The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Book Description

Publication Date: October 20, 2009
Mark your calendar. It’s the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how thatstory might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they’ve regretted, the hard choices and amends they’ve had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlman has written a novel that speaks to us all.

Review –

I listened to this book for the first time last January  and I loved it. It’s about 12 women who get together every Christmas season for 16 years and exchange cookies. It tells of their relationships, their hardships, the deaths they have experienced, the births  they have experienced and the  love they have experienced in the last year.  As a bonus we get 12 Christmas cookie recipes given in detail.  I love to bake so I love the recipes and have tried a few, so  if you like the holidays and Christmas cookies you really should give this one a try.

The Safe Man:A Ghost Story by Michael Connelly

Book Description

Publication Date:October 23, 2012
Published for the first time under his own name, a dark and haunting story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly
Like his father before him, Brian Holloway is a safe man. That is, his specialty is opening safes. Every job is a little mystery, and he has yet to encounter a lock he can’t break or a box he can’t crack. But the day Holloway gets called in to open a rare, antique safe in a famous author’s library, his skills open a door that should have remained closed.
In this haunting and singular story, previously published anonymously, Michael Connelly proves once again that he is “superb at building suspense…. the reader can never be sure what sudden turns the plot may take” (Wall Street Journal).
Review –
Who knew Michael Connelly could write “ghost stories”?  I loved it and it fits in my favorite genre, horror/spooky.  The story is short and only digital but if you get the chance check it out, especially if you’re a Connelly fan.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Book Description

Publication Date: 1999

On a six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland quickly tires of the constant bickering between her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. But when she wanders off by herself, and then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut, she becomes lost in a wilderness maze full of peril and terror. As night falls, Trisha has only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, and only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fears. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox baseball games and follows the gritty performances of her hero, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her — protecting her from an all-too-real enemy who has left a trail of slaughtered animals and mangled trees in the dense, dark woods.
Review –
This is not your typical “Stephen King” story in that there are no murders,no eerie monsters, no haunted houses or hotels, no crazed animals, and no gore.  This is a story of a young girl  who gets off the path on a nature hike with her mom and brother and doesn’t realize just how lost she is.  She has a bit of food, some water and a power drink , chips and a twinkie but soon this is gone  and thanks to her resourcefulness she finds nuts and berries and water(although it makes her sick).  To keep her company she has a walkman and only listens to baseball games featuring her  hero, Tom Gordon, a closer.  Tom, although not there in person, becomes her lifeline and gets her through many hard days and nights.  Thank heavens, the author gave the story a happy ending because he could have ended it badly.  I love Stephen King and this is the second time I’ve listened to this “book” but it won’t be the last.

Last to Die (Rizzoli and Isles #10) by Tess Gerritsen

Book Description

Release Date: August 28, 2012 | Series: Rizzoli & Isles
 For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at fourteen, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family’s mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn—until the Boston PD puts detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is instead just one horrifying part of a relentless killer’s merciless mission. Jane spirits Teddy to the exclusive Evensong boarding school, a sanctuary where young victims of violent crime learn the secrets and skills of survival in a dangerous world. But even behind locked gates, and surrounded by acres of sheltering Maine wilderness, Jane fears that Evensong’s mysterious benefactors aren’t the only ones watching. When strange blood-splattered dolls are found dangling from a tree, Jane knows that her instincts are dead on. And when she meets Will Yablonski and Claire Ward, students whose tragic pasts bear a shocking resemblance to Teddy’s, it becomes chillingly clear that a circling predator has more than one victim in mind. Joining forces with her trusted partner, medical examiner Maura Isles, Jane is determined to keep these orphans safe from harm. But an unspeakable secret dooms the children’s fate—unless Jane and Maura can finally put an end to an obsessed killer’s twisted quest.
Review –
Fantastic.   This book starts off with a bang and never lets up and that means it is VERY hard to put down.  The relationship between Rizzoli and Isles has deepened and    I love how the author carries that from book to book.  Action packed, fast paced and an expected twist at the end, what more can a reader ask for?     Tess Gerritsen has done it again.

Lost Souls (Frankenstein #4) by Dean Koontz

Book Description

Release Date: January 25, 2011 | Series: Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein (Book 4)
The war against humanity has begun. In the dead hours of the night, a stranger enters the home of the mayor of Rainbow Falls, Montana. The stranger is in the vanguard of a wave of intruders who will invade other homes . . . offices . . . every local institution, assuming the identities and the lives of those they have been engineered to replace. Before the sun rises, the town will be under full assault, the opening objective in the new Victor Frankenstein’s trajectory of ultimate destruction. Deucalion—Victor’s first, haunted creation—saw his maker die in New Orleans two years earlier. Yet an unshakable intuition tells him that Victor lives—and is at work again. Within hours Deucalion will come together with his old allies, detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison, Victor’s engineered wife, Erika Five, and her companion Jocko to confront new peril. Others will gather around them. But this time Victor has a mysterious, powerful new backer, and he and his army are more formidable, their means and intentions infinitely more deadly, than ever before.

Review –
This is the first book that I have read in this series and I only did that because I found the audio version on sale.  It had me hooked right away and my mouth dropped open at the end because it left me hanging and I mean hanging.   I thought, “No, this can’t be” and looked to see there was another cd, but it was the end and I still can’t believe it.  But it is a great story and maybe there will be #5 and I will be sure and get it to find out what happens.

Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

Book Description

Release Date: September 18, 2012 | Series: Agatha Raisin Mystery (Book 23)
If only the bossy, beloved Agatha Raisin were as lucky at finding the right man as she is at catching killers in M. C. Beaton’s New York Times bestselling mystery series
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of everyone’s favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever—armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there’s some biting of a whole other sort going on. Agatha has fallen head over heels in love—again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man—including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn’t even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.

Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can’t have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime. With Hiss & Hers, once again, “M. C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery” (The New York Times Book Review) in the irresistible adventures of the irrepressible Agatha.

 

Review –

Excellent, as always, but just once  I would enjoy seeing Agatha find true happiness is only for a little while. She’s a successful woman with her own business but she is always feeling inadequate and lonely.  Wouldn’t it be nice if in one installment she found a truly good man (someone new) that loved her for her quirks and all.  Are you listening, M.C. Beaton?

 


September Fair (Murder by the Month Mysteries #5) by Jess Lourey

Book Description

Publication Date: September 8, 2009 | Series: The Murder-By-Month Mysteries (Book 5)

The Minnesota State Fair-the beloved home of 4H exhibits, Midway rides, and everything on a stick. The festival fun is riding high until the recently crowned Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, a Battle Lake native, is brutally murdered while her regal likeness is carved in butter. Can Mira James, covering the fair for the Battle Lake Recall, expose a deadly State Fair secret and win a blue ribbon for caging a killer? You bet your last deep-fried Nut Goodie!

Review –

This story was a pleasant read and had humor,quirky characters, plot twists and butter carving.  Now who could resist that.  If you are in between books and want something light and fun, give this a try. It will keep a smile on your face.

 

Click Clack-The Rattle Bag by Neil Gaiman

Product Description:

Click-Clack the Rattlebag” is your Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman and Audible, free through October 31. It’s not available anywhere else, and for a limited time, each download from Audible benefits educational charities at DonorsChoose.org.
A few words from Neil: “Why tell ghost stories? Why read them or listen to them? Why take such pleasure in tales that have no purpose but, comfortably, to scare?
“I don’t know. Not really. It goes way back. We have ghost stories from ancient Egypt, after all, ghost stories in the Bible, classical ghost stories from Rome (along with werewolves, cases of demonic possession, and of course, over and over, witches). We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable, about the state of being alive. Happy Halloween!”
“‘What kind of story would you like me to tell you?’ ‘Well,’ he said, thoughtfully, ‘I don’t think it should be too scary, because then when I go up to bed, I will just be thinking about monsters the whole time. But if it isn’t just a little bit scary, then I won’t be interested. And you make up scary stories, don’t you?'”
So begins this subtle, witty, deceptive little tale from master storyteller Neil Gaiman. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, and enjoy!

Review –

As you can see above, the more this story was downloaded the more went to a charity,  That was my main interest in reading the story, plus it was near Halloween and I thought it would be a good spooky story.    I was very disappointed.  It was not scary at all(to me) so I only gave it three stars on GoodReads.

Gauntlet: An All Hallow’s Eve Prequel Short Story by Carolyn McCray

Product Description:

Published October 7, 2012

The Gauntlet is an  action packed 8,500+ word prequel short story to the bestselling Mystery/Horror novel All Hallow’s Eve…

Detectives Paxton Prover and Ruth Matte have one hell of a first day as
partners. They’ve entered a gauntlet of horror they may never escape.

Review –

This short story is about horrific murders committed by horrific people and is a prequel to All Hallow’s Eve (which I am reading now).  The chemistry of the two law enforcement partners is comical and all business but I’m betting that will change as the series continues.

Amanda’s Eyes( A A.J. Gregson Novel) By Kathy DiSanto

Book Description

Publication Date:July 20, 2012
Waking up is the pits when you come to in a hospital with a broken arm, a colorful assortment of abrasions and contusions, and a face swathed in bandages. It’s even worse if you can’t remember what hit you.
The bad and the ugly are crime reporter Amanda “A.J.” Gregson’s business. But learning she had a ringside seat for an explosion that killed two agents of the Continental Intelligence and Investigative Service (CIIS), incinerated an entire block of warehouses, and did so much damage to her eyes they had to be surgically removed? Well, that gives the darker side of life a whole new meaning.
Haunted by elusive nightmares, A.J. waits for her transplant and struggles to remember the events leading up to the fateful night of September 4, 2075. Weeks crawl by without a glimmer, before memory floods back the night before surgery, every brutal detail crystal clear.
The explosion had been the work of the Ferrymen.
“The Ferrymen. My not-so-magnificent obsession for more than a year. Only a cataclysm could have made me forget. I guess you could call them hitmen. You could also call Einstein a math whiz. Think ruthless. Think unstoppable. Think killers so proficient ‘caught the ferry’ was fast replacing ‘bought the farm’ in common usage, and you have the Ferrymen in a nutshell.”
The transplant surgery goes off without a hitch—welcome news, because A.J. is raring for a rematch with Hell’s Boatmen. But contrary to popular belief, what you see isn’t always what you get. Take her new eyes, for example. Those baby blues may look perfectly normal, but they possess a power that turns her world upside down—the power to see into the hidden dimensions of the human heart.
When the Sight unmasks the mastermind behind the Ferrymen, the unveiling is as stunning as it is unbelievable. The revelation sets her on course for a second head-collision with evil. Will she survive the final encounter
Review –
Great story that takes place in 2075 and is fast paced, action packed and an excellent crime novel with sequels to come.  Can’t wait and I love the cover.