Enjoyable Reads

Life has a way of getting in the way, and I’ve had to cut back on my reading.  I used to finish a book even if I didn’t like it.  But now, if it doesn’t draw me in after the first two chapters, it goes back to the library.  It’s been awhile since I’ve finished a book.  But, finally, I actually finished two in a row!  Not only finished, but I actually finished each one in a day!  On two beautiful Sunday afternoons, I sat and read, and read, and read.  It was wonderful!

robbThe first one was J.D. Robb’s Apprentice in DeathIf you’ve been a fan of Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, you probably noticed that her last several books were, well……different.  Some say she has a ghost writer (which she vehemently denies), others say writer’s block, and others say she’s just spreading her wings and trying something new.  Apprentice in Death is more in line with her earlier writings and I was hooked in the first chapter.  There is a subtle difference.  In the earlier In Death books, Ms. Robb spent a lot of time writing about the actual killings in very graphic detail.  In Apprentice, she spends her time inside the characters’ heads and their lives.   I love how Roarke and Eve have ‘grown up’.  There is a quiet maturity about them, but they still sizzle and crackle.  All the supporting characters are back and a few new ones have been introduced, giving hope that future books will be as entertaining as this.  This is my favorite book of the In Death series.

Summary

“The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer. Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources–and genius–at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two–one older,one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil.”

 

alwaysThe second book I finished was Always A Cowboy (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) by Linda Lael Miller.  This is book two of a trilogy.  Ms. Miller has been writing about cowboys for a very long time.  You think she couldn’t possibly write something new and different, but she proves over and over that she can!  Again, I was hooked in the first chapter.  This is a gentle romance with just the right amount of spice and it gives us a good look into modern life in the American West.  Ms. Miller has a way of making her characters come to life and the settings are rich with details.  The story moves along quickly and there is an eclectic assortment of secondary characters that adds a richness to the story.

This book has an added bonus.  At the end of the book, Ms. Miller wrote a very personal essay giving us a glimpse into her life.  Ms. Miller is one of those authors who shares a lot about herself.  She has a wonderful website with news, a blog, and contests.  Check it out here.

Summary

Drake Carson is the quintessential cowboy. In charge of the family ranch, he knows the realities of this life, its pleasures and heartbreaks. Lately, managing the wild stallions on his property is wearing him down. When an interfering so-called expert arrives and starts offering her opinion, Drake is wary, but he can’t deny the longing—and the challenge—she stirs in him.

Luce Hale is researching how wild horses interact with ranch animals—and with ranchers. The Carson matriarch invites her to stay with the family, which guarantees frequent encounters with Drake, her ruggedly handsome and decidedly unwelcoming son. Luce and Drake are at odds from the very beginning, especially when it comes to the rogue stallion who’s stealing the ranch mares. But when Drake believes Luce is in danger, that changes everything—for both of them.

rancherBook one in this trilogy is Once A Rancher.  It too, was an outstanding read.  “ Offering a troubled boy a job on the ranch he shares with his younger siblings, Wyoming businessman Slater Carson falls for the youth’s beautiful guardian, Grace, a resort manager whose busy life is threatened by dangers from her past.”

New Fiction Coming Soon! September/October

coming

Want a little heads up on when your favorite author is publishing a new book?  Here are some of the new fiction hardcover books coming out in September and October.  Clicking on the title will bring you to our catalog where you can place a hold if you’d like.   For a more extensive list, please see the ‘Coming Soon’ poster in our lobby.

September

pushing up daisiesBeaton, M.C.Pushing Up Daisies –  When a wealthy land developer who had been planning to turn a community garden into a housing estate winds up dead, Agatha Raisin is hired by the victim’s accused son to clear him of suspicion and identify the real killer among numerous suspects.    

homeCoben, HarlanHomeWhen one of two boys kidnapped from their wealthy families resurfaces a decade later, the young survivor is observed by two peers who would discover the fate of the other missing boy.

 

pirateCussler, ClivePirateConfronted by a determined adversary, husband-and-wife treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo embark on an international quest involving an 800-year-old relic and a brutal murder.

 

christmas caramelFluke, JoanneChristmas Caramel Murder  Preparing for the town’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” Hannah supports her friend, Lisa, who is implicated in the murder of her husband’s ex-girlfriend.

 

darkest journeyGraham, HeatherDarkest JourneyLooking to clear her father from suspicion in the murder of two Civil War reenactors, Charlie reunites with Krewe of Hunters agent Ethan Delaney on a cruise to get close to the reenactors and identify who has a motive to kill.

 

razor girlHiaasen, CarlRazor Girl Involved in a car accident with a young scam artist, a man helplessly watches his life spiral out of control in the wake of a sand-stealing company, a Hawaiian-shirt-clad NYC mafia capo, a reality show accordionist and other eccentric characters.

 

downfallJance, J.A.DownfallJuggling her pregnancy, family deaths, her daughter’s imminent departure for college and a reelection campaign, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates two suspicious falling deaths that may be the work of a serial killer.

 

the wishLewis, BeverlyThe WishYears after her best friend’s seemingly devout family is expelled from the Amish church for reasons no one will discuss, a heartbroken Leona receives a letter from her friend and leaves Lancaster Counter at the risk of her own shunning in the hopes of persuading her friend to return to Amish ways.

denim and lacePalmer, DianaDenim and LaceRough-and-tough Texas rancher Cade Hollister worries that lovely rich-girl Bess Samson will prove to be his downfall, so he suppresses his passion, leaving her to follow her heart and uncover the real reasons for their incompatibility.

 

woman of godPatterson, JamesWoman of GodScrutinized as the world’s first woman papal candidate, Brigid Fitzgerald, a doctor on the front lines in Sudan, reflects on her difficult childhood and a series of trials that have tested her faith before a high-stakes battle compels her to convert her enemies to a cause that threatens the Church and her life.

revenge in aPerry, AnneRevenge in a Cold RiverUnable to remember anything before the carriage accident he suffered years earlier, Commander William Monk is framed for murder by a man from his past and must rely on the help of his wife and close friend to prove his innocence.

 

apprenticeRobb, J.D.Apprentice in DeathInvestigating a Central Park sniper attack that has left three dead, Eve Dallas discovers that the killer was potentially miles away from the victims and may be the protegee of an even more deranged shooter.

 

October

cakewalkBrown, Rita Mae Cakewalk A post-World War I tale set in the Maryland community of Six of One finds residents split between belief systems on the Mason Dixon line, where free-thinking sisters Louise and Julia Hunsenmier and their indelible friends explore small-town sins and rivalries.

undeadDavidson, MaryjaniceUndead and DoneA conclusion to the best-selling series finds the PR team of Queen Betsy scrambling to contain the fallout of her first press conference, the Devil’s escape, the arrival of the werewolves and the assistance of the mermaids.

 

order to killFlynn, VinceOrder to KillA follow-up to the best-selling The Survivor finds anti-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp chasing false leads throughout the world to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into terrorist hands before posing as an American ISIS recruit in Russia, where he uncovers a catastrophic plot.

the whistlerGrisham, JohnThe Whistler A follow-up to the highly successful Rogue Lawyer combines the author’s signature legal savvy and high-suspense storytelling, in a latest thriller that pits an unforgettable cast of characters against unexpected twists and turns.

 

all the littleHarris, CharlaineAll the Little LiarsWhen four kids including her brother go missing from school and a dead body is found where they were last seen, a pregnant Aurora organizes a personal investigation that exposes the activities of a gang of bullies and her brother’s gambling debts.

 

winter stormHilderbrand, ElinWinter StormsA conclusion to the best-selling trilogy finds the Quinn family’s efforts to reunite and prepare for a long-anticipated wedding during the Christmas season overshadowed by a health scare, addiction problems and commitment issues.

night watchJohansen, IrisNight Watch When the surgeon who made it possible for her to see goes missing, Kendra Michaels recruits government agent Adam Lynch to accompany her on a trail that leads to the snowy California mountains, where the discovery of one of the doctor’s brutally murdered colleagues reveals the work of a killer.

kill or be killedPatterson, JamesKill or Be KilledAn anthology of four faced-paced thrillers collects four BookShots suspense stories”The Trial,” “Little Black Dress” “Heist,” and “The Women’s War by the author of the best-selling Women’s Murder Club series and such regular Patterson co-authors Emily Raymond and Shan Serafin.

 

missingPatterson, JamesMissingCraig Gisto and his elite team at Private Sydney are tasked with finding Eric Mossùthe, CEO of a high-profile research company, who has had all trace of his existence wiped away.

 

 

small greatPicoult, JodiSmall Great Things Hesitating to treat the newborn of a white supremacist couple who has demanded that a white nurse assist them, a black nurse is placed on trial in the tragic aftermath and is aided by a white public defender with whom she begins questioning their beliefs as the case becomes more racially charged.

excape clauseSandford, JohnEscape ClauseVirgil Flowers’ investigation into the theft of two rare Siberian tigers from the Minnesota zoo is complicated by a summer visit from his girlfriend’s sister, who would seduce him.

 

sex, liesWoods, StuartSex, Lies, and Serious Money New York City cop-turned-Manhattan law firm rainmaker Stone Barrington tackles a high-suspense case.

 

 

For more favorite authors’ titles, see our ‘Coming Soon’ poster in our lobby.

Author Profile: Nora Roberts

nora robertsNora Roberts was born in Silver Springs, Maryland, the youngest of five children.  She married young and worked briefly as a legal secretary – “the worst ever”.  After her two sons were born, she became a stay at home mom and immersed herself into gardening, canning, stitching and knitting.

Her road to writing began during the February blizzard of 1979.  Stranded at home with her two young sons and a lack of chocolate, she was looking for some non-child related entertainment.  Coming from a family of readers, she got a notebook and started writing down a story that was in her head.  She knew then that writing was the thing she was supposed to do.

She started writing category romance (also known as “series”), since she had just started reading Harlequin romances.  At the time, Harlequin had mainly British authors and was the only publisher of category romances.  All of her manuscripts were rejected.

In 1980, she heard of a new publisher, Silhouette, who was looking for American authors to write category romances and in 1981, they bought Nora’s first manuscript, Irish Thoroughbred.

In July 1985, Nora married her second husband – a local carpenter she hired to build some shelves for her home.  He went on to build many things in her home – including a solid marriage.

In 1987, she began writing single title books for Bantam. In 1992, she moved to writing single title hardcovers as well as original paperbacks for Putnam under the name of Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb.

In the early years, she wrote when she could squeeze in the time between her sons’ school time and activities.  Now she spends 8 hours a day, every day, writing.  She has written over 200 books.  When she’s not writing, she tries to exercise in her pool or elliptical trainer and she is an avid gardener.

Nora’s husband, Bruce Wilder, owns a bookstore named Turn the Page Bookstore and Café in nearby Boonsboro, Maryland.  Directly across the street was an old, run down hotel which Nora and her husband bought in 2007. They began renovating it into a bed and breakfast called Inn BoonsBoro.  This was not an easy undertaking.  In February 2008, the Inn caught fire and was completely destroyed, and many buildings on the block were damaged. Undaunted, they started from scratch and in February 2009, the Inn opened to rave reviews.  This experience inspired The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy.  The titles of this trilogy are:  The Next Always, The Last Boyfriend, The PerfectHope.

Some fun facts:

  1.  Since 1999, every Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb book has made the New York Times bestseller list.  Fifty-three have debuted at number one.
  2. Celebrity in Death is the 34th book in the series.
  3. She is the third author to sell more than one million Kindle books.
  4. Her books are published in over 34 countries.
  5. If you place her books from top to bottom, they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles 18 times.
  6. Many of Nora’s books have been made into movies shown on Lifetime television.
  7. Nora was one of the first authors to communicate via the web when she launched her website in 1996.

Her latest book as Nora Roberts is Whiskey Beach and as J.D. Robb, the title is Calculated In Death and are available at the Cheshire Library.