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Body Surfing

Body Surfing
by Anita Shreve

Body Surfing opens with the description of a beach house and a woman swimming, body surfing on the ocean’s waves. Anita Shreve’s latest novel picks up on previous themes she has explored which include-love, loss, marriage, and the ocean. This is a story of Sydney, a young woman who is lost, and finds herself the tutor to a teenage daughter at her family’s summer beach house. Sydney has had a traumatic past which involves two marriages one of which ended in a divorce and the other which left her as a widow. This story is unique and is an enjoyable read with delightful characters which are presented as strong individuals that you can relate to and are believable.

I would recommend this one for your book club there is also a reading group guide which can be located at the following web address:

http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/books/92/0316067334/reading_guide25865.html

Enjoy!

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Protector

 

Protector
By Laurel Dewey
ISBN: 978-1884820-85-4
June 2007,  $19.95
Reviewed by Quality Book Reviews

Laurel Dewey has penned an outstanding debut novel, Protector, which is an exciting crime thriller that has a mix with the paranormal. Detective Jane Perry is a disturbed individual, she is struggling with demons from her past.  Recently a family was mysteriously murdered while under her protection and her partner Chris. The incident left Jane with a damaged hand and a jumble of nightmare images that combine the burning death of the little girl with events connected to a different child, someone she has never met. Jane tends to take her job too seriously, and it hits her hard when the family  dies in front of her eyes. Jane begins having serious doubts about her sanity, doubts that are furthered by her suspension from the department due to booze and refusal to accept help.

Jane is slowly spiraling out of control when she is saved by nine-year-old Emily Lawrence. The child is put under Jane’s protective care after both her parents were found brutally murdered in their home. Believed to have witnessed her parents’ murders, Emily is in danger when the killer makes another attempt on her life. What follows is an excellent tale of suspense that intensifies as the bond between Jane and Emily grows stronger and the killer takes more desperate measures.

Protector takes both traditional crime drama and metaphysical to become an intensifying debut novel.  Dewey’s characters are well defined and believable as well as realistic personalities of the characters in which you can identify.  Protector is a crime thriller that is both powerful and emotional with the basis of growing into adulthood from a past of being an abused child.

Laurel Dewey was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She currently resides in Colorado with her husband.  Dewey has also penned two non-fiction books as well as a western novella that was nominated for a Silver Spur Award.

 Want to know more then please check out the dramatic book trailer at www.laureldewey.com

The Sacred Bones

A Novel

The Sacred Bones
By Michael Byrnes
ISBN:  0061146072
$24.95 – Hardcover – 304 pages
Harper Collins Publishers
www.thesacredbones.com
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The Sacred Bones is set at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  An ancient artifact is stolen from a vault beneath the Temple Mount.  The theft has left many soldiers and policemen dead, leaving the Palestinians angry; tensions run high between the Israelis and the Palestinians.Charlotte Hennesey, an American forensic scientist has been hired by the Vatican to examine the ossuary which contains the bones of an unknown man who was crucified.  Charlotte is joined by Giovanni Bersei, an Italian anthropologist and together they uncover forensic and genetic data that lead them to wonder if the bones could be those of Jesus. 

As Charlotte and Giovanni become closer to solving the true identity of the man in which these bones once belonged, the Vatican’s security begins to have a much greater watchful eye on her.  Are the bones discovered those of Jesus?  Will the Vatican allow the information on the discovering or keep the secrets hidden?  With her identifying the man these bones once belonged to, will Charlotte be silenced?

Byrnes has penned a superbly crafted debut novel that tantalizes with a sense of drama and of suspense as the story races forward.  It is evident that he has done a great deal of research which combines historical fact and protreptic fiction.  Byrnes novel is powerful and opens an emotional vein in you leaving you with the desire to read through to the end. 

Michael Byrnes currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.  Byrnes attended Montclair State University in NJ and earned his undergraduate degree in marketing, and later his graduate degree in business administration at Rutgers.  The Sacred Bones is his debut novel.

This was one explosive and thrilling 5 star read and one genuine page-turner to the very end. 

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician: A Novel

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician
by Daniel Wallace
http://www.danielwallace.org/
ISBN:  978-0-305-52109-3  $21.95
Doubleday
Fiction, July 2007
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The stories setting is a rural southern one, and the story occurs in the middle of the twentieth century.  It begins in May of 1954, Henry is just a boy and he meets with a devilish magician named Mr. Sebastian.  Mr. Sebastian teaches Henry magic and all the secrets pertaining to the magic.  But at what price will Henry have to pay for those magic lessons?

Daniel Wallace is a master story teller and we eventually learn the true identities of Henry and Mr. Sebastian and the tragic events that occurred throughout the story.  The story is told by many of the different characters, and Wallace has a skill of using each of these characters in telling Henry’s story. 

Wallace writes with impact and the story is superbly crafted with twists and turns leaving you with a great sense of anticipation, making this a real page turner.  The conclusion is one that will leave you breathless.

Daniel Wallace was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Emory University and the University of North Carolina, and now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife and son.  Daniel Wallace is the author of Four novels: Mr. Sebastian and The Negro Magician, Big Fish, Ray in Reverse  and The Watermelon King.   And Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, will be published by Doubleday in July 2007.

Toni

 

Toni
by Helen Leung
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

Here is another one of our myspace authors and with one that you will not want to miss.  I read this in 1 day, I could not put it down.  The story as the title entails is about a young girl, Toni, whose parents had wanted a boy but got a girl instead.  Toni’s parents were disappointed, and Toni felt they hated her.

Toni is dropped off a her uncle Steve’s house by her parents and they tell her that they will be back a few weeks to get her.  Well now here it is four years later, and a police officer finds Toni unconscious and bleeding in a closet at her uncles home.  Toni has lived the past four years of her life trying to avoid upsetting her uncle and his terrible temper.  The policeman, Matt McKay takes Toni and supports her and we then begin to see her grow.  Toni grows into a independent young woman despite her past abuse, stuggles and conflicts.

The story delivers the message of teens struggling with various feelings from fear, hate, and guilt as well as numerous other feelings.  I highly recommend this one, especially recommend that all teen girls read as it is sure to help them with the feelings that they too struggle with.

A definite 5 star read. 

Summer Of Light

Summer of Light
By W. Dale Cramer
Bethany House Publishers, 2007
ISBN: 0-7642-2996-6
Reviewed by: Terry South for Reader Views (02/07)

Contemporary Fiction at its finest
5 stars

“Summer of Light” is a story which addresses stay at home fathers. The main character, Mick Brannigan was an ironworker whom after a bizarre accident is thrown from his life in construction to that of a stay at home father. Layne, Mick’s wife urges Mick to stop looking for a job as their four year old son Dylan needs constant supervision. Due to Dylan’s special needs and a predictable daily routine, Layne urges Mick to stay at home and care for Dylan and their other two school-aged children. Layne returns to work as a paralegal at the law firm with mixed feelings, she would rather be the one at home tending to the chores and tending to the children as she is not confident that Mick is quite up to the task at hand.

Mick is unsettled as he wants to be the provider of his family, his father had left when he was a child and that disturbs him, and he yearns to remain the provider. Mick eventually agrees to stay home for awhile, so he begins to manage the house, the chores, the children, the animals and their five acres of land. During his year long journey of being a stay at home dad he makes discoveries about himself, his children, and his wife.

The stories setting takes place in Georgia, and the Brannigan’s neighbors are pesky to say the least. Mick has a gift of photography and he does not even realize he is great with the camera, but it catches the eye of one of his neighbor’s wife. In short, this is a story of more modern day families who are struggling through with everyday life, reversal of roles, and the circumstances in which we all face eventually. Mick finds faith and hope and through his photographs of his children, the country, and his work at a homeless shelter it reveals his beliefs.

Dale Cramer has a unique writing style, and he draws you into the story. His characters are so believable and the story contains vivid accounts and details. Cramer has a gift for telling a great story that is driven by his characters, which are engaging, strong in emotion and believe in what they are doing. They are so well-developed that by the end of the book, you feel as if you have gained new friends.

This is contemporary fiction at its finest, engaging and surprisingly humorous at times; it also is an emotional story and will touch your heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone whether male or female looking for a light but touching read. I enjoy this author’s work and he brings new elements into his story while still retaining his unique voice.

Summer of Light earns 5 stars and is a highly recommended read.