Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dear Thief

Dear Thief - Jacket Image (Portrait)Not a review but a Shout out.  This looks to be a book filled with an adventurous writing style.  Go into it with a wide open mind, ready to receive the strongly stylized words.

Dear Thief
Samantha Harvey
Atavist/Tandem Literary
Release date: Sep. 30, 2014
“You were going to work your way into my marriage and you were going to call its new three-way shape holy,” writes the unnamed narrator of Dear Thief.

The thief is Nina, or Butterfly, who disappeared eighteen years earlier and who is being summoned by this letter, this bomb, these recollections, revisions, accusations, and confessions.

“Sometimes I imagine, out of sheer playfulness, that I am writing this as a kind of defence for having murdered and buried you under the patio.”

Dear Thief is a letter to an old friend, a song, a jewel, and a continuously surprising triangular love story. Samantha Harvey writes with a dazzling blend of fury and beauty about the need for human connection and the brutal vulnerability that need exposes.

“While I write my spare hand might be doing anything for all you know; it might be driving a pin into your voodoo stomach.”

Here is a rare novel that traverses the human heart in original and indelible ways.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Treasure Coast and Brash Books

Idgie Says:
Okay, I have to admit this up front.  The computer ate my review.  I went in to tweak it and "something" happened.  Zap.  Pop.  Poof.  No more review.  Back-up?  Never have them for a review, my website has autosave.  Unless, apparently, you hit a wrong button. 

Therefore, this is no longer a review, but a shout out.  I simple did not have the time to recreate it.  BUT... I do have a special treat for you.  A really, really long excerpt!  You can find it HERE.  Now, you might notice that it seems to be on my own site in a different year...  Simply because it was too long for the front page and I had to put it somewhere to link it - so I put it safely tucked into my site.. unless I hit a wrong button again.  

The book is fun - at least that's what I said the first time.  Give it a try - read the excerpt - that will give you a fine example of the book!


Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Brash Books (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194129801X
ISBN-13: 978-1941298015

Break out the champagne, there’s a new publisher in town!  Brash Books is their name and only the best in crime fiction is their game. 
Launching in September, Brash Books is the brainchild of Lee Goldberg, author of more than 40 books including the bestselling Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich, and Joel Goldman, author of the hugely successful and award-winning Lou Mason, Jack David, and Alex Stone series. Lee and Joel decided to do something never done before—publish the best mysteries, police procedurals, thrillers, and spy novels of the last 30 years—as well as innovative new titles that will be the among the best of the next 30 years. 
In other words, Brash Books publishes the best crime novels in existence. Their roster features an unparalleled list of highly acclaimed Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and National Book Award-winning or nominated titles.

First up for Brash, Tom Kakonis’s TREASURE COAST is a new novel described as “Get Shorty” meets “No Country for Old Men.”
A compulsive gambler goes to his sister’s funeral on Florida’s Treasure Coast and gets saddled with her loser-son, who is deep in debt to a vicious loan shark who sends a pair of sociopathic thugs to collect on the loan. But things go horribly awry and the gambler finds himself in the center of an outrageous kidnapping plot involving a conman selling mail-order tombstones, a psychic who channels the dead, and the erotically super-charged wife of a wealthy businessman.


About the Author

Master of Crime Fiction Tom Kakonis has been hailed by critics nationwide as the heir-apparent to Elmore Leonard… and for good reason. His stunning thrillers blend dark humor with gritty storytelling for compelling, and innovative crime noir capers packed with unique, sharply drawn characters and shocking twists. All of those talents are on full display in Treasure Coast, his bold new thriller from Brash Books. But that success is built on a foundation of incredible crime writing. In his highly-praised debut Michigan Roll, Kakonis introduced Tim Waverly – a loveable gambler who constantly finds himself playing a game of survival against the odds. The Waverly series continued with Double Down and Shadow Counter, and Kakonis also penned the hilarious and harrowing Christmas car heist Criss Cross. Kakonis took a darker turn with Blind Spot and Flawless, two mind-blowing thrillers he initially wrote under the pseudonym “Adam Barrow.” Blind Spot is a tour-de-force that tracks a father’s relentless, driving obsession to save his family at any cost, while Flawless, picked as a People Magazine Chiller of the Week, centers on a chilling serial killer as his perfectly-ordered life begins to crumbled when he falls in love, his imprisoned father is released, and a relentless, and sleazy, PI starts to follow the trail of bodies to his door. And now Tom Kakonis is back with the thriller his fans have been waiting to read for years. It was worth the wait. Treasure Coast Is “Get Shorty” meets “No Country for Old Men” on a sunny Florida coast that’s teeming with conmen and killers – and marks the return of Tom Kakonis at his best.  

Treasure Coast is one of the first releases from the new publishing company, Brash Books. Bestselling authors Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman created Brash to publish “the best crime novels in existence.”

The High Divide

The High Divide
Lin Enger
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (September 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616203757
ISBN-13: 978-1616203757

Idgie Says: 
A good "throwback" hard-scrabble survival novel set in the 1800s.  I call it a survival novel only in the Western novel requirements that you have to have some way to live and thrive in these hard-edged towns on the edge of nothing.  Women are dependent on men.  Men are dependent on land and cash.  Children grow up very early.  It seems that the characters in these novels are always on the edge of losing it all.

I read a review comparison between Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy in the writing influence in this novel. I would say that the phrasing and descriptions are more starkly written in the vein of McCarthy, but the characters are more fully fleshed out and containing emotion in the style of McMurtry.

You want to know why the husband left.  You want to know how the wife will survive on her own.  You want to know what the boys will do and if they'll manage on their own.  I will say, you also want to kick the crap out of the husband for his actions.   

When you get mad and want to take action against a character......that means it's a good story that has you in it's grip.

 Book Description:

 In 1886, Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie, with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed. It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.

Short on money and beleaguered by a treacherous landlord, Gretta has no choice but to seek out her sons and her husband as well, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own. While out in the Western wilderness, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses’ trail, the greater the perils that confront them–until each is faced with a choice about whom they will defend, and who they become.

Enger’s breathtaking portrait of the vast plains landscape is matched by the rich expanse of his characters’ emotional terrain, as pivotal historical events–the bloody turmoil of expansionism, the near total demise of the bison herds, and the subjugation of the Plains Indians–blend seamlessly with the intimate story of a family’s sacrifice and devotion.


Panel Discussion on Creating Books

Panelists talked about how a book is created. The panelists included Lin Enger, author of The High Divide; Kathy Pories and Ina Stern of Algonquin Books; literary agent P.J. Mark; and Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal.

The panel, “The Journey of a Book: From Writer to Reader,” took place at the 2014 BookExpo America, the publishing industry’s annual trade show, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. close

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reasons never to take a reviewer seriously....

What's this?  A reviewer telling you not to to take us seriously?  That's right I am.  I say this for a couple of reasons.

1. A review is ALWAYS nothing more than a person's opinion.  Now if we all had the same opinion, we wouldn't need to discuss anything would we?  I try very hard to keep my opinions out of the reviews, if that make sense.  In other words, I may hate a book, but that does not mean it's a bad book - it's simply a book that disagrees with me, as a person.  Therefore I need to tell what it's about, how the writing flows, etc.  I need not slam the book in harsh fashion only because I like to read about puppies and a book about cats showed up at my door.  Now if I love a book, everyone knows - but that's a positive thing so I like to share the positives.

2. I hate to say this, but a lot of people like to be somewhat of a show off with their "word smarts" and will write copious amounts of words about a book, with no other goal but to show they were smart enough to read all the words and understand them.  No offense, but when you're reading Jackie Collins, this just isn't necessary. It's like listening to the guy at the office party tell you over and over what car he drives, how many homes he has and how important he is the company.  Bore Snore.

3. Finally, and this is a pet peeve of mine - if you see a review of over 4 paragraphs, immediately stop reading it.  Why -  because those reviewers tend to tell you the entire book in their review and there simply is no reason to read the book - the Cliff Notes just landed on your lap.
My goal when writing a "review" - and yes, I'm sure a lot of reviewers would call me a book pusher instead of a true reviewer - is to tell the ESSENCE of the story.  What the story contains, how it flows, if it's soft and sweet or harsh and bitter.  You don't need to read all the details of the book and the hidden back stories that may or may not even be there..........you want to know if it's a book you might want to read.  Simple as that. 

I don't write "bad" reviews, though I will mention when I find things are off kilter or excessive to my mind.  If I find a book is truly not good, I simply don't review it.  Call me Pollyanna, but the Amazon reviews and such tend to make me wince, with so many being anonymous angry bashes. 

So I suppose what I'm rambling about here, as I have recently come across reviewers taking themselves oh so seriously, is that we are just people stating opinions and (hopefully) basking in the joy of being part of the book world.  I know I am.  But if you think a book might be interesting, certainly don't pass it by simply because I say it wasn't the bees knees.  My idea of hot knees might not be yours.