Monday, June 23, 2008

CONSEQUENCES OF SIN:  An Ursula Marlow Edwardian Mystery 

I have always been a fan of the British mystery.  Give me Poirot, Miss Marple, Morse, sherlock Holmes, or Inspector Lindley and I am in Heaven!  There is just something about the British fog, gas lit streets, and mystery.

The novel is set in Edwardian England when the fabric of British society was undergoing tremendous upheaval.  Clare Langley-Hawthorne gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of a society where reputation is everything and even the breath of a scandal can be a young woman's or gentleman's undoing.

Oxford educated Ursula Marlow is not an ordinary Belgravian heiress. She is an aspiring journalist and staunch suffragette who becomes involved in murder up to her beautiful eyeballs!  

A fellow suffragette is accused of murder, but Ursula is convinced of her friend's innocence, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  She digs deeper discovering her own father is connected to the victim.  Attempts on her life, a mysterious expedition,  and a voyage to Venezuela, force Ursula to join forces with her father's trusted advisor, the handsome, enigmatic Lord Oliver Wrotham.

I just loved the novel.  If you enjoy period mysteries, you will really enjoy the adventures of Ursula Marlow.  I would love to see this done as one of the British mystery series on PBS.     

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY: Unlocking Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance

This is an intriguing financial book. I found the Eight Financial Archetypes an interesting approach to understanding why we do what we do with money.

Kessel did research with his own clients and has come up with a new way to approach how we do or don't handle our money. Money is always hard to talk about, especially if you don't believe you're doing a very good job of managing it. In today's rough economy, any tool that helps is worth exploring. I like Kessel's "mind, body, spirit" approach. It gives an individual an opportunity for real insight into why we do the things we do. The exercises are very interesting and revealing. What do you think?

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


I really enjoyed this true rock 'em, sock 'em mystery, adventure novel

Set in the beautiful Caribbean on the island of St. Barts our hero, Mick Sever, continues his work as a journalist on the entertainment beat. He is offered the opportunity to interview music mogul and not-such-a-nice-guy, Danny Murtz in his luxurious villa on the island.

Murtz is one of those characters you love to hate. He epitomizes what we all believe about most celebrities ... that they can get away with anything just because they are rich and famous ... even murder! Murtz has a murky reputation for skating on the edge of the law. Inuendos follow him about how he finds his music and what happens to the women he dates.

Mick Sever finds himself in over his head on an island where "there has never been a murder." Sever finds himself on someone's hit list and comes close to being one of those "non-murders" on more than one occasion. Beautiful women, celebrity status, a smarmy attorney and the always-faithful secretary populate this fast-paced, fun read.

The novel is an inside look at the underbelly of celebrity and the music business. I really like the character of Mick Sever and want to read more. Looking for an escape while you're on the beach or plane? This novel is a really good one! What do you think?

Friday, June 6, 2008

THE THIRD CIRCLE: An Arcane Society Novel By Amanda Quick

If you're a "fan," you know that Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for the author, Jayne Ann Krentz. People will often ask me who I personally enjoy reading. Jayne Ann Krentz is one of those authors.

This is a dark, Gothic novel set in Victorian England. Thaddeus Ware is a paranormal hypnotist and investigator for the mysterious Arcane Society. In a dark mansion owned by a ruthless nobleman in the presence of a very dead body, Thaddeus crosses paths with a woman, Leona Hewitt, who also possesses paranormal abilities as a crystal reader. When the two of them meet, psychic sparks fly!

Add into the mix a secret society within a secret society who will stop at nothing, including murder, to obtain a crystal belonging to Leona's ancestors. For good measure, stir in a sociopathic killer with paranormal hunting abilities, and you have a wonderful concoction of murder, mayhem, and mystery.

I enjoyed reading the novel and want more. I hope this is not the last time I will have the opportunity to see these characters in action. I like the foggy, gaslight setting, and think the mystery works so well in that environment. What do you think?

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WATCHES OF THE NIGHT: A Ben Reese Mystery By Sally Wright

This book captured my attention from the opening sentence. Sally Wright is a master story teller and mystery writer. I love her attention to detail.

The character of Ben Reese is based on a real person who is a university archivist, investigator and veteran of World War II. Sort of like a real-live Sherlock Holmes!

In this novel, Ben is asked to use his experience as a combat scout to help his friend, Kate Lindsay. Kate has received a disturbing package in the mail that starts the mystery "ball rolling" and leads the parties involved into a world of stolen identify, stolen technology, murder, and unintended consequences. There is also a little romance thrown in for good measure.

I have to say that Sally Wright is an exceptional writer. This is the first novel I have read that she has written and it makes me hungry for more. Her descriptions of Tuscany, Scotland and Cornwall made me see those places with my mind. This novel is exceptional and was a real joy to read. What do you think?

"Cheryl, it was a long busy tour, and I want you to know that talking
with you was the best part of the trip. You really love books, and you’re
a very intelligent reader, and it was a real pleasure to spend time with you."
--Sally Wright

Monday, June 2, 2008

HEALTHY CHILD, HEALTHY WORLD: Creating A Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home


The book is filled cover to cover with wonderful, easy ideas for making your home safer and greener. Although based on solid scientific principles, the book reads like a how-to manual any of us can understand.

The philosophy Christopher Gavigan puts forth makes sense. When I spoke with him he said "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something to improve the safety of their home for their children." You will be surprised at some of the down-to-earth suggestions. There are recipes for healthy snacks, ideas for food shopping, non-chemical cleaners and soaps plus a 27-page Resources section.

The HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD organization has been around for 18 years and is endorsed by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hanks, Brooke Shields, Vanessa Williams, Sheryl Crow and Michelle Obama to name a few. I like the philosophy and I really like this book. I recommend it as a "must have" if you have children. You might consider giving it as a gift to any grandparent. What do you think?

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