Friday, August 17, 2012

The Final 3 (for now)

All right, book fans.  Here are the last of the reviews for now.  I will intersperse others along the way, but after these 3, it's time for author interviews.  So what are the last 3, you ask?  They are all local authors - and all part of the upcoming blog series.

Jasmine Haynes - Dead to the Max
Adina Senft - The Hidden Life
Hannah Jayne - Under Attack

I met all 3 of these authors at Barnes & Noble in The Pruneyard.  They all write in genres that I normally would not read (Haynes - erotic romance, Senft - religious fiction, and Jayne - paranormal).  I have now read 2 books by each of them and have enjoyed all 6.  Here is a bit about each:

The first book that I read by Jasmine was Past Midnight.  The review for that was posted on November 19, 2011.  It's 1 of 2 blogs that I've written (the other being the authors' night at my granddaughter's school, written on May 26 of this year) that I felt like I was channelling somebody else.  The book and the event had so much impact on me that the blogs basically wrote themselves.  Out of the 98 blogs that I have written, these 2 stand out from the rest.  It's not that I like them better than the others; it's just that they affected me in a different way.

Okay, that was a really long-winded introduction.  This book is called Dead to the Max.  It's about an accountant whose life has fallen apart after her husband was killed in a robbery at 7-11 2 years earlier.  She has basically removed herself from her former life and is doing temp work.  The only problem is that she is a psychic and tends to be possessed by the spirits of murdered women.  In order to exorcise these spirits, she has to find their killer.  Dead to the Max is book 1 of her Max Starr series.  In it, she takes a temp job as an accountant in order to find the killer of the woman who previously worked there.

Keeping in mind that Jasmine writes erotic romance, you would expect that there would be some graphic sex in this book.  And there is.  Only, it's not quite what you might envision for yourself - assuming you ever think about those things.  I liked Max to the Dead.  Speaking of envisioning, I envision reading book 2.

Next is Adina Senft's The Hidden Life.  This is book 2 of her Amish trilogy called An Amish Quilt Novel, so named because 3 women get together once every week to make a quilt.  Each of these books focuses on 1 of 3 of the very close friends.  The first one is about Amelia, a widow with 2 children who (SPOILER ALERT!) finds love a 2nd time.  This one is all about Emma, who is 30 and has never been married.  In Amish-land, this is the equivalent of a hopeless spinster.  Will Emma every find love?  I'm not saying.  I enjoyed book 1, the The Wounded Heart.  It was pleasant.  Would I have read The Hidden Life if I didn't know Adina personally?  Perhaps, but unsure.  So how did I like #2?  I didn't...(the suspense builds) - I LOVED it.  I thought it was absolutely terrific.  And it has nothing to do with knowing Adina.  I highly recommend it.

The 3rd review from one of our local authors is Hannah Jayne's Under Attack.  This is book 2 of her Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles.  Sophie Lawson is a human who is immune to magic.  She works 37 floors underneath the San Francisco Police Department for the UDA.  Her job is to help all manner of magic creatures (e.g. fairies, hobgoblins, vampires, etc.) assimilate into everyday life.  This is not an easy task, as you might imagine.  Both of Hannah's books that I've read mix murder, mystery, romance, and humor very deftly (maybe not exactly the common (wo)man's choice of words).  In fact, let me give you a couple of examples of her humor.  This is the first line in the book:

"It's nearly impossible to get hobgoblin slobber out of raw silk."

Here's another example, on page 43:

"How do you lose an ancient artifact stuffed with human souls?  Did you leave it at the donut shop?  Maybe trade it for a couple of maple glazed?"

I am chuckling out loud often when I read Hannah's books.  She is darn funny.  But besides the humor, the stories are interesting.  You forget that (most likely!) there aren't hobgoblins and fairies that we have to deal with on a daily basis.  I've already got Hannah's 3rd book and will be reading that in the near future.

ON DECK:  My next blog will be my first author interview.  So far, I've interviewed 9 of the 11 authors who agreed to meet with me.  I will blog in the order that I interviewed them:  Jasmine Haynes, Keith Raffel, Hannah Jayne, Adina Senft, Sheldon Siegel, Michael David Lukas, Alice La Plante, Meg Waite Clayton, and Peter Adler.  I'm still hoping to interview Victoria Sweet and Juliet Blackwell but don't have times set up yet.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that wonderful review, Lloyd. I'm so glad you liked Dead to the Max.