Sunday, June 30, 2013

Upcoming Book Launch Party with Author Sheldon Siegel

I was at Book Passage in Corte Madera Friday night (as I just posted yesterday) to see Jeannette Walls.  As I already knew, the store is hosting Sheldon Siegel's book launch for The Terrorist Next Door on Tuesday night, July 23, at 7:00.  And when I walked into the store Friday night, there was one of Sheldon's books, Perfect Alibi, prominently displayed right in the front of the store.

Sheldon has written 7 books in the Mike and Rosie series, about a formerly married couple living in Marin County and working as partners in San Francisco.  The Terrorist Next Door is his 1st standalone.  If you can get there on the 23rd, come and support Sheldon.  He is deserving of a large crowd and a lot of buyers.  And if you have never read any of his Mike and Rosie books, get going.  Special Circumstances is #1.

See you on the 23rd.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jeannette Walls at Book Passage - What a Treat

Joni and I saw Jeannette Walls last night at Book Passage in Corte Madera.  It took us 1:45 in Friday afternoon commute traffic to get there.  And guess what?  It was worth every minute of it.  Jeannette is promoting her 3rd book, and 1st pure novel, The Silver Star (her 2nd book, Half-Broke Horses, is a combination of facts she learned about her grandmother from her own mother and some imagining on Jeannette's part).  Lots of people (including me) bought The Silver Star and had it signed.  But, really, most people were there because of her 1st book, the memoir The Glass Castle.  Let me give you a few facts about The Glass Castle that I learned last night:

1.  4 million copies sold world-wide
2.  Translated into 31 languages
3.  On the NY Times bestseller list for 6 years (that is NOT a misprint)

The Glass Castle is so good that it's on my top 12 ALL-TIME! (take a look at my post from March 12, 2013 for a complete list - you know you want to see it).

So what was the format last night?  Well, many authors read from their new books, but Jeannette decided not to do that.  She spoke about her life.  She gave all of us insight into her family, what led to her writing The Glass Castle, and what has happened since.  It was mesmerizing (it was like listening to Beth Hoffman).  Jeannette is an excellent speaker (I know this because I stayed awake during the entire talk!).  And the whole audience (between 100-125 people) was just fascinated to learn all about her.  I won't go into the details here, but if you want to know more about her life since the writing of the book, let me know, and I'll put out another post.

That's basically it.  Love author events and loved this one more than most.

P.S.  I read The Silver Star from Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, as an ARC and will be reviewing it in the next couple of weeks.  But I liked it and gave it a 3 out of 4.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Jodi Picoult: The Storyteller - My 4th 4.0 of the Year!

Let me start this post by saying that I'm a big Jodi Picoult fan.  I've read 20 of her 21 books (with her YA book, Between the Lines, the only exception), and, in every case, I have thoroughly enjoyed the book.  In fact, there are some that I flat out loved - My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, Handle with Care, among others.  So, I am very glad to add The Storyteller to her pantheon of books that I loved.

The story revolves around a 25-year old woman, Sage Singer, who is physically and emotionally very scarred from a car accident.  She is so self-conscious that she works at a bakery at night and early morning so that she won't be seen by the customers.  She very typically tilts her head in the presence of others so that her hair covers the scars.

Sage belongs to a grief counseling group and, there, meets a man in his 90's, Josef Weber, that is a pillar of the community (or is he? - shades of Michael Lavigne's Not Me).  They become friends, and then Josef privately reveals some shocking history about himself during WWII.  And he asks Sage to do something that is pretty unbelievable.  This leads to 2 other characters - Sage's grandmother, Minka, who is a Holocaust survivor, and Leo Stein, a 38-year old who works for an organization within the Department of Justice that hunts Nazi war criminals (is that redundant?).  Add in Darija, who is Sage's best friend from childhood, Mary, an ex-nun who is Sage's boss at the bakery, and Adam, the local mortician, who is married and is having an affair with Sage, and you have a ton of very interesting characters.

I have to digress and tell you about Leo Stein.  I don't remember any of Jodi's books being funny (although one of my readers told me that the early part of House Rules has humor in it - I don't remember that).  But Leo says some things that had me laughing a lot.  Here are a few examples:

1.  When Sage asks Leo how he slept in his hotel, he says:  "About as well as can be expected when the hotel is filled with pre-teen girls who are here for a soccer tournament.  I have some impressive dark circles under my eyes.  But on the bright side, I now know all the words to the new Justin Bieber single."
2.  Leo is talking about playing bridge, badly, with his grandfather.  Leo says:  "So when we left, I asked my grandpa how I  should have played the hand.  He said, 'Under an assumed name.'"
3.  Leo is sending Sage, potentially, into danger and is describing what he, Leo, will be doing.  "I release...(I don't want to give the name), who collapses at my feet, and confesses not just to all war crimes at Auschwitz but also for being responsible for the colossal mistakes New Coke and Sex and the City 2."

I must have laughed out loud a dozen times or more with Leo.  Believe me when I tell you that nobody else in this story is the least bit funny.

There are two other interesting notes to mention.  First, although the chapters go back and forth from one main character to another, there is only one chapter for Sage's grandmother, Minka.  The chapter goes from pages 197-358 (out of 456 pages in the book) - 161 straight pages about Minka in Poland during WWII.  How intense is that?

Secondly, when I read South of Broad, by Pat Conroy, there is a main character that dies that left me feeling somewhat bereft (cool word, wouldn't you say?).  I actually felt loss.  I had a similar reaction when one of the characters dies in The Storyteller.  It wasn't as dramatic, but the matter-of-fact way that Jodi reveals it is a real shocker (I did yell out C--P).

That's all I've got to say about this book.  It's just darn good.  If you already read Picoult, then it's a no-brainer.  If you don't/haven't, you can start with The Storyteller.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Local Author, Keith Raffel, Has A Great Idea For His 5th Novel

Take a look at Keith Raffel's email below.  He is calling for collaboration to write, produce, and market his 5th book.  This is a very cool idea.

I have published four books. My first two were done the traditional way – paper and ink. Neither showed up on the New York Times bestseller list, but I have no real complaints. called my first book “the mystery debut of the year” and the second made the top 10 on a national bestseller list for crime fiction and was optioned for film. Still for my third book it was time to move on. I wanted to reach more readers and my traditional publisher could not make that happen.

Now I’m a Silicon Valley guy by upbringing and inclination. My dad went to work at Ampex, the inventor of the videotape recorder, over 50 years ago. I myself helped start a company that pioneered delivery of software over the internet. Given that background, I could not resist trying the new way of delivering the written word to readers. So I published my next two books myself as ebooks. Making my books available via, and other sites gave readers the chance to read one of my books for less than a third the price of a physical copy. No surprise then that my readership expanded.
As I leave my day job, I’m ready to try another model. I am hoping readers, past and future, will join with me in publishing my fifth novel, Temple Mount, a thriller set in Jerusalem.

Readers can sign-up on Kickstarter to pre-order Temple Mount in either ebook or trade paper format. They can join me at the launch, help name characters, or even take out their red pencils and edit the book. I am figuring that crowd-editing will work better than any single editor ever could. The money raised will pay for getting the book ready for publication and launch and for marketing it afterwards. Most of all, I hope that those who join the team will feel they have a stake in the venture and will help let others now about Temple Mount.
Take a look at the Kickstarter page here and let me know what you think. If you have the inclination, it would also be much appreciated if you helped spread the word.
Thank you,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Interesting Article About Authors And Book Tours

I am including a link to an article that goes into depth about authors and book tours.  It talks about authors that love book tours and those that hate them.  And what the benefits are.  I thought it was eye-opening.


I know that this news must have you all quivering with excitement.  And for good reason!  Appearing every Monday, starting with this coming Monday, July 1, I will be posting recommendations from readers, authors, and other bloggers.  I will only list those that come highly recommended and will post, at least, the genre for each book.  Why am I doing this, you (probably don't) ask?

I simply can't keep up with all of the recommendations (and ARC's - Advanced Reading Copies) I receive.  Even reading 65-70 books each year, I have about 30 books sitting in my TBR (To Be Read) pile at home.  On top of that, I've got another 30-40 listed on a piece of paper (yes, I still use paper and ink) that I want to buy - so that they can also sit in my TBR pile.  It's insane.  Just reading the authors that I always read (like Baldacci, Silva, Hoag, Rosenfelt, Rosenberg, Coben, Iles, ad nauseum) plus the local authors that I want to support (and, usually, enjoy), takes up most of my 65-70 books.  Add in those recommendations from readers, authors, and other bloggers, and it's an impossible task.

There you have it.  I hope you take advantage of what other people have to say.  And I hope that you will post reviews (even 1-liners would be helpful).  In fact, if you email me at, I will post your review on this blog.  Have at it!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Hello book fans,

We're running a contest starting immediately and going through the end of the month.  The prize is a $50 gift certificate to either Amazon or to a specific bookstore in your area.  This will take care of the winner whether he or she reads real books or digital ones.

What is the contest, you ask?  We want you to convince us that you are the most avid reader of the bunch.  For example, I read in the dentist's chair, even if I've got a hardcover (rough on the arms).  In fact, during my examinations I root for a 2-hour root canal!  Another example is that I read during certain medical procedures that do not normally lend themselves to reading time.  THAT is an addiction!

Here are the rules:

1.  You have to either join The Book Sage ("Join this site") or "Get Automatic Email Notifications" on all future blog posts.
2.  You have to give your answer as a comment on this blog.

That's it.  C'est tout.  We encourage you to be creative.  Feel free to attach photos and/or videos, or a link to the same.  The judging panel will consist of the team at Book Sage.  Good luck.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vince Flynn Passes Away at Age 47

It's a sad day in book world today.  Vince Flynn has passed away from prostate cancer at the age of 47.   He wrote 14 books, the last 13 of them about Mitch Rapp, a CIA man who epitomized the macho man government agent.  If you read Lee Child (Jack Reacher), Daniel Silva (Gabriel Allon), Alex Berenson (John Wells), or Steve Berry (Cotton Malone), then you would love Vince Flynn's books.  Flynn is definitely one of my very favorite authors and Mitch Rapp one of my very favorite fictional characters.  I will sorely miss both.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Seduction, by M.J. Rose - a Genre-Blurring Novel

This is a tough book to review.  Let me start by saying that I liked it.  I gave it a 2.5 out of 4.  And I  recommend it.  But I do have a major issue with it.

Here is a description of the book:  "Part thriller, part historical mystery with supernatural elements, and a dash of romance."  Huh?  What does that mean, exactly?  In fact, though, it's all of these things.  Here's what it doesn't have much of for me - an emotional connection.  Do you remember when I made such a big deal about not connecting emotionally with Attica Locke's The Cutting Season (9/5/12)?  Well, I have that here, too, especially in the 1st half of the book.  I couldn't figure out what was bothering me. Then, on page 182 (almost exactly half-way through the book), I got it.  The story is told matter-of-factly, with no emotion at all.

Fortunately, the 2nd half got me more involved.  It's a little like Gone Girl.  The 1st half of that book is good, and the 2nd half rocks.  This isn't nearly as dramatic.  The 1st half is good, and the 2nd half is somewhat better.  But I do start to care more, and there's a scene on page 211 (out of 368) where I gave a little gasp.  That's good, right?  But maybe you would actually like to know what the book is about.  That seems important.  I'm going to quote the jacket of the book.  I don't usually do that, but, otherwise, I'm not sure how to encapsulate the story.  Here it is:

Recovering from a great loss, mythologist Jac L'Etoile thinks that throwing herself into work will distract her from her grief.  In the hopes of uncovering a secret about the island's mysterious Celtic roots, she arrives on Jersey and is greeted by ghostly Neolithic monuments, medieval castles and hidden caves.  But the man who has invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, hopes she'll help him discover something quite different-transcripts of Hugo's lost conversations with someone he called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.  Central to his heritage, these are the papers his grandfather died trying to find.  Neither Jac nor Theo anticpate that the mystery surrounding Victor Hugo will threaten their sanity and put their very lives at stake.

In 1843, Victor Hugo's cherished daughter died.  10 years later, he comes to the Isle of Jersey and conducts hundreds of seances in an effort to contact her.  The book goes back and forth between Jac and Theo in the present and Hugo's experiences on the isle of Jersey over 150 years earlier.  A lot of the story centers around Hugo's writings to this mysterious Shadow of the Sepulcher.

I respect M.J.'s writing.  And I like the fact that the book gets better as it goes along.  It simply never really grabs me.  This is M.J.'s 13th novel.  Obviously, there are a lot of people who think that her novels are pretty darn good:

A compelling page-turner....Once you catch a whiff, you will be enchanted. - Associated Press

M.J. Rose is a bold, unflinching writer and her resolute honesty puts her in a class by herself. - Laura Lippman

Resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy.  You'll find yourself questioning everything you believe-and wanting more. - Steve Berry

I would suggest you read M.J. Rose and decide for yourself.  This could be one of those books/authors that connects with some readers and not so much with others (like me).

INTERESTING NOTE:  M.J. was having trouble writing the sections about Victor Hugo.  So she wrote them in longhand with pen, ink, and bottle in order to simulate Hugo writing in the 1850's.  That's pretty cool.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman - I Haven't Cried This Much Since the Season Finale of The Bachelor!

First of all, do NOT call this book "chick lit," a "summer read," or "women's fiction."  I don't care what time of the year it is or what gender you are, get a hold of this book.  You will thank me that you did.  In fact, you might even want to send me thank you gifts (my address is...).  This is one excellent book, and I am thrilled to be promoting it.

When the book opens, CeeCee (born Cecilia) Honeycutt is 7 years old, and when the book ends, she is 12.  A whole bunch happens in that 5-year period.  She starts out in Willoughby, Ohio.  Her mother is an ex-beauty pageant winner from the South, and her father is a traveling salesman (at least I think that's what he is).  In the next couple of years, CeeCee basically has to take care of her mother while her father is constantly on the road (as the story progresses, we learn why he's always on the road).  Her mother has clearly become mentally ill, and it falls on CeeCee to watch over her.  Of course, this leaves her with no social life and no friends.  Her entire world is going to school, caretaking her mother, and visiting her elderly next-door neighbor.

Then, tragedy hits, and CeeCee finds herself being shipped off to Savannah, Georgia to live with her great-aunt Tootie.  And the fun begins.  The rest of the story takes place in a 3-month period, from the beginning of the summer to the 1st day of school.  And, oh what a summer it is.

I was simply blown away by the characterizations.  Every character in this story resonates.  I always expect(/hope) to care about the main characters.  But in this book, I really cared about everybody.  There are 4 main protagonists that I deeply cared about and probably another 4 or 5 that added greatly to the story.  I will tell you this - I have never cried as much as I did in this book.  Yes, I know I'm a crybaby, but this was a lot even for me.  It seemed like it was every page.  I'm going to chalk that up to Beth's writing and not losing my grip on reality.  This is just excellent writing.  Here are some examples:

When one neighbor comes out of her house in a see-through robe, the other neighbor says:  "Isn't she ridiculous?  She looks like the centerfold in a poultry catalog."  That is funny.

"Oletta opened her arms, I opened mine, and we met each other like two puzzle pieces sliding into place."  That's a great visual.

The same neighbor who had the 1st quote talks about the comparison between men and high-heeled shoes:  "I love how pretty they make me feel, but by the end of the night I can't wait to get rid of them."  I don't know if men have ever been described in that way.

The young protagonist is talking about a punchbowl of Long Island iced tea:  "The women flocked to that punch bowl like a 50 percent-off table at a department store."  How clear is that picture?

And then there's the melee between 2 neighbors at a very fancy, staid garden party with 40 high society women.  I cracked up.  Very funny stuff.

There's just a lot of positive things to say about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  It's excellent from start to finish.  There is no drop-off at any point in the book.  It's a clear 4 out of 4 and MAYBE my 13th 4.5 (take a look at my 3/21 post).  I'll have to think about that.

ONE VERY SMALL COMPLAINT:  At the beginning of each chapter, there is a very faint outline of a flower in the upper left or right corner.  I have to say that it looks more like a dirt smudge to me.  Sorry, Beth.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Neat Title, Yes?

First, let me say that I only read this book because Nate, who works at Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, harassed me.  He's recommended a few books, but this is the 1st one that he sorta insisted that I read.  So, I did.  And I'm glad.  This is very entertaining.  Robin Sloan, who lives in the East Bay, has written a book about a very old used bookstore in San Francisco.  It's open (obviously) 24 hours a day and has a very unusual clientele.  More about that in a minute.

Clay Jannon, who is in his mid-'20's, gets a job working graveyard at Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore.  There are a couple of shelves in the front with novels, biographies, and classics.  And in the back, on shelves up to the ceiling, is something called the Waybacklist.  These are very fancy tomes with bunches of letters inside in no recognizable order.  Sometimes days go by with no clients.  And then somebody will come in, give Clay their ID, a combination of a number and 5 letters (e.g. 6WNJHY), and Clay has to climb a sliding ladder to get a specific book from the Waybacklist.  There is a handful of people who come in periodically to get one of these books.

What the heck are these books supposed to accomplish?  Well, you'll have to read it to see.  But I can tell you that there is a secret society (with black robes), called the Unbroken Spine, that is tied into typesetters from the 15th and 16th centuries.  I can also tell you that Google's Mt. View headquarters and a number of its employees have a large part in this.  And let's not forget the fantasy trilogy, The Dragon-Song Chronicles, that Clay is addicted to.  Who knew that a fantasy series could possibly have historical significance?  Throw in some very unique characters, and I can say with some degree of certitude that you will enjoy Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

Besides being a good story with good characters, Robin is extremely funny and clever.  I enjoy books with humor.  2 of my favorites are Brian Haig, with his JAG lawyer, Sean Drummond, and David Rosenfelt, with his lawyer, Andy Carpenter (is it a coincidence that attorneys make for good humor?  you decide).  What makes them funny is that the humorous moments are interwoven into the story.  They don't feel forced.  Robin goes a step further.  He makes a bunch of comparisons that are laugh-out-loud funny.  Here are a couple of them:

"Why do organizations need to mark everything with their insignia?  It's like a dog peeing on every tree."

"It's right there - I found it - but suddenly it feels too intimate, like I'm about to look through Penumbra's tax returns or his underwear drawer."

He also has some lines that are not funny but that are very clever:

"His gray hair rises up around his head like a cloud of stray thoughts."

"Our friendship is a nebula."

I love the scenes that take place in the bookstore.  I really like the scenes that take place in other parts of the Bay Area.  And I like the scenes that take place out of the area.  Overall, though - a solid 3 out of 4.  I will look forward to anything that Robin Sloan writes.

AUTHOR SHOUT-OUT:  I have emailed with Robin several times over the last few days.  He is always quick to respond.  I really appreciate that in an author (or anybody else, for that matter).

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Cool Author Event at a Cool Bookstore

Last night, Joni and I went to see Beth Hoffman at A Great Good Place for Books in a part of Oakland called Montclair Village.  Beth is making only 2 appearances in the Bay Area with the other one being in Pleasanton tonight, which we couldn't make.  So we trekked up to Oakland.  Now, I actually grew up in Oakland, about a mile from Montclair Village.  But it's probably been 30-40 years since I've been there.  That was pretty surreal in and of itself.

But I digress (for a change!).  Beth is promoting her 2nd book, Looking For Me.  It has only been out for a little over a week, and it's already made the NY Times bestseller list.  And her 1st one, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, published in 2010, also made that exalted list.  I haven't read either of her books, but just about every single blogger that I follow has given both of them glowing reviews.  I figured I better get to it.  I bought CeeCee and will start it probably tomorrow.

The bookstore, which I've never been in before, has a very intimate backdrop.  It's long and narrow, which you can kind of tell from the picture.  Beth sat in a high chair (not that kind of high chair) in front of the cash register counter.  The rest of us were arrayed in a long row (about 20 chairs) opposite her.  In fact, I was directly across from Beth and had to swing my legs to the side so as not to hit her legs.  How often does that happen with a NY Times bestselling author?

Beth is a fascinating speaker.  Her new book reflects her personal life, although it's couched in fiction, and she speaks with a lot of emotion.  It's impossible not to get caught up in her storytelling.  She not only told us (there were 8 customers and 3 employees) what events led to the telling of this story, she also told us a lot about her childhood growing up in Kentucky.  Good stuff.
I have to talk about the bookstore a little bit too.  The owner, Kathleen, was there.  I had a chance to talk to her a little bit.  They do a bunch of author events (they've got something like another 9 or 10 just this month alone!).  And the store is way cool.  Kathleen has such a passion for books and seems to be very determined to continue to make A Great Good Place for Books a great good place to visit.  I know that if I have a choice, her bookstore will be right near the top of the list of venues to see authors.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What the Heck Is a "Summer Read?"

Okay, I'm confused (not an unusual state of affairs, I fear).  What the heck is a "summer read?"  Is that a book that you read between June 21 and September 20?  Does that mean if you start a book on September 21 it's now a "fall read?"  What about a book that you start before September 21 but finish after September 20?  I know people who read only a little until summer begins.  My daughter-in-law, Jen, is a school teacher.  She definitely reads during the school year but hits it hard during summer break.  Does that mean that every book she reads during the school hiatus is automatically a "summer read?"

Now that I've been a bit ridiculous, let's look at what most people would consider a "summer read."  I'm talking about books that have uncomplicated, easy-flowing story lines.  Maybe the vocabulary is simple.  Maybe there's a lot of dialogue and very little description.  Maybe they are books that you can concentrate on in noisy, public places, like beaches or lakes or cruise ships or cafes.  Or maybe not.

Come on, people.  Does anybody read a different type of book in the summer than they do the rest of the year?  I sure don't.  And I don't know anybody who makes that distinction.  I think that most people read what they want to read, regardless of what time of year it is.  Yet, right about now, as school is getting out and the weather is warming up, we see the words "summer read" everywhere.  I don't buy it.

So far since January 1, I have read 6 romances.  And it's only June 4!  I have also read a book written by the mother of a 3-term Iraqi war veteran (Minefields of the Heart) - pretty heavy stuff.  And an excellent, very well-written, deeply emotional redemption story about a young woman who copes with multiple foster homes and a really lousy childhood by studying the meaning of flowers (The Language of Flowers).  Did I consider the time of year before I started any of these books?  I did not.  Does anybody else that I know do that?  They do not.  Is it just me (possibly), or are there other people out there that don't make a seasonal distinction when selecting a book?  Let's hear what you have to say.  If I'm wrong, let me have it.  I can take the blows.

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE:  I have to give high school and college students a pass from my diatribe/screed.  It certainly makes sense that a 9-month-per-year student, if he or she reads at all during the summer, is going to read lighter fare.  But students are the only exception.

MEA CULPA:  For those of you who have publicly referred to "summer reads," please accept my apology for being critical.  Your approach is more the norm.  I don't agree with it, but, at the same time, I do think you're espousing the party line.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Novel Obsession - by Jeff Joseph - Pluses and Minuses

This is really a tough one to review.  I came across Jeff Joseph on LinkedIn.  Here’s the bottom line.  There are a number of things about the book I didn’t like.  But there is one major storyline that I absolutely loved.  I really wanted to give the book a 3 (out of 4) but had to settle for a 2.5 because of the last 30 pages.  Here’s a short rundown of the plot (remember my “short synopsis” of If You Were Here? I’ll try to do better this time).

Abby Lane is a 32-year old high school English teacher in a very small Ohio town (population 7,000).  She does not romantically like any of the men in her community but is totally obsessed with Daniel Sheppard, who is a very well-known romance writer and someone Abby has never seen (Oprah doesn’t count), let alone met.  Abby feels that Daniel “gets” women.  Her best friend since kindergarten, Julie Street, believes that Abby is in love with Daniel, even though she’s never met him (hence the title:  Novel?  Obsession?  Get it?).  Abby writes a fan letter to Daniel telling him how his books resonate with her and asking him if he will come to her town and speak with her students.  In light of the thousands of “come-on” letters that Daniel gets, Abby’s intrigues him.  He is determined to make contact with her.  A monkey wrench is thrown into that plan.  Therein lies a quest.

Throw in the high school principal, who has been in love with Abby for many years; the new high school football coach, who is also an ex-NFL player; and Julie’s husband, who married Julie for the wrong reasons (this storyline is a bit bizarre); and you’ve got a whole bunch of guys scheming on Abby.

Okay, what didn’t I like about the book? 

  1. It’s not very well-written.
  2. There are a ton of mistakes – incorrect words, sloppy grammar, poor sentence construction.
  3. It has one creepy storyline.
  4. I didn’t care for the sinister aspect of the book.

What did I like about the book?

  1. I LOVED everything about the romance between Abby and one of the characters.
  2. I really liked the twists and turns of the romance.
  3. I appreciated the scenes which caused me to tear up (no blubbering this time – whew).

As you all know by now, I’m a big fan of romance, especially romantic suspense.  Elisabeth Barrett, Joan Swan, and Virna De Paul, among others, do it much better than Jeff does.  HOWEVER, the man knows how to write romance.  I would have been much happier if he had stuck with just that aspect of the book.  Do I recommend A Novel  Obsession?  I do.  Will I read Jeff’s next book?  I will.  What more can you ask of an author.