Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Monday, September 18, 2006

HOT FLASHES AND COLD CREAM by Diann Hunt

HOT FLASHES AND COLD CREAM by Diann Hunt

From the back cover:

An eccentric best friend, a leaky Chihuahua, a teenager in trouble, and a workaholic husband with a gorgeous new colleague. Those are the ingredients for Diann Hunt's wise and funny story about growing...well, older...with grace.

Midlife isn't a crisis for Maggie Hayden until the day a former classmate fails to recognize her--and her world starts to spin out of control. With an empty nest, a body that's heading south (generating heat waves all the way), and a marital spark that seems to be sputtering, she knows she has to do something. But what? Exercise? Romantic dinners? Herbal supplements? A job? She tries them all, with mixed success-but nothing seems to squelch that underlying worry that her best days are behind her.

Can Maggie come to terms with her new life and learn to trust what she cannot see? Can she reclaim her marriage and find a new sense of purpose? Can she discover a miracle cure for the aging process?

Well, two out of three ain't bad!

And the fun of this particular journey is just the whipped cream on the double-shot mocha.

Excerpt of chapter one on Amazon.com.

Camy here:

What a fun book! Maggie is wacky and loveable at the same time.

In this book, all the minor characters added color to the storyline. Even her incontinent Chihuahua had a role. The players spun and weaved in and out like an English country dance. While whacked out on hormones.

Since I’m not going through menopause yet, and don’t know anyone going through it, AND because I don’t have children right now, I didn’t quite relate to absolutely everything Maggie did and thought. However, I’ve been told by other friends going through that lovely stage of womanhood that Maggie’s moods and paranoia are COMPLETELY true, which scares me a bit. I might ask my husband to restrain me when I get to a certain age. Like in a straitjacket. Whew! Those hormones are brutal on the mind.

This was still a fun read, even though I’m not quite in the author’s reader demographic, which just goes to show that crazy characters—whether made that way by their changing bodies or naturally that way like me—er, people I know—are always entertaining fiction.

Okay, that sounds really wrong. I truly don’t mean anything bad by that. On the contrary, this screwball cast is nothing but good, clean fun.

I think that 20- and 30-somethings with moms going through this “certain stage” of life will actually find a lot to laugh about in this story. And any woman over 40 will commiserate and smile with Maggie’s antics.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

I have sneezed and coughed out all sarcasm. Tune in next week, same Fab channel, same Fab time for sarcasm. Hopefully by then I'll have kicked this nasty flu crap.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A HICKORY RIDGE CHRISTMAS BY DANA CORBIT

A Hickory Ridge Christmas by Dana Corbit
Steeple Hill books
ISBN 13:978-0-373-87406-4
1-: 0-373-87406-5

November 2006 release


From back cover:

A SEASON FOR LOVE

A minister's daughter and unwed teen mother: five years ago Hannah Woods had been the talk of Hickory Ridge. Her little girl was the light of her life, though Hannah was unable to forgive the one who'd loved her--and then left.

Todd McBride had left town a boy and returned a man with a quest: to find the woman he still adored and ask for a second chance. But Hannah's secret---a child he'd never known about...threw his plans into a tailspin.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, it seemed the time for love and forgiveness was at hand...


Cheryl here:

This story will be one that I recommend to all my writer friends who wonder how they can approach delicate issues in fiction. My very first story (which bombed big time with rejections) was nearly this same plotline....only now I know how it's done right. Dana did a phenominal job of endearing me to Hannah, and I didn't think twice about her being a mother out of wedlock. Though the act happened prior to the beginning of this story, when the author has to refer to it since that's how the heroine's daughter was conceived, it is done tastefully and tactfully. I felt palpable tension the way this author executed this story. The reader knows before the hero does that he has fathered a child, but the fact that the child is several years old, doesn't lessen the heroine's likability. Dana does a great job of showing the inner turmoil and guilt of keeping secrets. My gut seriously clenched for Hannah as Todd came into the church and then showed up at her home....still not knowing he'd fathered a child with Hannah years before he left town.

I chewed my fingernails through the unveiling of that....masterful!

I felt in angst for both of them and the little girl. Definitely these characters seemed real. Everything in the plot seemed believable, and I wish more churches would respond to the mistakes of their youth in the manner the church in this story did. Really inspiring read.

I really felt "in" the story too. For any writers out there, this story would be an excellent study into how to delve into deep POV (point of view) while keeping a seemless sequence of scenes going. Emotion was believable and compelling. Very realistic read, yet a breath of a fresh-air-escape at the same time.

BRAVO Dana.

Those of you who enjoy this story will also enjoy Dana's other books in the Hickory Ridge series....which can probably be found at Amazon, etc.

I very much recommend this book....perfect for the season.

Squirrel

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

All I want for Christmas (er, my birthday.) is my two front teeth...

I’m told that my Amazon wish list is a tad skimpy. And considering my birthday is coming up I thought, hmm, I better update it so people have a clue what to get me, right?

Here’s the problem… I don’t want anything. I’m so easy to please. Starbucks, books, music and plane tickets. (Yeah, yeah, I’m not likely to get the plane ticket and Amazon doesn’t have plane tickets for people to buy me! What’s up with that?? That’s just wrong!)

But seriously, people want all kinds of things and I want nothing. How weird is that?

So, I decided to just surf through their site and see what I could find.

Clothes? Um, ever try to buy clothes for a tea pot? I’m a little tea pot, short and...uh, yeah, I refuse to finish that sentence.

Through a few more random clicks I ended up on a page with horns. Little Boy blue, come blow your horn!

Then I ended up at fishing poles... talk about a waste of time! Sitting on the dock of the bay, Watching the tide roll away, I'm just sitting on the dock of the bay, Wasting time.

So...suggestions? What shall I add to my wishlist? Or y’all could always chip in and buy me a plane ticket! :o)

Friday, September 08, 2006

MIXED UP WITH THE MOB by Ginny Aiken


Publisher/Line: Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense
ISBN: 0373873905

Back Cover Blurb:
Death and a Damsel In Distress! Strange things were happening to Lauren DiStefano. Since her brother's funeral, a mysterious driver had tried to run her down, menacing mobsters threatened her and a handsome FBI agent saved her life. Something was seriously wrong, and Lauren feared for her life. As Lauren discovered her brother Ric had left behind a trail of treachery, lies and mob ties, Special Agent David Latham seemed determined to uncover the truth. Could she place her trust, her life--and her heart--in David's hands?

Cheryl here.

First off, I started reading this book with a mission in mind: To find the exploding pants scene. But three pages toward the end I realized I hadn't caught where it was, so this book really engrossed me. I knew about the exploding pants scene from the Steeple Hill message boards where a bunch of us had a discussion about it probably over a year ago when several of us. . .both unpubbed and pubbed. . .decided to have an exploding pants scene in our books. Not the same scene mind you, but some form of an exploding pants. What fun it will be reading them all when they come out!

I LOVE the dialogue in this book. Really snappy and welll. . .mobbish! LOL! I loved the heroine in this book especially. A damsel in distress who's trying to take care of a little boy who isn't hers. . .I really thought that added a special layer of emotion to this suspense story. Another thing I liked were the band of grannies always coming to the rescue. The little boy and his "awefuls" for breakfast. . .brilliant prose and oh so funny and true. I LOVED that line. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. . .but first, I must go back and skim this book yet again to find that dratted exploding pants scene!!!

Squirrel

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reluctant Burglar


by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Art stole her heart...Now can she return the favor?

If Desiree Jacobs knows anything, it's art. Her father, whose security company is internationally renowned, taught her everything he knew. Most of all, he taught her about honor. Integrity. Faith. So surely God will forgive her for despising the one man determined to destroy her father's good name?

Special Agent Tony Lucano knows Hiram Jacobs is an art thief. But what he can't figure out is Desiree. Is she an innocent victim...or a clever accomplice?

Then Hiram is murdered. and along with his company, he leaves Desiree a hidden container full of stolen paintings. But she can't admit her father was a thief! That would destroy their business, put people out of jobs, and embarrass international museums that have been displaying clever forgeries. No, she must find out why her honest father would turn criminal. And she must return the priceless art to the rightful owners without their knowledge. Even if it means facing down a ring of cutthroat art thieves...or accepting help from the man she most distrusts.

Pammer here: I have one question. Where have they been hiding this woman?! She's awesome. This book sticks a Dirty Harry gun to your head and pulls you along captive, the voice and story smooth and thrilling. Then you hang on for the ride.

I LOVED Desiree from page one. Jill hooked me with an opening that I couldn't resist. From then on, I was a goner. The tale is gripping and intense, but the characters immediately worm their way into your heart. Her writing is clean and creative. There is a bit of humor, such as one finds with everyday life. Her storytelling skill is topnotch.

My words cannot do this book justice, you just have to go read it. As for me? This book goes on my TBRA pile. (To Be Read Again) And folks, that is not a big pile.

The second book in the To Catch a Thief series will be coming out when? :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

Top Five Ways to Know You Spend too Much Time at the Local Coffee Shop

1.) If your drink is ready as you walk through the door.

2.) When someone is sitting in “your spot” and you can’t write until they leave so you can have your seat back.

3.) If there is a reserved sign on your regular parking spot.

4.) When friends and family know they can leave you messages there.

5.) If the employees can ask questions that are more intelligent on things pertaining to your personal life than your family can.