Category Archives: Book Review

This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies


Title: This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

Author: Renee Pawlish

ISBN: 9780982705612

 Book synopsis: Reed Ferguson has just opened his own detective agency in downtown Denver, CO.  Enter Amanda Ghering, the femme fatale.  What starts out as a simple missing person’s case turns in to murder for hire and the FBI telling him to stay off the case and out of the way.  Reed is determined to see the case through to the end, even if it kills him.

Review:  What a great story!  Renee captures the feeling of the old film noire detective films and brings it in to the modern world.  Reed is charming and witty and has a sense of decency, just like Bogie in The Big Sleep, Reed’s favorite movie.

The book is filled with all the right characters:  Reed, the gumshoe detective; Amanda, the rich femme fatale; Cal, Reed’s go to right hand man; the Goofball Brothers, just a couple of guys without a clue but willing to do anything; and then the villains – the X Women.

I love how Reed starts out excited he has a real case only to quickly realize it might be something just out of his expertise.  He is determined to se it through to the end.  The plot takes several twists and quickly escalates to a great conclusion.  The characters are well developed and fully believable.  Amanda first appears as the weak rich wife looking for her missing husband.  We soon see her as a bored, rich housewife who was tired of her husband cheating on her – and now he’s missing.  Cal is a great right hand man.  He has all the techno gadgets to hack in to any system.  He is a recluse who borders on agoraphobic.  And then there are the Goofball Brothers, three brothers who live downstairs – two of which aren’t quite the brightest bulbs in the bunch.

You have drama, suspense and comedy mixed in to one great story.  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good read.


Hostile Witness


Title: Hostile Witness

Author: Rebecca Forster

Publisher: Signet Fiction

ISBN: 978-0451211637


Book synopsis: from Some secrets aren’t uncovered. They are unleashed…

The national bestselling author is back with a gripping legal thriller of a brilliant lawyer caught between her client, a powerful family’s hidden legacy, and the truth…

Josie Baylor-Bates returns to the practice of criminal defense when her friend’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, is arrested for the brutal slaying of her step-grandfather-a California Supreme Court justice. Although all evidence points to Hannah’s guilt, her family’s disturbing relations may play a more significant role than anyone could guess. As Josie unravels a circle of secrets, she discovers a shocking truth that could save her client-or destroy them all…

Review:  I love a good thriller, and this is a good one.  Right from the start there are twists and turns and when you think you really know what’s going on, it turns again.

Hannah is just a teenager, but already she has been through more than most adults.  Her mother will do anything to keep living the posh life, and is even willing to sacrifice her only child to maintain it.  Josie is a great character.  We see her struggle with taking this case and then trying to save Hannah.  Hannah is a tortured soul, she is desperate for her mother’s love and will do anything to keep it.  She has severe OCD and your heart just reaches out to her and can’t believe what her mother is doing to her.

All three women are headstrong and and vulnerable at the same time.  You are easily drawn in to their world.

I couldn’t put this book down, I had to keep reading to see where the story would end.  Once I did reach the end I was ready to read more.

Sparrow’s Flight


 Title: Sparrow’s Flight

Author: Sam Kepfield

Publisher: Musa Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61937-146-0

 Book synopsis: 1960’s, the height of the cold war era.  Russia is testing their first manned space flight when something goes wrong.  The shuttle crashes in a field in the middle of Kansas, leaving the cosmonaut, code name Sparrow, to try to find her own way home.  Will Keller is a farmer who returned home after serving in the Army to lead a nice simple life.  When he sees the Soviet sputnik crash land, he goes to see if he can assist.  What he finds is a cosmonaut who is injured and disoriented and ready to defend herself.  Not knowing what else to do he takes her home to recover.

Review:  This short story captures the fear and stigma that was running rampant throughout the world during the 1960’s.  Both Will and Natalya have been trained to think very different things about one another’s cultures and countries.  They soon learn that there is more between them than just politics.

The author does a great job capturing the flight of the sputnik, giving not only technical details, but sharing the experience of the pilot and the awe of going in to space.  While the story takes place in just a few short days, the characters are very believable and real.  Natalya starts out defensive and afraid and slowly begins to realize that perhaps what she has been taught about the United States isn’t true.  We see her relax and come to enjoy the slow farm life and even embrace it.

If you are looking for an enjoyable story with some interesting history and politics thrown in the mix, you will want to read this.

The Story of Sassy Sweetwater


Cover Design by: Kelly Shorten

Title: The Story of Sassy Sweetwater

Author: Vera Jane Cook

Publisher: Musa Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61937-027-2

Book synopsis: After thirteen years on the run Violet McLaughlin returns to Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina, in 1962, with her young daughter, Sassy. The Crossing is right outside of Beaufort and the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement will forever leave its scars on the young and impressionable girl. As Sassy stands before the imposing white farmhouse for the first time, with no knowledge of her history but that the McLaughlin’s are her kin, Sassy begins a journey that will tear her apart before it heals her. Growing up among secrets that will forever damage her relationship with her mother, she attempts to make sense of her past. But will her passion for art and her love for Thomas Tierney be enough to sustain her future? Will the puzzles she must solve to discover who she is be worth the journey?

Review:  This book follows Sassy Sweetwater from a young, naive girl to a strong, passionate and adventurous woman.  I was drawn in right from the start.  The book is written in Sassy’s own words as she struggles to understand her mother who moved from relationship to relationship looking for something.  After years of living this way, Sassy’s mother finally returns to her roots in Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina.  What seemed so foreign to Sassy when she arrived, quickly becomes a home she can never leave.

We see her struggle to understand her mother and the relationship she has with her estranged family.  Sassy takes on her mother’s pain as her own.  We watch her struggle through adolescence to maturity finding her own path, which is littered with strife and sadness and glimmers of great happiness.  She desires nothing more than to find someone to love and to love her back just as passionately.

I really enjoyed how the author brought Sassy Sweetwater to life.  You can almost hear her southern drawl as you read her words.  The characters are richly created and bring the story even more to life.  Other than Sassy, my favorite character was Grandma Edna.  This woman starts out as someone who seems untouchable, and turns out to be Sassy’s greatest champion.  She has so many facets, like a true southern lady who married young and to a very volatile man, she finds her own way of taking control of things and people around her and still keep her charm.

Anyone looking for a solid story of life, its ups and downs with great female characters would really enjoy this book.