Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Scarlett Undercover

Scarlett Undercover is a YA contemporary mystery by Jennifer Latham.

Independent, shrewd fifteen year old Scarlett finished high school two years early and now spends her time as a private investigator.

When she agrees to investigate the concerns of a little girl after her older brother seems to be “off” following a friend’s suicide – she doesn’t expect it to be a long investigation, more of a feel good case for a kid.

Yet when it becomes clear the suicide may have actually been murder, Scarlett finds herself getting entangled in a world of cults, curses and secrets that may tie into her own family tragedy…

Scarlett Undercover
is trying to be a lot of things.

It is trying to be diverse, by bringing a biracial, non-traditional Muslim main character into the limelight. It is trying to be clever and sassy, with a Veronica Mars angle with the teenage detective plot and droll protagonist dealing with a personal, unsolved crime. It’s trying to be slyly supernatural in a magical realism way.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. Perhaps it tried a little too hard.

Okay, I am a big Veronica Mars fan – but there is a difference between a girl with a private detective dad who helps on his cases and therefore has picked up a lot, using her skill for requests like finding a lost dog, etc., and a character such as Scarlett who is living ALONE at the age of fifteen with an actual private detective BUSINESS.

This stretched the realm of my imagination a little too far. I’m all for suspending disbelief and going along with the story, but this premise mixed with the hard boiled noir attempt at stylization and lack of grounding before the action happened – it did not help.

As much as I tried, I could not connect to the characters or the plot. I was unable to finish the book and had to skim it a bit.

However, as always, there are many readers out there that found enjoyment in Scarlett Undercover – and you could very well be one of them! Read it for yourself and see what you think!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Worthy Heart

A Worthy Heart is a Christian historical fiction novel by Susan Anne Mason, also the second book in the Courage to Dream series.

Desperately wanting to remove herself from an uncomfortable ended romance, Maggie is gleeful about leaving Ireland to visit her brother and his wife in America. Even if she does, of course, miss her family at home.

Hopeful to never have to return to Ireland, Maggie intends on digging her feet in and making something of herself in America – and then she meets Adam O’Leary.

Initially she thinks he is just an alluring stable hand, but soon enough she is told that he is the recently released from prison black sheep of the O’Leary family – and her brother Rylan’s brother-in-law. They encourage her to stay far away from him.

Yet there is something about him, and a bond that develops between the two, that is impossible for her to ignore – despite everyone’s best efforts to destroy it…

A Worthy Heart features many characters and is much more a family saga than a two-person romance set in 1914 New York City. Besides Maggie and Adam, we also follow Maggie’s brother Gabe and a society girl with nursing aspirations named Aurora.

Throughout A Worthy Heart there are a lot of switching viewpoints, providing plenty of story to tell. However, unfortunately, it did not catch my attention strongly enough to finish the novel.

I want to strongly express that I do not feel this is the book’s fault, but rather my own. I usually love family saga type novels – however with overtime at my job, schoolwork almost every other second of the day and a general lack of sleep: books can be harder to become enveloped in.

It’s a sad but truthful statement.

So, what I want to make sure and say is to READ IT FOR YOURSELF. Clearly we have a romance here, some family drama and plenty of room for redeeming oneself. Plus, for any of you Christian bibliophiles out there, the story is grounded in faith in God – always a good thing!

Give it a shot – sadly I cannot truly give an opinion, since I didn’t get far!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Spotlight: Rarity from the Hollow

Happy Wednesday, Book Loving Fiends!

Once again I am featuring a Book Spotlight on a novel I have not yet read but we should all take a looksie at. Here ya go!

Summary of Rarity from the Hollow

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. The content addresses social issues. It’s a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended.

Lacy Dawn occupies the body of an eleven year old and sounds like one, but she has evolved under the supervision of Universal Management for hundreds of thousand of years. She is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. 

She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s becoming very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend, for when she’s old enough to have one, has come to the hollow with a mission. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop) to recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat to its economic structure. In exchange, Earth would be designated as a planet that is eligible for continued existence – granted immunity. Will Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?

About the Author:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Purchase links:

Author Contacts:

If you gorgeous bibliophiles get a chance to read Rarity in the Hollow, please let me know what you think in the comments!

See you next Wednesday with a new book review!