4/23/17

Incomplete Sentence By E. E. Kennedy

Synopsis:
Gregory Rasmussen, the infamous Rasputin Killer, never served the sentence handed down in absentia for a particularly brutal murder. He has eluded the law for years, but he is now believed to be in the North Country. When a resident is murdered at the local retirement home, speculation about the killer’s identity fills the headlines. Then another victim is found at Chez Prentice.

Trapped in her snowbound B&B with elderly new friend Hugh Channing, father of the first victim, and her baby, Janet, Amelia Prentice Dickensen and her staff are asking themselves: Where is the murderer? Is he really the Rasputin Killer? Could one of their guests be the infamous psychopath, known for his power to charm and his fine singing voice? Will publicity surrounding the discovery of a dead body in the basement put the B&B out of business?

Interspersed with humor and local Adirondack color, Amelia’s latest murder case is especially chilling.

Review:
An intriguing, delightful mystery, Incomplete Sentence captured my attention right from the very beginning with the suspenseful prologue. This is the fourth book in the Miss Prentice Mystery Series by E. E. Kennedy. Although I had not read the first three installments, the author made it easy for me to jump right in and follow along while the characters developed and the storyline unfolded.

Incomplete Sentence is a  “cozy mystery” in my opinion, as the main setting of the story is a charming bed and breakfast and the small cast of characters have somewhat quirky, interesting personalities. I found the main female character  to be quite funny, correcting everyone’s grammar. There is a warmth, fitting the cozy genre.

However, it is also full of suspense, keeping mystery lovers turning the pages quickly, reveling in the tension and detective work that’s going on as well. I was held captive as the plot unfolded and the individual characters both intrigued and amused me. I loved the twists and turns and admit I was confounded at times when I thought I knew who the killer was, only to find out I was wrong, and was kept guessing.
Incomplete Sentence definitely has an ending that satisfies the mystery lover's soul.

I find a lot of mysteries lack the ability to hold the interest and attention of the reader, but not with this one.
E.E. Kennedy has a clear, creative and strong literary voice with great forethought.
Incomplete Sentence is very well written with smart, code-cracking intelligence.
I recommend it to all mystery lovers, to diehard cozy mystery fans as well as more suspenseful mystery enthusiasts.
It’s a great 5 star read.
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4/22/17

Beyond Ikenick Creek By Tracey Mayfield

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Eli Parker is in trouble with the law-again. Raised by a single mother and plagued by a tragic past, all hope seems to be lost. With his crimes getting progressively worse, it is now up to Judge Mosaron to turn Eli's life around. He sentences Eli to New Beginnings Camp for Troubled Youth for the remainder of the summer. Located just beyond Ikenick Creek-near the McKenzie River-this camp will change Eli in ways he never expects.

Through a series of team-building activities and near-death mishaps, Eli learns about trust, forgiveness, and God's grace. He also discovers the campers have more in common than he initially thought. Everyone, including the mysterious Amber, has their own personal battles to overcome.

Beyond Ikenick Creek utilizes action, adventure, drama, and a bit of humor to capture the imaginations of both teen and adult readers. It is a story about how courage, wisdom, faith, and hope might inspire an individual to change and prevent the lifelong consequences of poor choices.

Review:
Inspiring, powerful and Refreshing. Very well written, light hearted with just the right amount of drama and humor. Beyond Ikenick Creek is a faith inspired story about one rebellious, trouble making teen boy that is sentenced by the judge to a camp to straighten him out, and teach him about life, faith and the grace of God.
Upon arrival, Eli Parker, feels uneasy and resists the program that is set in place to help the teens, boys and girls, that have had troubled childhoods or have gotten into mischief, broken the law or are just downright rebellious.
As the days pass, Eli begins to become more accepting of the program. He begins to open up about his troubled past during the group sessions. In doing so he realizes that some harrowing circumstances of his earlier childhood plague his mind and emotions. He finds a young teen girl that catches his eye, which helps him to stick around and work the program. He even begins to read his bible.
Through various exercises he begins to learn about courage, trust, acceptance and the love of God. He learns about forgiveness, and God’s grace. In the end, he comes away with a life changing experience that he never expected. But was exactly what he needed.
I loved this book and it kept me turning the pages quickly. It is filled with wisdom, insight,  hope and conviction. The author, Tracey Mayfield, has a strong literary voice and has certainly put in a lot of research, knowledge and insight into this story which makes it very a interesting, enjoyable and smart read. It is a book filled with adventure, action and unexpected series of events and circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed Beyond Ikenick Creek and wholly recommend it teens and parents as well.
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4/15/17

LOVE HAS MANY FACES BY LISA MORGAN

Synopsis:
Raw, frank and blistering, Lisa Morgan's 'Love Has Many Faces' embroils readers in what should have been a move to Uganda to start a new life of marriage and happiness; rapidly turned into lawless tragedy. Hailed by critics as an -Absolutely gripping read-, Morgan's powerful true story reminds readers that love often has many dark corners.

When a British woman falls in love. She moves to Uganda to be with her Ugandan boyfriend. She later discovers the hard lessons of betrayal and is left penniless in a foreign land. She gets tangled into a web of lies, falls into the hands of corrupted police that turns her life into a living horror. For the first-time Lisa shares her spectacular true story on how she escaped from exile, with only the sheer power of the human spirit to claw her way back to freedom.


Review:
A deep intense drama, Love Has Many Faces is a true story of one woman’s harrowing tale of a period of time in her life where her struggle to live and survive in a foreign country is so hard, so unexpectedly difficult, unfortunate, and ultimately horrifying; all due to the man she loves and is engaged to be married to .


The story begins hopeful and adventurous. But soon becomes devastating and hopeless.
Lisa moves from England to Uganda to unite with and marry Boaz, as they were so in love. But she soon finds out there is more to Boaz than she ever dreamed possible. He becomes physically and emotionally abusive. True love. That’s what Lisa thought about her relationship with Boaz. he is charming and caring and said he loved her over and over. How could this have happened to her


He takes her money and keeps her trapped in a lonely existence. As Lisa tries to make the best of her life in a foreign country where she knows only a handful of people, and with a boyfriend that is physically and mentally abusive, she tries to seek help from many different people and authorities.
She eventually does make some friends But she also, gets caught up in lies and entangled with the wrong side of the law.
Basically Lisa is stuck, with no money and nowhere to go. She keeps hoping that Boaz will change, as he pleads with her saying “how sorry he is,” after hitting her and busting open her lip. In the end, Lisa claws her way out, and there is a twist and a surprise in the book that readers don’t see coming. But I personally was happy that it happened and  delighted to read it.
I was completely drawn into this true story of one women’s harrowing and terrifying experience.
Written by the author Lisa Morgan herself, she tells her story very well. It is well written and edited. It is candid, truthful and straightforward.
I couldn’t put the book down. It reads like a fiction, but in actuality is a true story.

Love Has Many Faces is interesting, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable. I fully recommend this true story where unspeakable things happen; and there are twists and turns, that normally are only told in fiction reads. 5 Big Stars For “Love Has Many Faces” by Lisa Morgan

4/12/17

Fisher's Autism Trilogy By Paul Nelson

Synopsis:
This is the entire Fisher Stevens Autism Trilogy. (Through Fisher's Eyes, Dark Spectrum & A Problem With the Moon) Fisher and his autistic friends learn that they have amazing super powers. They use them in many adventures as they encounter bullies, ghosts, demons and aliens. Great reading for all ages, but especially for teens and young adults!

Review:
Written by the father of a wonderful autistic boy named Michael, Fisher’s Autism Trilogy is exciting, inspiring and full of adventure. It’s a touching collective of fictional stories, based on the real life of Michael, who (is autistic), and his father, Paul. It’
showcases his real life difficulties and struggles, as well as his triumphs and marvelous abilities. This is a full trilogy in one book.
The first book in the trilogy is called “Through Fisher’s Eyes” It’s an enjoyable, touching, and simplistic story of life as seen through an autistic boys' eyes.
It is written as if Fisher, the fictional Michael, is telling the story himself. It is mainly about the boy, Fisher, and how he and his father live, and manage life with autism. As Fisher's only caregiver, Paul and Fisher learn to deal with life and people the best they can. Life is an adventure for the duo, who stick together through thick and thin. It’s very meaningful and lighthearted.
I could hear the love and warmth come through in the author's voice.
It is written in a very simple manner, whilst still (maintaining) a high literary standard. I was impressed with the composition and arrangement of the story line. The characters were all very well thought out, well developed and meaningful.  


The second book, Dark Spectrum, is more of an exciting fantasy tale with some supernatural encounters, other world characters, beings and occurrences. It is told (from) the evil character's point of view. It is filled with adventure and unexpected
experiences.
So interesting, at this point, I couldn’t put the book down. It was engaging, interesting and fun. I was completely drawn into the story. Young men will thoroughly enjoy and relate to not only the whole  trilogy, but specifically this second one.


The third tale in the trilogy, A  Problem With the Moon, continues the exciting fantasy, and kept me completely interested and turning the pages quickly .

I thoroughly enjoyed Fisher’s Autism Trilogy. I recommend it to those who enjoy, excitement filled, fantasies and light hearted meaningful books. I personally came away feeling that there is more to life than what many people experience and pay attention to. Readers will be reminded of the importance of acceptance and tolerance. I recommend the exciting Fisher’s Trilogy to Teens, young adults and adults, as well. There is a lot to be learned from Fisher’s Trilogy.
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4/9/17

"The Band 4: The Air We Breathe" By Marguerite Nardone Gruen


Thoughtful, beautiful love story. Do you believe in love at first sight? I do and so does our author  Marguerite Nardone Gruen, as she has written this sweet romantic, once in a lifetime, true love story.


The Band 4: The Air We Breathe, is a beautiful fictional story of two unsuspecting people that fall for eachother like Romeo and Juliet. I loved it! I loved the simplicity of the characters and how much they all supported and cared for one another. The story flowed nicely, and the writing and editing was outstanding. It is an engaging story of romance, friendship, a boy band, and music.


It’s a feel good book and a quick read; I couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in from the very beginning, engaged and smiling throughout most of the story. There are some ups and downs that the couple goes through, and many emotions bouncing around.
But they have a such strong bond of friendship and love, coupled with relentless optimism, that they triumph throughout their journey together. I love books that teach me something, and this one did just that.


I love the way our author  Marguerite Nardone Gruen, developed the characters and their interactions with one another. I was drawn to them and their upbeat personalities and outlook on life. I felt the author really had a voice and strong direction in her mind while writing this book. Some may think that it is a fairy tale like story but I believe it is true to life. Love can be the way  Marguerite Nardone Gruen has written it, and she has done it very well.


It’s definitely a clean “chick lit” read, filled with the feelings of excitement and mystery associated with romantic love. This is the first book in a trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading more from this new up and coming author of love stories..
Women of all ages will love it.

4/3/17

Monkey Business BY Lois Schmitt

Synopsis:
A zoo with its lions, crocodiles, and snakes is a dangerous place―a perfect place for murder.
When the director of a Long Island zoo is murdered by snake venom, Kristy Farrell, former English teacher turned wildlife reporter, takes a personal interest in the case. Her brother Tim, the zoo’s curator in charge of reptiles, is the leading suspect. Although the evidence is circumstantial, Kristy is sure the homicide detective, a childhood nemesis of her brother, is out to frame Tim.
Believing that the killer is one of her brother’s colleagues, Kristy investigates the internal politics and personal relationships at the zoo. As she delves into each suspect’s life, she uncovers weak alibis and powerful motives, including greed, blackmail, infidelity, and revenge. The trail leads her to a Greenwich Village pet store with a shady history, a radical animal rights group, a wildlife art exhibit on Long Island’s infamous gold coast, and a bizarre animal auction in rural Ohio where just about anything―dead or alive―can be purchased for the right price.
Meanwhile, the zoo is plagued with accidents, a second murder occurs, and Kristy’s life is threatened. With everyone’s nerves on edge, Kristy races to find the killer before the killer strikes again.
Monkey Business is an animal lover’s mystery. The book delves into the world of endangered species, wildlife smuggling, and the underground trade in exotic reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed Monkey Business By Lois Schmitt. It starts off with a proverbial bang.
Our author draws readers right into the scene from the very get go with her smart and funny literary tone.
There is a lot going on in this well written cozy mystery style book, with many scenarios, and easy to follow, twists and turns. It is written incredibly well and thoughtfully smart.. With the many, “whodunnits” and some what quirky characters, readers are compelled to put on their own detective hats as well.


Author Lois Schmitt gives readers interesting insight to the inner workings and politics of what goes on in zoos. I’m an animal lover, so I accordingly loved all the animal references and knowledge that is bountifully included in this story. But, I would have to say that even if you think you might not go in for a book where the main setting is at a zoo, you might be willingly surprised with this one. It’s colorful and hilarious; as I  laughed my way through the book.


I think the author  has a clear, unique voice and personal style of writing.
I was impressed by how the author tied everything together. Just as the title, “Monkey Business” sounds like a wild ride, it is a crazy up and down journey of how the main character, Kristy Farrell, struggles to find the killer of the director of the zoo.


Writing a mystery takes a great amount of intellectual ability in order to pull off the difficulty and ingenuity needed to create puzzle like scenarios. To present problems difficult to solve and situations difficult to resolve, can be extremely difficult. But author Lois Schmitt rises up to the mental challenge and pulls it off beautifully and expertly.
I was more than pleasantly satisfied with the entire book and very pleased and gratified with the outcome at the end.
Chick Lit Cafe  highly recommends “Monkey Business” By Lois Schmitt
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3/24/17

High Hopes By Sue Lilley

Synopsis:
Grace, Sam and Dixie have known each other forever. But Grace has a secret. Pregnant and penniless after one drunken night with Sam, she gave up her baby for adoption without telling him. And condemned herself to twenty years of guilt. When her daughter traces her, out of the blue, Grace longs to meet her. But she’s asking about her father and if Grace confesses to Sam after all these years, it will surely wreck his marriage to Dixie. How can their friendship survive such a betrayal? Yet does Grace have a choice?
Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed "High Hopes." It’s honest, touching and funny.
It’s a fiction story with a realistic, amusing and slightly dramatic plot.

Review:
Author Sue Lilley draws readers in right from the start by arousing curiosity and interest. With an exciting developing plot of close friendship, sexual desire and secrets, one can’t help but to be immensely captivated.
The storyline, is intricate, enjoyable and complicated in a good way; it flowed nicely. It is a page turning, light hearted pleasurable read. I read it in one day, as I couldn’t put it down.
Readers will be filled with anticipation as to how this story will turn out. There are twists and turns which peaks the reader’s inquisitiveness and concern. It all works well, and in the end, the story finds a satisfying close.
There are many books written as romantic dramas, but this one felt unique and new.
The somewhat eccentric, quirky main characters are composed of elaborately interconnected parts which the author writes well.
High Hopes fits well within the chick lit genre, as it is a fun book filled with things that women do and can relate to. The inner struggles of the characters resemble life for women and men a like.
Set in a small town in England, I reveled in the local culture and beauty described throughout the book. The author, Sue Lilley, put me right in the setting with her lavish descriptions and flamboyant literary accounts.

Very well written, this book read like a novel to me. It’s fictitious prose and narrative is of considerable length and complexity, and portrays involved characters and it presents a sequential organization of action and scenes. It’s by no means shallow as are some chick lit reads.
Author Sue Lilley has written a great work of fiction and a great above average chick lit read.
We recommend High Hopes to all our chick lit readers that love a sassy, witty, sexy and smart read. Chick Lit Cafe would be interested in reading more books by Susan Lilley.

3/17/17

The Last Valentine By Felix Alexander

The Last Valentine
By Felix Alexander

Synopsis:
When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector SedeƱo finds it in her possession.
A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.

Review:
Absolutely beautiful! If you love the novels of some of the great romance and intrigue writers of all time, then you will love The Last Valentine. It is similar to those of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabella Allende. It is a combination of genres including romance, historical, and mystery. It is a great read for women, and not your more shallow chick lit read. This one stands alone unique, entrancing, full and rich.  It is a cocktail of mystery and intrigue filled with longing and hope.

The Last Valentine is all about romance and beauty. It captures the essence of love in all it’s forms. There are many endearing love stories gently woven within the story.
It is written in a passionate poetic voice that keeps readers engaged and delighted. The author Felix Alexander expresses his emotions in a very imaginative and beautiful way. The many characters are brilliantly written within the story, Many having interesting eccentric personalities and which all have an important place in the end.

Along with the beauty that pleases the aesthetic senses, there is a wealth of local historical knowledge expertly penned within the storyline, making it especially interesting. The book is set in the enchanting land of Puerto Rico. The author depicts the region as a captivating beautiful land with scenes of beauty, interest and culture.

Felix Alexander’s descriptions of the sights and places are so well written, defined and poetic that readers feel they are there seeing and experiencing what the characters in the book felt and saw. He puts readers directly in the setting with his exuberant sensual descriptions throughout.
The author causes the reader to long to go back in time and visit the places, people and culture in The Last Valentine.
The Last Valentine by Felix Alexander is a must read for all romance, historical and mystery lovers. It is a fulfilling short read. It a sensory poetic feast and a great escape from our more ordinary lives.


3/7/17

Butterfly Waltz By Jane Tesh


Des Fairweather is a struggling young musician who fears he possesses the same destructive magical power that killed his parents.
While helping his tabloid reporter friend, Jake Banner, investigate reports of talking flowers, Des meets Kalida, a beautiful and mysterious young woman who says she is being pursued by her people, evil beings from a world called the Caverns. Can Des put aside his fear of magic and find a way to rescue Kalida?

Review:
Butterfly Waltz is an enchanting fantasy filled with magic, romance and otherworldly adventure. Readers will revel in this intriguing tale that is woven with the kind of beauty that transcends this world and tantalizes the human imaginary senses.

Author, Jane Tesh, guides us through a clever story of two friends that set out to search for a story for a news column. What they end up finding is intense adventure, intrigue, love and the magic they both desire, and all though they didn’t know it, needed all along.
Butterfly Waltz is a tapestry filled with supernatural encounters, good and evil, and an ending that satisfies the soul.

There are many fantasy books out there, but this is a delightfully different spin on the genre. I loved it and I think young adults, as well as more mature adults, will love it too. I've never read a book that depicts music as colorful and magical as this one.

Butterfly Waltz is one beautiful great read.
It is well composed and written with a clear voice of hope, lightheartedness and positivity. The storyline flows with ease, simplicity and drama, and not to diminish the experience of a great writer.

Pick up Butterfly Waltz. It’s a rather short read and you will leave with a smile and the inspiration to find your own magic in the music.

3/3/17

"eighty and out" By KIM CANO

Synopsis:
Traumatized by visits to the nursing home to see their elderly aunt, Louise and her sister Jeannie, made a youthful pact to not live past age eighty. Was it a silly childhood idea, or were they wise beyond their years? Most importantly, will they go through with it when the time comes?


Will they go through with it? And will Louise’s romantic dreams of a life out west ever come to pass?
Those questions were fervently on my mind as I quickly turned each page in anticipation. This is a must read story for women of all ages, written by an excellent writer.
Author Kim Cano, cleverly weaves together an endearing life story of two sisters journey through life with all its challenges and obstacles. This is a highly emotional read as the characters experience happiness, joy, sorrow and loss. But the writer seems to expertly pull it off as a splendid “feel good read,” leaving readers with a sense of happiness.
I absolutely loved this story. I couldn’t put it down. The plot development is thoughtful, skillful and exceptional. The characters were so well developed, I felt I knew them myself. This is one of the most well written books I have read in a long while. It’s evident and unmistakable that Kim Cano is an educated experienced writer, with a unique voice and beautiful literary prose. Brilliantly structured, moving along steadily and continuously, the story flows through time with ease and purpose, and with a means to the end. The way she was able to pass through time so smoothly and eloquently really impressed me.

Right from the start, the exciting plot and stage is set, getting the readers minds engaged and locked into the storyline, making it very difficult to put it down. How will this turn out? The question burned into my mind throughout the entire read. I found myself secretly pleading with the author, quickly turning the pages, to give this story the end it deserved. She did not disappoint. In fact, the ending was well worth the anticipation. The dialogue between characters flowed so well, I was astonished.
This was a smart read. Well written with no grammatical or other errors, making the readability pleasantly enjoyable.
Eighty and out is also filled with wisdom, soul searching, and self-realization. Very engaging and relatable. I learned a lot from this story, things that I can apply to my own life.
Kim Cano is one talented, passionate and extraordinary writer.
I highly recommend “eighty and out” to all women that love a good chick lit read that is written with creativity, knowledge, wisdom and passion.
Reviewed by Emma
Chick Lit Cafe
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