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Lady Sam (100 Mile House / BC)

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James Stewart
James Stewart
by Helene McGowan
Edition: Unknown Binding

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable story of a remarkable man, Aug. 25 2015
This review is from: James Stewart
Having always enjoyed this actor's movies, it was very interesting to find out more about him, his life and all the films he took part in. Helene McGowan does an excellent job in describing his life and has done extensive research in filmography as well as his connections to other actors, directors and people in general.
The author appears to concentrate on certain movies though, while mentioning other just by title and it isn't necessarily limited to blockbusters and/or 'golden oldies'. She does mention films that I have never heard of, however, she tends to go into too much detail at times and also reveals the ending/outcome which may well be set under 'spoiler alert'. While I personally have seen most of the movies mentioned and her description essentially supports my own recollection of the film, others might not see it that way, which is a bit of a shame.
Nonetheless, Helene has done a good and thorough job, and I very much enjoyed learning about the life of an extraordinary man, on so many levels.

The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham (29-Jul-2014) Mass Market Paperback
The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham (29-Jul-2014) Mass Market Paperback
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
2 used & new from CDN$ 50.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner, Aug. 22 2015
A witching adventure - even though there are no real witches involved. This murder mystery takes place in Salem where - of old - so-called witches were hanged if they did not confess to being in league with the devil. Sadly, it didn't take much to get caught and end up in jail - anyone could accuse anyone of witchcraft and there was literally no escape, even if you were only four years old!
In modern times, of course, witches are no longer being strung up, pressed to death or drowned - these days, pretending to be a witch is big business. Sadly, neither prejudice nor superstition are extinct as becomes obvious as the story progresses and, as always, Heather Graham knows exactly how to spin a tale to keep the reader intrigued from beginning to end. Various plots and sub-plots intermingle with red herrings keep you on your toes and guessing who might be involved in what is happening ... and then probably surprise you at the end with twists and turns you never expected.

The Silenced
The Silenced
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.09
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Story by Heather Graham, Aug. 10 2015
The Silenced is the first in yet another trilogy of the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham. They all cover paranormal mysteries and this one is somewhat different - there is no actual spirit helping the team catch the bad guy, instead, simple police work solves the crime committed.
This story also provides the reader with the experience of a newly graduated FBI agent being paired with a more senior partner, and the troubles and tribulations that go with it. Bring into this that the rookie is a woman partnered with a man and you have yet more conflict going on, particularly as she feels not being taken seriously by those around her.
As always, though, there is plenty of history to be discovered during the present investigation, which is always a wonderful backbone and bonus to these stories. The reader is treated not only to an impressive suspense novel, filled with Red Herrings as well as plots and sub-plots, but also details about what happened in the past, with all its intrigues and goings-on.
This time, the Krewe of Hunters work out of Washington DC, undertaking trips to Richmond, Virginia, Harpers Ferry and Gettysburg - latter, of course, being famous for its Civil War connection and including re-enactments, the people of which become involved and important to the resolution.
All in all, another compelling adventure penned by a very gifted author that simply begs to be read.

Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Stephanie Plum is Back!, Aug. 5 2015
Another quirky adventure in the Stephanie Plum series, including the 'usual suspects', so to speak, as in recurring characters plus some new ones, of course. To those in the know, it is obvious, to the new, let's just say, Stephanie is a bounty hunter with an distinct ability to getting herself into trouble. Thankfully, she's got a boyfriend who's a cop and a close friend who's in security ... and tends to get her into trouble as well. It seems never ending and it is fun to read!
Janet's writing is somewhat 'off the beaten track' and her stories never just concentrate on one plot and sub-plots, but quite a number of action-packed storylines are going on throughout the book. However, in the end, everything, somehow, seems to all come together and be resolved ... usually to everyone's satisfaction or at least most of them.
Contrary to other novels, the romance itself is somewhat on the backburner, despite her being 'involved' that trying to resist temptation. The tales themselves are high on humour and suspense, leaving the reader to wonder what on earth could possibly go wrong next ... or right, for a change.
Needless to see, it is simple fun to read any novel written by Janet Evanovich, whether she writes it on her own or with a co-author, it does not seem to matter. She definitely has the knack when it comes to penmanship and sheer entertainment value, hands down!

The Betrayed
The Betrayed
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepy Hollow as it lives and dies, July 29 2015
This is the first book in yet another trilogy of the Krewe of Hunters - this time it's a new group being formed in and around New York. Yet again, we have a newly assigned FBI Special Agent who is reluctant to accept his extraordinary abilities, however, this time he is being convinced by a civilian that there has been no mistake at his transfer to the 'ghosthunter' unit. After all, it's not ghosts, ghoulies or spirits they are trying to apprehend but real life 'badies'. And whatever help they can gather is most welcome.
As before, the resolution of the crimes committed are based on past history. And since this story is based in Sleepy Hollow, that promises to be an interesting tale in itself and also include information on the famous local scribe - Washington Irving, the author of the legendary Headless Horseman. And Heather Graham never disappoints - neither in her masterful construction of suspense writing nor in her thorough research in local history. It is always a pleasure not only to dive into the mysteries, red herrings and plots that she presents, but also to learn about events from long ago which make the reading of her books such a pleasure.

Shadow Bound
Shadow Bound
by Erin Kellison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal with a Twist, July 21 2015
Judging by the Epilogue, this novel is meant to have at least a sequel with at least one or two of the characters of this book involved. Essentially, there is something of an open ending that could 'sprout' a series, whether this happens or not remains to be seen.
As for this tale - introducing wraiths as the badies, the human mortals as the 'feed' as well as warriors fighting back and other fae that are involved on the fringe - it is an interesting, even intriguing story, allowing for both human strength and skill as well as psychics valuable efforts to fight a common enemy. Erin Kellison has a straight-forward and easily understood writing style as well as a good grasp as to how to describe paranormal events as if they were common place in every day life. The plots blend in nicely and draw the reader into the storyline from beginning to end, even though there are the usual 'half-way mark' and '20 pages before the end finale' which can be a little annoying and very predictable at times - it is nonetheless an entertaining and intricate mystery that will have you guessing right to the end as to what exactly is going on and how the outcome will present itself.

Wife For Hire
Wife For Hire
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
95 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious!, July 8 2015
A quick, fun read which is just what the doctor orders every once in a while. Yes, it is one of those 'dreaded' romance novels, but with an exceptional quirk as the title suggests. After all, who in their right mind would go out and 'hire' a wife?
Essentially, there are two 'squares' not really fitting into a 'round hole' but still trying to find their way in life. This is the basic premise and there are plenty more strange happenings coming along the way - such as a bank director father, a book to be written about a 'madam' and hilarious misunderstandings that can only happen in a close-knit community.
Janet Evanovich outdoes herself again in this easy-read short novel and I think simply everyone should read this book.

Tough Customer: A Novel
Tough Customer: A Novel
by Sandra Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Expect the Unexpected, July 7 2015
Sandra Brown has an easy writing style. Her stories generally involve her characters to work through issues that are often rooted deeply in the past - some as far back as (early) childhood. Tough Customer is one of those where 'the one' got away but there is an offer of redemption some thirty years later, coupled with enlightenments, discoveries and generally realising what went wrong and why.
What I did not care too much about with this tale is that the author has a tendency to tap into a subject, offer some information ... only to then by-pass it completely to maybe being brought back and disclosed later. It felt like she was trying to 'stretch the mystery' but instead annoyed at least this reader into thinking - where are the necessary details and why aren't you spilling the beans?
What did make up for it in the end was that there was a twist that I definitely did not see coming! There are plenty of insinuations of what may or may not have happened - the reveal was something so unexpected that it once again drew me fully into the story, wanting to know what was and would be happening, and how everything was resolved in the end.

The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage
by James Herbert
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars White vs Black Magic, July 7 2015
At first, it was the title that intrigued me, then the synopsis and finally the story itself drew me in fully. Two artistic people moving into a magical cottage. What more could you ever ask for? It is told from the musician's point of view, the reluctant one, who ended up captivated not only by the atmosphere of the house and surroundings, but a little squirrel named Rumbo visiting every day.
As they explore their new surroundings, they also come across a mansion, inhabited by people from all over the world - seemingly misunderstood as they are open, friendly and eager to help wherever needed. That turned out to be the 'conflict' that every story is required to have as they clash with the local community who would much rather have them move elsewhere than 'indoctrinate' their children.
All in all, James Herbert spins a wonderfully entertaining tale from beginning to end ... bar the climax which went somewhat overboard. The plots as set out make perfect sense and could be happening in your own backyard - then the 'real magic' kicks in which makes for somewhat strange and unexpected, even unbelievable reading, which I thought was a great shame. I really, thoroughly enjoyed the book right up to the 'final fight' when it became an 'out of this world' tale - literally!
So, by all means, read the book, enjoy the story and make up your own mind where it takes you.

Royal Duty, A
Royal Duty, A
19 used & new from CDN$ 3.31

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, June 19 2015
This review is from: Royal Duty, A (Paperback)
If you ever wanted to have a sneak peek behind the ‘iron doors’ of royalty – this is the book to read. No, it does not divulge major secrets, but does show that even the Queen and family are human beings in their own right, and quite approachable at that by the sound of things.
Essentially, Butler Paul Burrell started working for the Queen herself at a very young age before moving to Prince Charles’ household and finally join Diana, Princess of Wales, back in London after her separation from the Queen’s oldest son. With other words, he received an ‘all-round education’ where royal households are concerned and got to know the Royal Family pretty well in over twenty years of service, which sadly ended with Diana’s accident in 1997.
His account is frank and down to earth – with that, I can see why he and ‘the Boss’ became close friends, even confidents … something that did not seem to sit well with the ‘grey suits’. Personally, I very much enjoyed the very human story told – in part about the butler’s life, but mainly about the Royal Family and, in particular, Diana and her boys. His insistence on dwelling on a conspiracy where the car crash is concerned, I was not too happy about – it has always been my view that this was caused by the paparazzi, orchestrated courtesy of a very insecure man who ended up paying the highest price possible – on the other hand, he did state it as factual of something that was said … can’t really grumble about that.
What I can say is that Paul Burrell definitely has a way with words, is a very good author with an easy going style and does appear to be wanting Diana, Princess of Wales, to be remembered as the woman who came into her own right in the end and would have gone far, had she not died so young. And he does that without attacking the Royal Family, in fact, he is very fond of the Queen and her husband in particular and that comes through distinctly.
This is an honest account of 21 years of loyal Royal service in three different households by a man who got to know those ménages as well as everybody involved inside and out. Intriguing – fascinating – a must read!

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