Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Solemn - Review and Excerpt Says:
This is a coming of age story with many sharp corners.  No time for general angst and whining.  Solemn is a girl who lives in poverty and sees not only the harshness of life, but also the community togetherness of neighbors banding together in times of need.  This closeness can be a comfort, or can stifle.  

The novel tends to jump between storytellers in each new chapter, so that you do get to see many different sides to the events that happen. 

I don't want to tell too much of the story and give away key discoveries, but I will just say that Solemn definitely doesn't get to grow up mooning over posters of cute rock stars over her bed and worry about making the team, she has much deeper issues that could definitely guide her attitudes in life as she grows up.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 3, 2016)

 Click HERE to read excerpt.

Solemn Redvine is a precocious Mississippi girl who senses a nearby baby may be her half-sibling: the outcome of her father's mistakes with a married woman who lives in their trailer park. After Solemn witnesses a man throw the baby down a community well, she struggles to understand the event, leaving her forever changed.

As Solemn finds refuge in fantasies of stardom as well as friendships with her brother's wife and a nearby girl, the ill-fated baby's doomed mother disappears without a trace. Solemn remains trapped by connections to the missing other woman and an honest cop who suspects more to the story than others on the small local police force want to see. When her father's next mistake - a robbery - lands Solemn in a group home for troubled girls, she meets a Chicago delinquent who wants to escape. There, Solemn must face the truth of who she really is and what she is really made of.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Flight Patterns - Book Review

Idgie Says:
Out of curiosity, I went back into the Dew's archives and counted how many Karen White books I have reviewed.  Since Spring of 2009, I have reviewed ELEVEN of her books.  Flight Patterns is #12. 
Karen is a prolific writer, and unlike some frequent writers who I'm suspicious of how many of the words are from their actual hands, I fully believe Karen writes every single line, thereby leaving me wondering when she sleeps. 

Her stories are never sloppy or quickly written, they are always in-depth and deeply character driven - no one is cardboard and there are no throwaway lines. Flight Patterns continues her winning streak of incredibly readable novels.  

Georgia's family is a hot mess.  Mama doesn't talk, the girls haven't spoken to each other in 10 years since one banned the other from their hometown, and Grandpa seems to be hiding a secret. Heck, they ALL seem to be hiding secrets from each other.  But as we go back in time, first 10 years, then 70 years, we slowly discover who's hiding what and why.  The true question here is what can be forgiven, what needs to be forgotten, and can any of these people find peace and love together again as a true family?

Throw in a handsome guy who "might" be imagined from the pages of Outlander :), and you have a story that sticks and doesn't let go.  As I said when I first received my copy - I picked it up to look it over and the next thing I knew I had pushed aside the book I meant to read and was five chapters into Flight Patterns.  

Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: NAL (May 24, 2016)
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC 

 The New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Glass and coauthor of The Forgotten Room tells the story of a woman coming home to the family she left behind—and to the woman she always wanted to be...

Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit...

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled.

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep...

City of Mirrors - Book Review

Idgie Says:
I was on the fence as to whether I would track down a copy of City of Mirrors for review or not.  The good news is that I did. I had found myself lost and wandering away from The Twelve.  I had really enjoyed The Passage, but  - and perhaps it was the length of time between books - I had trouble locking into The Twelve and keeping up with what happened to characters I vaguely remembered.  It was also excessively violent in spots.  

City of Mirrors is again on par with The Passage.  The characters are fleshed out with strong stories, the scenarios actually do have sensible goals and while the violence is there, it's much more on a plot growth level than chapter filler.  

The novel hops around in time.  First 3 years after the virals are "gone", then well over 100 years into the past to learn - over several chapters - about who Zero was before he turned.  After those chapters, which did indeed keep you interested and invested, we shoot forward 23 years after the virals are wiped out.  The characters are 20 years older and much has happened, but they are still vital and vibrant to the story.  

Amy is in this book, but her existence, along with Carter's, was the one thing in the book that kept me with a quizzical look on my face.  Yes, I know a book about vampires isn't based in reality, but so much of the book was realistic as to what might occur and  regarding the actions of the humans, that the Amy chapters just seemed odd and jarring to me. 

I don't want to say too much about the story itself as there's a lot of build-up to events that take place and I don't want to ruin that.  But the main plot is that maybe the virals aren't really gone, and maybe there is a safe place humans can run to - just in case.  Perhaps Amy can help.

One thing I enjoyed is that in the first chapters of The Twelve, an event happens in young Amy's life that is really never explained in that book, nor the next.  It is finally fleshed out a bit more in the 3rd - not solved or completely explained, but explored in a bit more detail so that it doesn't seem like such a one-off in the story. 

The ending left me pensive... but satisfied.

Print Length: 624 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 24, 2016)
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC

 You followed The Passage. You faced The Twelve. Now enter The City of Mirrors for the final reckoning. As the bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale, Justin Cronin’s band of hardened survivors await the second coming of unspeakable darkness.

The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?

The Twelve have been destroyed and the terrifying hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew—and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy—humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Weekenders - Review and Excerpt

Idgie Says:
To the world Riley's family looks great.  They own one of the original summer homes on an island off the coast of North Carolina, have a successful family business, and Riley is married to a highly competent man who cherishes the family business he married into - and the family itself. The list of how great their lives are goes on and on.... until you realize none of it is real. 

The marriage is almost ashes, the business is teetering, the husband is not so loving to anyone, and her brother is hiding a lot of secrets.   Then a mysterious death occurs - accident or murder? Meanwhile, a man she hasn't seen since he threw up on her during her school years discovers he wants a second chance - if he can catch her interest again.

During a long, hot summer off the coast of North Carolina a number of truths come to light, hard decisions need to be made and familial trials and tribulations take place.  But a family that suffers together stays together, even if the ties that bind grow a little loose for a while. 

Riley discovers her entire life needs changing, perhaps to also include the man who decides his life needs to be intertwined with hers.

I took this book to the beach with me where it blended perfectly with the sun, sand and Bloody Marys.  :)  

Click HERE for an excerpt.
St. Martin's Press
May 17, 2016

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Some people come only for the weekends—and it’s something they look forward to all week long. When Riley Griggs is waiting for her husband to arrive at the ferry one Friday afternoon, she is instead served with papers informing her that her island home is being foreclosed. To make matters worse, her husband is nowhere to be found.

She turns to her island friends for help and support, but each of them has their own secrets and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens. Cocktail parties and crab boil aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Eight Days - Spotlight and Link to Giveaway

Eight DaysEight Days

One Sale in March 2016

Life’s short when compared to eternity, but eternity is only worth it because of life.

Clive Kinsella lived a good life. He had a family who loved him and he was never without a job, a place to live, or a warm meal. But Clive died unfulfilled. Despite all his gifts he could only see what he didn’t have. He never wrote for a big newspaper in a big city. He never traveled the world. In fact, he never got out of his small Southern town. And … he never faced the ghosts that haunted him. At his own funeral Clive meets Pachu, his grandfather who had died years before, and with Pachu he begins a journey through his life where he has to finally face his greatest regrets and agonies. But, if Clive can’t overcome his regrets he’ll be forced to wander the place between Heaven and Earth. Each day Clive revisits events in life in a sort of spiritual recording, the same events that took him from being an optimistic young man to a curmudgeon. For every day he overcomes he gets to visit a place on earth he never saw before, and the reader is taken to places like Half Dome in Yosemite and Venice, where Pachu and Clive discuss existence and the meaning of life. After his eight days Clive takes on one final challenge of life in a climb to the top of a mountain above an enchanted valley, where the gate to eternity awaits. In Heaven Clive meets loved ones who had gone before him, and the events of his life come together to make him the man he’ll be for eternity.

Click here to enter the contest for a signed book and $25.00 Amazon gift card.

Georgia Author of the Year nominee, for first novel, Scott Thompson was born and raised in the American South where his stories take place. His debut novel, Young Men Shall See, is a coming of age story set in the 1980s in a time of quiet social change and examines the generation in the South after the Civil Rights Era. Eight Days, released 2016 takes place in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and involves a man who has died, but first must face his regrets and mistakes before finding eternity.

Thompson lives near Atlanta, Georgia with his family. He is the winner of the Great American Novel contest in literature for 2010.