Archives for: February 2011
Book Review: Deceit 0 comments

This book I read in two days, largely because I was too scared to stop reading.
Brandilyn Collins is a masterful suspense writer. She achieves this spine tingling tale not with lots of gore and violence, but subtle, psychological plots.

Deceit is about Joanne Weeks, a widowed “skip tracer” who makes a living tracking down people who are trying to hide. Joanne believes that six years ago, her best friend Linda did not just disappear as the police concluded. She believes Linda was murdered by her husband, Baxter Jackson. He’s a successful, generous businessman, so Joanne’s accusations cost her many relationships.
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When Baxter’s second wife dies under suspicious circumstances, Joanne becomes even more convinced he is a killer. Driving home one rainy evening, she encounters a mysterious man in a black hood. The man urges her to track down Melissa, a foster child who lived with the Jacksons at the time of Linda’s disappearance, because she knows where the body is buried.
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The book then alternates between Joanne’s search for Melissa and flashbacks to 2004 and what transpired in the Jackson’s home. As the book title indicates, lots of people – not just Baxter – were involved in deceit. Even Melissa.
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Uncovering the lies leads Joanne on a dangerous journey. Seeing her character develop and just a little bit of romance made this a strong suspense story.
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Deceit is published by Zondervan, a Christian publisher. Be aware, however, that real-life themes are developed. I would not recommend this book for a young adult audience. You’ll also want to leave the light on when you’re reading it.
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I picked it up when it was free for Kindle last year. Deceit is now selling for $9.99.

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Have you written a review? 2 comments

In January we featured a post about reviews and their importance to authors and readers alike. As the person who selects books to feature on DailyCheapReads, I read many reviews and appreciate those reviews that provide honest feedback about a book. Have you found the time to write a review yet?
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Some of you post mini-reviews as comments on posts for books you have read. Thank you for telling all of us when you have enjoyed a book. April wrote this about Hens Dancing

Raffaella has now become one of my favorite authors! Can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud and nodded in agreement. Could see myself on several pages, sadly! I am hoping kindle will have all of her books available, but I would love a copy of this book for the beautiful cover.

Note: Hens Dancing is now selling for $9.99.
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Geneva told us this about The Blue Edge of Midnight

Purchased and READ the Blue Edge of Midnight, on a Sunday afternoon. The book held my attention, I could not put it down. Jonathon King kept me on the edge of my seat. I will read other books of his in the near future.

Note: The Blue Edge of Midnight is now selling for $9.89.
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Wayne added this comment on Lord of the Crooked Paths

Marvelous book. Really enjoyed it. Patrick Adkins really brings the characters from mythology to life. Great plot development and rounding out of characters. I highly recommend the book to anyone.

After this comment was posted, I sent an e-mail to the author Patrick Adkins. Patrick referred me back to a recent review posted on Amazon. I wanted to share the review with you as it contains several important points:

  1. What caused the reviewer to buy and/or read the book
  2. What the reviewer liked and why
  3. Comments about who else might enjoy the book
  4. Comments about the Kindle edition (wonderful information!)

The review:

The title of this book attracted me, and once I started reading, I was hooked! I really, really enjoyed this book. I particularly liked the author’s ‘voice’ in writing. It was very fresh and modern and conversational with no attempts to sound archaic or contrived. All the characters were totally 3-D and well-drawn with believable (though not always likable) personalities. All the characters are drawn from Greek mythology of the Age of the Titans, which predated the more commonly-known Greek gods & goddesses. The greatest portion of this book is just a fly-on-the-wall view of the Titan and Titaness lords and ladies going about their everyday life, which is imagined down to the smallest detail and is totally believable.

[Snip]

An excellent read, highly recommended! I would say that this is suitable for all ages from young teens up. I would hesitate to recommend it for younger children because while there’s no graphic descriptions, there are definitely adult situations, not all pleasant.

Note on the Kindle formatting: Perfect. Period.

If you haven’t purchased Lord of the Crooked Paths, really two novels in one, you can buy it today for 99 cents.

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Book Review: Mozart’s Sister 1 comment

Thank goodness I stuck with this book to see it through to the end.
This book by Nancy Moser is, obviously, about Mozart’s Sister Anna Maria, who usually went by Nannerl. It is clearly a fictionalized account, but is thoroughly researched so it makes for a lazy way to learn some interesting history.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, known to his older sister as Wolfie, begins to display his musical genius as a young boy. For an older sister who is nearly as gifted at playing the piano, this makes for a strained relationship. Their father is determined to show the world their musical gifts are from God and continually pushes them to perform before audiences. When they were just 12 and 7, they set out on a Grand Tour of Europe, playing before royalty in many countries.
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As such, the first part of the book read like a travelogue of 18th Century Europe. The first person narration hardly sounds like a young girl, except for repeated complaints that her little brother receives more attention and Nannerl’s predictable remarks that it wasn’t fair she couldn’t be a composer just because she was female.
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Even so, the story was interesting enough to keep me reading.
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The second half became much more interesting. Nannerl and Mozart were separated when he went to Vienna and she had to cope with her father’s efforts to control his son from afar. She also came to realize that her most marriageable years had passed while she was occupied with music. It is a far more interesting tale to see her balance her gifts in music with just-as-strong desires to be a wife and mother. Nannerl’s situation is made more complicated by her brother’s notoriety which was not well received in their hometown of Salzburg and the archbishop’s desire to retaliate for perceived slights from the Mozarts men.
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I don’t know much about classical music, yet I thought the book would have benefited from stronger musical themes. Overall, I found it a rewarding read. If Kindle books are ever accompanied by a made-for-the-book musical score when you read them, this could be a real knockout.
Mozart’s Sister is selling for $5.38 in the Kindle store.

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Book Review: Talk of the Town 0 comments

Here in the Midwest, we’re getting a taste of Snow-mageddon. It’s a great day for snuggling down for the Kindle. To make it even better, one of my favorite recent books is being offered free today.
Talk of the Town will transport you to a warm, cozy diner in Daily, Texas.

Daily, the small town you wish you were from, is the true star of this series. Lisa Wingate does a masterful job of creating characters that are authentic and entertaining, but not caricatures.

Talk of the Town begins as local girl Amber Anderson becomes a finalist on an American Idol-type show.  Daily becomes a hotbed of activity and the town rises to the occasion to protect its own little celebrity. The action centers in the Daily Cafe, where the regulars  — known as the countertoppers — enjoy a fine piece of pecan pie. Next door is the Daily Hair and Body, that’s hair styling in front, auto body repair on the alley side.

The story is told with two first-person point of views. One is Manda Florentino, a producer who arrived from Hollywood to try to organize Amber’s hometown concert. The zealous support of Dailyians makes it both easier and more challenging as she tries to keep the event under the radar of snooping media.

Imagene Doll, a widowed waitress at the Daily cafe, narrates the other half of the story. Her Texas sayings and tender heart give the story a sweet flavor that lingers like pecan pie. Imagene is such a doll, in fact, I started hoping she would end up with the good looking cowboy who showed up in town.

But it was not meant to be, as just a hint of a romance unfolds under the stars of Daily, Texas.

My reviews of the other two books in the Daily series follow.

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