Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Welcome to my world" sony lyrics

It is a parent's worst nightmare to learn of the death of their child and in James LePore's "A World I Never Made," the author has created an excellent novel with a shrewd premise.

Pat Nolan is summoned to Paris. He's told that his daughter, Megan, had been terminally ill with cancer and committed suicide. His reaction is the disbelief that is the normal first reaction to tragic news. We observe his regret for not spending more time with Megan and his guilt for not being at her side during her desperate time of need.

When Catherine Laurence, a Police detective in Paris, shows Pat the body, he sees that it isn't Megan and realizes that Megan has staged her death. With an understanding that is rare in people, Pat realizes that Megan must be in some trouble and has staged her death, so he goes along with the cover up.

Catherine is told that Charles Raimondi of the Foreign Office is asking about Megan and that the Saudi government is linking her to a suicide bombing in Morocco.

Megan is suspected because one of the terrorists in Morocco survived and informed authorities that Megan planned the attack along with her boyfriend.

Catherine is ordered to befriend Pat and see what she can learn. As she befriends Pat, her feelings become more personal and when she sees that something is wrong with what authorities are telling her, she decides to help Pat no matter what the cost to his career.

James Le Pore writes a perceptive story about terrorists, family relationships and late blooming love. He gives the reader an interesting ride as we go through the camouflage to find what Megan had set up her death and why she was in trouble.

We read of Pat and Catherine's search for Megan and Megan's prior history that led up to the events in the story.

LePore has a deft touch for dialogue and his legal background has given him a logical approach to mixing historical facts into the story to make it believable and interesting.

"A World I Never Made" is a well-crafted mystery with rich characterization. The novel moved along smoothly and was a joy to read.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My own novel

What a thrill to see my own novel, finally arrive at the Amazon book site.

Although Amazon states that the book is not scheduled for a release until the end of January, my publisher is trying to get them to move the date up.

I've received my author supplies and had my first author event last Tuesday at the Branford Public Library. I did two readings from my book to show the humor and imagery in the novel and spoke of the steps in developing characters and in getting published.

In the first week in January I will be interviewed on a public TV station in North Haven and then be at a book signing in Hartford, Ct. on January 11th.

I'm enjoying every moment.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"When men are innocent, life shall be longer." Emerson


Vanessa Michael Munroe is an assassin who has nightmares about her past. She understands her killing capability and when her best friend, Logan, asks for help, she can't refuse.

Logan explains that eight years earlier, his friend, Charity's daughter, Hannah, was abducted from her school and taken to a cult known as The Chosen. Followers of The Profit, have hidden Hannah and shielded her abductor. Hannah was age five at the time and Logan and the other members of a group who have escaped from The Chosen, ask Munroe if she'll go in for her. Since Munroe came from a similar background, she accepts.

These people who had been childhood members of The Chosen tell Munroe some of the things that go on there and inform her that they know where Hannah is being held.

Munroe makes contact with members of the cult at their location in Argentina. She pretends to be interested in joining the group and bringing money that her family has accumulated.

When she does get into one of the homes, she observes the teenagers as they return from a day of begging as the means of generating income for the cult. Munroe understands the difficulty will be to see how much Hannah has been brainwashed. If Hannah came willingly, it would be easier for Monroe to get her out and reunited with her parents.

The reader understands that amount of brain washing that these children are subjected to. They are told that the outside world is corrupt and that people just make up bad things about the cult. Unfortunately, in this day where we learn of young people being abused by those in power, we learn of officials in the cult using their position of authority to get the naive children to do things they normally would not.

The setting is well described as we see the outward life of contentment in the members of the cult but then peel away the outer layer and see the corruption inside.

Munroe demonstrates moments of vulnerability but is able to maintain control. This makes her a more appealing character as she tries to deal with the nightmares about her killing. While with the cult, she understands that her physical skills would be sufficient to rescue her from danger. She has an associate who covers her back and this provides a double layer of safety.

The book is disquieting at times when we see the vulnerability of children but it is still a wonderfully evocative novel that will stay in the reader's mind with the thoughts of missing and lost children.

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A. Be a follower of this blog

B. Follow on Shelfari, if possible

C: Use above link and see the Amazon review, at the end of the review, indicate "YES" the review was helpful.

D: Leave email for contact purpose and indicate that you have taken step C.

E: U.S. and Canada only.

This is for an advanced copy

Giveaway ends January 7, 2012

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"It's the most wonderful time of the year." song lyrics

In the Dickeyville area of Baltimore, five friends meet and bond. They form a group they refer to as the five arms of a starfish. Composing the group are Gwen, the Halloran brothers, Sean, Tim and Go Go and the other girl in the group, Mickey Wyckoff.

They lived in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood where parents permitted the children to play without monitoring their activities.

The story moves from events in the late 1970s to current time.

In the current time, Gwen returns home to care for her elderly father who has broken his hip in a fall. While home, she meets Sean Halloran who informs her that his brother, Go Go has died, from suicide.

We learn about the character's lives since their teenage years. Gwen is married to Karl, a successful surgeon who seems mainly interested in himself, not in her accomplishments as a magazine editor. She realizes that she doesn't want to live in a home where her husband is the only thing that matters.

In 1978, the five friends often played in Leaken Park and while exploring one day, they came upon an abandoned cabin that was now the dwelling of a black homeless man. They refer to this man as Chicken George because of the chickens he keeps around the cabin. They become casual friends of this man who often disappears for long periods.

During the summer of 1978, Gwen and Sean were dating and in her bedroom when Mickey and Go Go travel to the cabin and become involved in something with Chicken George.

We learn different sides to this event which has a major effect on the group and ends their childhood innocence.

The story is described at a leisurely pace to match the uncomplicated life the characters had. The dialog shows the changes from when the characters were young to their maturity in contemporary times. This is an achievement that not that many authors are able to manage.

The novel is entertaining as we see the development of the characters and their parents as they deal with the incident and concludes in a manor that leaves the reader saddened that the innocence of childhood is such a fleeting thing.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Anyone can look at another's eyes but lovers can see each other's souls through the eyes." Larry Lotta

Set in Belfast, a young woman from Lithuania named Gayla is coerced into coming to Ireland for a chance for a better life. She thinks she will be in a good home and working as a nanny. However, she's sent to do hard work and then sold into prostitution. When the people who run this group attempt to force her into prostitution and one of them is trying to rape her, she manages to kill him.

Two other men were in the home with the murdered man, Tomas Stazdas. They are afraid of Tomas' brother so try to dump Thomas' body into a waterway, planning to drown the woman there. However, Gayla is a fighter who never gives up and manages to escape from them.

Tomas was the younger brother of a sadistic gangster, Arturas Stazdas. When he informs his mother, back in Lithuania, about her youngest son's death, the mother demands that he kill the girl and anyone else who was associated with Tomas's demise.

Meanwhile, a man named Billy Crawford had befriended Gayla while posing as a customer. He informed Gayla that if she ever escaped from the house of prostitution, he'd help her.

Gayla kept the number she had given him and calls him after escaping from the two men by the river. He meets her and tells her that he is a Baptist minister without a church and tries to save girls, like Gayla, who haven't lost their souls.

Investigating the case is Det. Inspector Jack Lennon. Soon after being assigned to the case, he learns that there have been additional murders.

The author, Stuart Neville, writes in a style reminiscent of fellow Irishman, John Connolly. In Connolly's "Every Dead Thing," revenge is the center of the novel as Charlie Parker searches for the killer of his child. In "Stolen Souls" revenge is also central to the story with Arturas's demand for revenge at all costs.

Stuart Neville uses description well and as things turn against Gayla again and again, the reader can almost feel as if they are in her shoes wondering if there is any reason to fight against fate and pray for help.

Not for the squeamish, this is a story that is so dramatic that there are times when the reader needs to take a break from the tense action. I enjoyed the novel and feel that Neville shows that he's a master storyteller.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Lots of people are dead and they're just not clever enough to fall over and decompose." Mary Burns


The novel opens with a Blue Line train in Chicago going faster than it should because the conductor wants to hurry home. The vibrations of the train's passage rattled the rails and caused a light bulb to become loose and fall, bursting quietly. Soon, some of the people in the area became sick and died.

PI Michael Kelly is called to help with security when it is determined that there could be a threat of a biological weapon on the Chicago railway system.

Dr. Ellen Brazile and her assistant, Dr. Molly Carrolton are experts in the field and they use a detection devise which registers a possible pathogen on the Blue Line subway.

As the disease spreads, authorities try to find the answers, while some, make sure they are not going to be blamed. Dr. Brazile informs Mike that soon after the first case, there were six more and the number of infected people was rising rapidly.

The Dept. of Homeland security is on hand and with mounting deaths, they decide to quarantine a part of the city. This gives some criminals the opportunity to rid themselves of their rivals and looting and burning of buildings begin.

It is easy for the reader to immerse themselves into this fearful setting. The action is realistically portrayed and not having time to think of alternatives, the story flows dramatically.

Dr. Brazile leads the charge in attempting to identify the pathogen and develop a vaccine while Mike continues to investigate who could have set this biological killer in motion.

I enjoyed Michael Kelly, who, along with Dr. Brazile, seemed concerned with the average person
while many officials were looking out for their image.

The story was enjoyable and shows that the author, Michael Harvey, knows how to put together a tense, well-plotted story.

Giveaway Rules:

1. this is an advanced reading copy

2. use above link and see the amazon review and at the end of the review, please indicate "YES" the review was helpful.

3. leave email address for contact purposes.

4. indicate that you have done step 2 and you wish to be in the giveaway

5. follow on Shelfari if possible

US and Canada -----Giveaway through Dec. 26th.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Talking without thinking is like shooting without taking aim. Proverb


Chicago has been chosen as the Olympic city of 2016. The action begins in the gang dominated neighborhood known as Four Corners. Two brothers, Ruben and Bobby Vargas grew up there and enter the police department.

Coleen Brennan was an Irish girl who befriended Bobby Vargas, who was Spanish. By the sixth grade they were boyfriend and girlfriend. His worst day was when Coleen was murdered when she was thirteen. Coleen was white and Bobby wasn't and their friendship was a dangerous thing in the race rules of Four Corners.

One day, the "Chicago Herald" runs an expose where they imply that in days to come, it would prove that Bobby and Ruben were the two boys who killed Coleen.

The story moves quickly with an interesting literary style with chapter's beginning with portions of the newspaper expose and then describing the actions of the current day. Coleen's murder is said to be a reprisal for racist policing but there is a question if she was raped to death as part of a gang initation.

Anton Dupree was arrested, found guilty of the murder and executed. His family is suing the city for wrongful execution claiming that Anton was of low intelligence and manipulated into confessing.

With the existing political climate, Bobby fears that the city will settle the suit and that he and his brother will be fired and face civil action.

There are a number of levels to the story which is told in a darkly realistic manner that has a momentum of its own. We learn that there was certain activity in Japan during WWII and that some of these actions should have resulted in criminal prosecution. Currently, representatives associated with that criminal activity is influential in financing the Olympics. Coleen's twin sister, Arleen, returns to the city and she and Bobby become romantically involved. However, Bobby is accused of certain things and the reader wonders how he will prove his innocence.

The talented author, Charlie Newton, who has been nominated for literary awards, provides the reader with a look at a section of the city life filled with gangs and drugs described so realistically that it causes the reader to gasp.

There is excellent dialogue and the writing moves across the pages effortlessly. Bobby Vargas is that type of protagonist that we enjoy reading about, he's brave, fearless and honorable and the center of an excellent novel.

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A: Be a follower of the blog
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C: Leave email address and indicate steps A and B were completed
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