Book Review: The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

Laughter is the best medicine, right? If you are in need of a good laugh, pick up The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee. Continue reading

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Book Review: Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

Those of you who have read my past reviews know a good murder mystery warms my heart, especially the ones that I cannot put down. Toby Neal is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait for the next books in the Lei Crime Novel series. But first, let me tell you about why I LOVED Blood Orchids.

 Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water-but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise. Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers-one of whom she’d recently busted. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed-even as the killer is drawn to Lei’s intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity. Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she’s being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei’s quest for answers-and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer-but he knows where to find her first.

Neal has created, dare I say, a character that can rival that of James Patterson’s Lindsay Boxer? Lei is a strong woman struggling to deal with the demons of her past. She has drive, ambition and loves to get herself into situations she might just not have needed to be in She’s ballsy and I love it. Her partner, Pono, provides balance to Lei’s character and serves as the rock in her life.

Neal obviously did her research before writing this novel and it paid off. The descriptions of the Hawaiian settings made me feel the warmth of the sun. The use of Pidgin throughout the novel creates another layer of authenticity. I don’t feel like the novel could have been set anywhere else.

This story wouldn’t be complete without some sexual tension with a leading male figure, in this case Detective Stevens. Their first meetings reminded me of how it was for Castle and Detective Beckett. The development of the relationship between Lei and Detective Stevens is interwoven beautifully into the narrative of story without taking away from the crimes. It’s constantly there in a subtle way that makes you want to turn the page to see what happens not only on the case, but between Lei and Stevens as well.

I am so happy this novel got placed into my hands. I loved it and would have read it cover to cover if life didn’t continue to move around me. And you are not going to believe who done it! I did not see this coming AT ALL!

I cannot wait for the next books in the Lei Crime Series to come out. Toby Neal you have created a novel that has lured me in for life! Everyone should rush and download or buy her book now! You won’t regret it!

Who are some of your favorite female heroines? Do they keep you checking to see when the next novel is going to come out?

Book Review: Admit One: My Life in Film by Emmett James

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

I was looking for something different to read this new year and my friend Jen loaned me the Kindle version of this book. I’m glad she did! I loved it!

The book’s description from Amazon:

Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor–Hollywood.

We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.

This book is hysterical! I laughed most of the way through it. I love that each movie captures a different growth stage in James’ life. This was an interesting way to journal his life and I thought it worked well! And for those of you who haven’t heard about some of these movies, there is a synopsis of the movie to start each chapter.

My favorite chapter is the Ghostbusters chapter. The story that surrounds it and the disappointment that ensues is comical. James’ writing style is something like I have never read before. If you are looking for something different and funny to read. Pick this one up. You won’t regret it!