher

                Charlie McCoy is a small time thief who desperately needs money to pay off a debt. He agrees to do a job that turns out to be a set up and it all goes horribly wrong. Someone ends up dead and Charlie must go on the run, pursued by the Adonis crime family and the FBI. Unfortunately, his ex-wife also chooses this time to drop off his estranged, smart mouthed daughter for a weekend visit and he ends up taking her with him.
                This is a fast paced thriller mystery that has lots of twists and turns and ends with a satisfying conclusion. The writing style is entertaining and makes for a fun read. The author keeps the reader engaged with an exciting storyline with lots of action that makes putting the book down very hard to do. The story flows along with a variety of characters, all well fleshed out and interesting. Usually, with so many characters involved, it is difficult to remember who they all are but because the story is so well written and the characters are so interesting, it is easy to remember who everyone is and what their role is in the story.
                The most interesting relationship in the book is that of Charlie and Amy, his daughter. He’s barely in her life and is a really dead beat dad as far as Amy is concerned. I don’t think she hates him but she has complete lack of respect for him and regards him with disdain. They are basically strangers who are forced to spend a few days together in a confined space. They have to get to know each other while running for their lives. It’s as they spend more time together that the intricacies of their unique father/daughter relationship come to light. Often deep relationship development in a thriller holds little interest for me but in this case, due to the great writing, I found it to be really entertaining. It intertwined with the action parts of the book so well that everything melded together perfectly.
                There’s also a lot of humour in the writing that isn’t blatantly in your face but rather quite subtle. There is violence but it’s also written in such a way that the book becomes a light mystery as opposed to blood and gore. The only things I would change are the cover which does very little for the book and the fact that there are a few editing issues that are very minor.
                I read this on my tablet and it formatted very well.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Fidget Spinner Games - Coach D

                If you’re always aware of the new fads going on among the kids nowadays then you’ve heard of the new toy that is aptly named the fidget spinner. I don’t have any kids so I was a little late to the game and had no clue what this thing was until I read how it originally was meant as something for people with autism as a soothing mechanism. The way it spins and the colours that display as it spins help calm them, or so I read. This interested me because of my previous work with autism so I bought one just to see what it was all about. I also found this book, Fidget Spinner Games, written by a physical education teacher, Coach D. It’s filled with a variety of games that incorporate spinners. He has developed a variety of games, some to play individually and some within groups. Some of the games are very simple and based around childhood games we’ve all played. For example, there is a game based on the kids game Duck, Duck, Goose. The difference is that the child running around the circle must run until the spinner he/she is holding stops spinning. This is a great idea because not only does it promote physical fitness but it also prohibits the same kids getting chosen as the goose each time. It’s these types of games that really show how much Coach D has geared this book towards kids and how he understands what they would find fun.
                My favourite section of the book is the trick section. There are lots of tricks you can do using the spinner and Coach D lays them out here, written with easy to follow instructions. I tried most of them and, although I’m not great at lots of them, they were a lot of fun to try out, even for an adult. I love the format Coach D uses here as well as throughout the book. Each page has one or two tricks or games on it so that the page isn’t cluttered and it’s easy on the eye. The instructions are very easy to follow and in numbered format. There are pictures throughout that help to break up the text which is very important in order to keep a child’s attention. I think kids will really enjoy this book and it’s obvious Coach D has a lot of experience with children and how to keep them engaged. .
                I read this in digital format on my ereader and it formatted well. The cover is colourful and draws the eye.