Monday, January 21, 2013

Bring Down The Furies

                                                 

Sherman’s troops burned it the first time. Now a serial arsonist threatens a small South Carolina town and private investigator Quint Mitchell is caught in the backdraft. When Quint follows the “Heartthrob Bandit” to the hamlet of Allendale, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ugly cultural war between an ultraconservative minister and the scientist who may have discovered proof of the oldest humans ever found in North America

Author: Parker Francis
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A good mystery story with engaging characters, a detailed plot, and just enough twists and curves to keep it interesting without being confusing.  The author's descriptions of people and places really bring the story to life and drop the reader into the middle of the action.  I have not read the first book in this series but that did not matter - I was able to follow the story without any trouble.

Spoilers - This is a mystery story with all the aggression, sex, and blood that is expected from the genre.  Nothing over the top, but recommended for adults.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lessons Learned

                                             
                                                         Lessons Learned

English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past. She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. They quickly become friends—bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance. Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas—along with the town of Sycamore Falls—are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

Author: Sydney Logan

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The imagery in this book is gorgeous.  I can see the house and the mountains and the town of Sycamore Falls - and all the people in it.  The love story between Sarah and Lucas is touching and sweet and is a union of equals rather than one person constantly "rescuing" their partner.  The story about Matt is heartbreakingly honest and deals with cultural, social, and moral issues with a delicate yet unflinching hand.  Well written!

Spoilers: This is Sarah and Lucas's love story; there is sex in it, but it is not graphically detailed.  The core issue of this story is homosexuality and the process of coming out that an adolescent boy experiences in a conservative and homophobic community.  There is also some violence, although most of it happens "off screen."  

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Learner 

                                                
                                                               The Learner

 An alien from the dark side of the universe is sent to Earth on a mission. She’s called a Learner. When she falls in love with a human—which is against her species' covenants of exploration—her rulers order her to leave him. She refuses, risking not only the successful outcome of her mission on Earth, but also her life as well as the life of the man she loves.

Author: Alan Nayes

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Alan Nayes has an excellent turn of phrase and is able to give vivid, compelling descriptions of the world in which his characters exist, and the alien worlds beyond.  A nicely-paced love story with enough intrigue and danger to keep my attention, and enough romance to keep me reading without feeling smothered or embarrassed.   A good read, with engaging realistic characters.  While this is the first in a series, it tells a complete story, but still leaves plenty of room to grow.

Spoilers: This was hard for me to read because of the consistent use of the Ĺ umayin pseudo-language.  The intermixing of Greek and English letters with phonetic and mathematic symbols was confusing and distracting, and impossible for me to render phonetically even in the silence of my own head.  While the glossary at the was very helpful, I still had not learned what the words meant by the end of the book because I had no basis or context for them.  This may be worse for me because I read three alphabets (including Greek and Hebrew), and I kept trying to translate the words rather than just making up sounds for them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the sponsor requested the contest end early. Apologies to anyone still waiting to enter.

The Learner

An alien from the dark side of the universe is sent to Earth on a mission. She’s called a Learner. When she falls in love with a human—which is against her specie’s covenants of exploration—her rulers order her to leave him. She refuses, risking not only the successful outcome of her mission on Earth, but also her life as well as the life of the man she loves.

Purchase The Learner on Amazon!

 

About Author Alan Nayes Alan Nayes

I live in Southern California but still consider myself part Texan by birthright. I was born in Houston and grew up in Dallas. I've resided in California since the mid 1980's but get back to Texas as much as possible. My first two published novels--GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL are biomedical thrillers. Actually THE UNNATURAL could also fall into the horror genre as it is a pretty bizarre tale. BARBARY POINT is a love story about a successful young woman who falls in love with a fishing guide. It was written on a suggestion from a former agent. My favorite football team is the Superbowl champs GREEN BAY PACKERS. Sorry Cowboys. But when GB is not on the gridiron--Go Dallas! Great Cheerleaders, too! I enjoy the outdoors and as a side note I'm one of only a few individuals to ever swim across Wisconsin's chilly Lake Winnebago. Does this make me a better writer--probably not. When I'm not working on my next project, I enjoy relaxing and fishing at our family vacation home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Alan Nayes is the author of GARGOYLES, THE UNNATURAL, BARBARY POINT, GIRL BLUE, and SMILODON. Follow Alan Nayes Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / His website