Thursday, April 26, 2018

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

After Hurricane Katrina, demigod Jude has decided to lay low as his power of finding lost things has gone haywire. In a city where so many have lost so much, he is forced to seclude himself from people so as not to be overwhelmed by their loss. He is pulled out of his six-year exile by Dodge, the Fortune god of New Orleans, to play a game of poker with the local trickster gods, the winner fated to become the new “Luck of New Orleans.” Jude is quickly pulled into a fight he wasn't ready for, a game he doesn’t understand, and consequences that will affect the future of New Orleans. When Dodge turns up dead and Jude is the main suspect, he finds himself neck deep in a world he couldn't imagine and forced to push himself and his magic further than he ever thought possible. At each turn, Jude becomes less sure of who he can trust (these are tricksters, after all). With such a complicated plot, this story could well-have gone off the rails, but I'm happy to say that the rich details and complex characters were well-crafted and imaginative. This is a great read for fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods or adult readers of Rick Riordan’s demigod series.

- Portia

Eternity Springs series by Emily March

Emily March describes Eternity Springs as a "world that may or may not be populated by an angel". The resident angel in town is Celeste Blessing. She's a guiding voice of wisdom in town and encourages townspeople to resolve heartbreaking issues in their past with love and friendship. At the end of each title characters experience personal growth to earn their "angel wings" in the community. 

Eternity Springs is a charming, mountain town in Colorado. Despite having an inspirational feel, characters in this series do have a tendency to fall into bed with the object of their affection. There's a Christmas shop, art gallery, inn and mechanic's shop in town. We get to know the various shop owners as the series progresses and as we watch them fall in love. Currently there are 14 books in the series and the series titles do not have to be read in order. The newest book in the series is The First Kiss of Spring and it was published in February 2018.  

Shannon D. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Gone World

This book almost defies description. It's not for everyone, but it sure checked a lot of boxes for me: time traveling science fiction, thriller crime novel, strong female lead character. It's a genre-crossing, roller coaster ride through time and space. Shannon Moss, when we meet her in 1997, is an investigator with NCIS who has been trained in the Navy's top-secret black ops Deep Waters program, which involves travel to and exploration of Deep Space and Deep Time. She is called to investigate the murder of a family, the wife and children of Navy SEAL Patrick Mursult, and the disappearance of his eldest daughter. Although Mursult is considered the prime suspect, Moss learns that he had traveled to Deep Time on a secret mission back in the 1980s, and his ship never returned home. So he shouldn't even have been alive on Earth to commit the murders. Her supervisors decide to send her into Deep Time, into one of many possible future time streams, to see if she can find any clues to help solve the Mursult murders. Another thread that is always a vital part of Deep Waters investigations is the fact that many trips to Deep Time and Space have revealed what they call the Terminus, the end of the world. The year of the Terminus seems to be receding closer to their own, real time, which they call terra firma (1997). Moss's travels back and forth between 1997, 2015, and 2016 reveal that the family's murders were part of a much bigger plan involving a mutinous group of Navy SEALs who know about the Terminus. She meets many versions of people she knows in these various time streams, and it's utterly fascinating to see how an individual life can play out differently in many disparate scenarios.The descriptions of the science behind time travel could be too much mind-boggling detail for some readers, and the violence depicted is not for the squeamish, but the story is brilliantly written, totally unique, and absolutely
worth the effort. You'll never look at coincidences and deja vu quite the same way again!

Kelly Currie

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The English Wife by Lauren Willig

   Set in the Gilded Age of New York, The English Wife is a plot-twisting masterpiece.  I would compare this novel to Downton Abbey or Agatha Christie's, Murder on the Orient Express. Each character is incredibly diverse in terms of personality, and the character development is remarkably done.

  Bayard Van Duyvil is a prominent member of society.  He met a burlesque actress by the name of Annabelle Lacey during his visit to England. Through their friendship, they fell in love and married. When Annabelle became pregnant, Bay focused on building a home for his family.  Bay was introduced to an architect by the name of Daniel and started to plan the re-creation of Annabelle's childhood home in England. The two spent countless amount of hours working together and formed a very close relationship.

   Annabelle persuaded Bay into having Daniel move in so that he could focus on finishing the estate. Rumors of Annabelle and the architect having an affair arose. When Mother Van Duyvil heard about the arrangements, she was outraged and demanded that Bay reconsider. Bay refused to let his tyrannical mother run his household. When finished, Bay and Annabelle held a costume ball for New York's finest to come and celebrate the occasion.  During the ball, Janie found her brother Bay with his dagger in his chest and uttered his last word "George", and Annabelle missing.  Bayard's sister Janie is determined to solve the mystery because something wasn't settling well with the incident. She forms an unlikely alliance with an Irish journalist James Burke and finds out more than she anticipated. Recommended for those who love a great historical thriller.

"I don't bother myself about gossip. What is it that they call it? The last resort of the idle? I am surprised that you pay attention to such things, Mother Van Duyvil." 
~Annabelle Lacey

~Dani Green