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Reviews Written by
Heather Pearson "Heather" (Ontario Canada)
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The Mystery of Grace
The Mystery of Grace
by Charles de Lint
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 29.95
3 used & new from CDN$ 29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A story of an unlikely, though enduring love, Feb. 6 2016
This review is from: The Mystery of Grace (Audio CD)
I LOVE THIS BOOK. Yes, I used capital letters as I have raised my voice to ensure I have your attentions. I have listened to the audio book at least three times, and I know I am not done with it yet.

Grace Quintero is a kick-ass young woman who knows what she wants out of life. She is passionate about customizing classic cars and happily spends her evenings listening to rock-a-billy music.

On Halloween, she meets John Burns at the Solona Music Hall, and by the end of the night she realizes that she has met her sole mate. If only she had met him two weeks earlier.

This story grabbed me from the opening paragraphs and won't let go. I read it first almost three years ago, and it remains fresh in my mind. I am haunted by this love that is meant to be.

Author Charles De Lint has vividly rated two characters who resonate with life. Each appears very different from the other, yet they compliment each other so well. John is a man in love and it seems to natural that he would explore those things that Grace holds so dear.

What really draws me to this story is that while they have seeming insurmountable obstacle to their love, they both search for ways they know must exist to bridge them. Theirs is a love that is meant to be.

Ruby Red
Ruby Red
by Kerstin Gier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.76
33 used & new from CDN$ 9.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Attention to detail makes this story believable, Feb. 4 2016
This review is from: Ruby Red (Hardcover)
Time travel books are one of my favourite genre. I particularly enjoy reading how the travellers copes with his or her alternate time periods. In this novel, Gwyneth Shepherd has known about such travel all her life, but had expected that her cousin Charlotte would be the traveller. Author Kerstin Gier well conveyed Gwyn's confusion and displeasure when she realised that she would be the traveller instead.

Joining her in her travels is Gideon; he has been training his entire life for these adventures. Unlike him, Gwyn will have to use her instincts to guide her through the different time periods that she visits. She also has a unique gift that should prove helpful.

Gwyn and Gideon make an interesting pair. He wants to do this travelling and Gwyn is as of yet ambivalent about it. He has been trained in skills such as fencing and period dance while she hasn't. Time will tell whether Gwyn's lack of training will be a hindrance or an asset in their future.

I can't decide whether I like Gideon or not. He is very self assured, almost smug in his superiority over Gwyn. I supposed that he would need that assurance when travelling into different time periods and unknown situations. Like Gwyn, he has to decide who is telling the truth and what that means for them. Will he be able to stand up and make his decision or will he blindly follow what he has been told by the privileged old men controlling them.

I love the descriptions of the clothing that has been carefully crafted for the two of them. What good would a time travel story be without such wonderful outfits. It helps to set the mood by understanding the challenges of 'fitting in' in the past.

I listened to the unabridged audio book read by Marisa Calin. 8 hours 50 minutes. Ms. Calin helped bring life to the characters. She particularly brought out the venom of Charlotte's mother and the neglect of Gwyn's grandmother.

I felt that the book ended too soon. There was so much time spent building the characters and the settings, then a few short events and it was over. Fortunately the story continues in Sapphire Blue.

The Program
The Program
by Suzanne Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
34 used & new from CDN$ 2.55

4.0 out of 5 stars A tough topic to do well, Jan. 29 2016
This review is from: The Program (Paperback)
The world of The Program is a scary one to imagine. Teen suicide is rampant and parents are willing to go to extremes to protect their children. The government has established The Program to save their children, but it exacts a steep price, their memories.

Sloane lost her older brother two years ago, and the only thing that has kept her going is her boyfriend James. Now he is at risk.

Author Suzanne Young depicts a desperate world where the teen suicide rate is extremely high. The anxiety that the characters are feeling comes across clear and strong. If they aren't depressed already, then the fear they feel about being taken into The Program could edge them into a downward spiral.

It was fairly easy to feel the surreal life that Sloan and her friends were living in. Their every move and word was being watched. Teens don't function well under that type of scrutiny even when things are going well.

I enjoyed all the twists and turns of this story. Part One was quite bleak with despair. From Pat Two onward, it was a different feeling, easier to read and even enjoy.

Sloane and James seemed like real people to me. Their joys and sorrows were totally in keeping with the responses of seventeen year olds. I was cheering them on the entire book.

While not a cheerful read, I could hardly put it down.

Winning a Bride: A Novella
Winning a Bride: A Novella
Price: CDN$ 2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating story, Jan. 28 2016
This was a heart warming love story. it was set at a time when marriage in the upper classes was often more about family alliances than love. Josephine had been holding out for a love match, but her father wanted her married, now. Will had loved her from afar for years and knew the time was right to woe her.

I read this in seriel fashion, one chapter delivered to my inbox each morning. Within a few days, I couldn't wait for the next days portion. I liked the characters of both Josephine and Will. They both have strong characters and are willing to go against the norms.

I wish the story had been a bit longer as I wasn't ready to let them go at the last chapter.

Calling Invisible Women: A Novel
Calling Invisible Women: A Novel
by Jeanne Ray
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.00
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Most original story I've read in ages, Jan. 21 2016
How did I ever manage to miss this book when it was first released, it is brilliant. It's easy to feel invisible when you walk into a crowded room, but to feel the same in your own home, that's seriously bad.

Clover is mystified and definitely panicked when she first notices that she is invisible. Not the invisible you might feel at a large gathering, but the kind where you can't see your hand nor any other part of your body. She has gone transparent yet her family doesn't even notice.

Soon, she learns that other woman are turning invisible and that some of them have formed a support group. What she hears from them encourages her to brush up on her neglected reporter skills to try and figure out what has happened.

This is the most original story I have read in ages. It truly speaks to that part of me that feels lost in large groups.

I love the character of Clover. Author Jeanne Ray did a terrific job creating her considering that she couldn't rely on Clover's physical characteristics. Clover falters at first, but quickly regains her balance and even confronts some of her fears while invisible. She somehow manages to grow in a situation that would humble many others.

After reading this, I want to buy copies and give them to all the women of a certain age that I know.

Calling Invisible Women: A Novel by Ray, Jeanne [Paperback(2013/3/19)]
Calling Invisible Women: A Novel by Ray, Jeanne [Paperback(2013/3/19)]
10 used & new from CDN$ 25.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Most original story I've read in ages, Jan. 21 2016
How did I ever manage to miss this book when it was first released, it is brilliant. It's easy to feel invisible when you walk into a crowded room, but to feel the same in your own home, that's seriously bad.

Clover is mystified and definitely panicked when she first notices that she is invisible. Not the invisible you might feel at a large gathering, but the kind where you can't see your hand nor any other part of your body. She has gone transparent yet her family doesn't even notice.

Soon, she learns that other woman are turning invisible and that some of them have formed a support group. What she hears from them encourages her to brush up on her neglected reporter skills to try and figure out what has happened.

This is the most original story I have read in ages. It truly speaks to that part of me that feels lost in large groups.

I love the character of Clover. Author Jeanne Ray did a terrific job creating her considering that she couldn't rely on Clover's physical characteristics. Clover falters at first, but quickly regains her balance and even confronts some of her fears while invisible. She somehow manages to grow in a situation that would humble many others.

After reading this, I want to buy copies and give them to all the women of a certain age that I know.

Collision of Centuries (Franz Waldbaer Thriller)
Collision of Centuries (Franz Waldbaer Thriller)
Price: CDN$ 13.04

4.0 out of 5 stars The next plague could be one flight away, Jan. 17 2016
It's pretty straight forward, you get sick, you visit the doctor, you take the prescribed medicine and you get better. That is, unless you are in a particular Bavarian town where a plague, the Black Death, has reared its lethal head once again.

Kommissar Franz Waldbaer is called in to investigate a suspicious death at the remote castle Schloss Winterlock. It soon turns into a murder investigation with links to an unusual outbreak of plague. Waldbaer has to work quickly to solve this case before the illness spreads outside of Bavaria and Germany.

This is the very thing that medical researchers are trying to keep ahead of, the recurrence of something long banished, that would spread infinitely fast via today's rapid transit systems. In modern times we've forgotten the horror of mass deaths from disease, and quickly bury thoughts of SARS and avian flues. It would just take one mad man to wreck global havoc. Author John J. Le Beau did a good job of conveying how this very event could possibly happen. Sure, it is unlikely, or is it....

I like the character of Kommissar Waldbaer. He is single minded in his determination to solve the entire case, not being satisfied with just finding the culprit in the murder. I do think that it would be enlightening to watch him work, were he real. CIA Agent Hirter does much background work that he shares with Waldbaer. I wish he were more involved in the story, though he worked with the Kommissar in a case in an earlier book in this series, so perhaps he is more fleshed out there.

The most fascinating and least understood character in the novel, is the perpetrator of the evil behind the plague deaths. He is certainly egotistical and probably a psychopath. That's all I can say without giving anything away.

I enjoyed the story and it's setting. I am left pondering whether this type of scenario is possible/probable. Each book I read is a learning experience. Aside from being entertained, I did learn a bit about Germany and the challenges of maintaining historic properties.

Crewel World
Crewel World
by Monica Ferris
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars well written and researched mystery, Jan. 11 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this cosy mystery and it didn't hurt that it was set in a needlework shop. This type of shop brings together all sorts of people who generally wouldn't associate with each other except for their craft. Makes for an interesting set of suspects when the shop owner, Margot Berglund, is murdered. Her sister Betsy is left to clean up and take over the shop.

Due to the various visitors to the shop and their different interests, author Monica Ferris offers up lots of potential murderers. She also created a tight circle of staff and frequent customers to guide Betsy and to question what happened. Interestingly, Betsy didn't set out to solve the mystery, she just wanted to straighten out her sister's affairs and get clear in her mind how she died.

Being a needlework fan myself, I particularly enjoyed the discussions of fibres and projects. I liked the sense of community of most of those who visited the shop. Ms. Ferris kept me interested by slowly doling out clues and connections. She didn't eliminate suspects one by one, but rather kept them all under suspicion.

Crewel World is the first in Monica Ferris's Needlework Series, which now stretches to nineteen books.

Mary Monica Pulver has published her works under a number of names including: Monica Ferris, Margaret Frazer and Mary Kuhfeld.

Remember Me
Remember Me
by Christopher Pike
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.65
18 used & new from CDN$ 6.56

3.0 out of 5 stars twists and turns I didn't expect, Jan. 10 2016
This review is from: Remember Me (Paperback)
This was a good who-done-it mystery where the murdered girl investigates her own death. Shari and her friends are at a party when they decide to play at the occult. They awaken a spirit and next thing we know, Shari is dead. Accident or murder. There were several twists and turn in the plot that I would never have expected.

These sound like typical assortment of teens, self absorbed, superficial and materialistic. i think that many teen readers would be able to relate to the characters. I found the response of the teens to Shari's death realistic, some acted in ways I might expect, yet others not at all.

This book could be helpful to a teen who is trying to cope with the loss of another teen

Die Again Tomorrow
Die Again Tomorrow
by Kira Peikoff
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.99
25 used & new from CDN$ 3.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Grabbed my attention at the beginning and wouldn't let me go, Jan. 10 2016
This book grabbed my attention from the first pages and didn't let go until long after I finished reading.

The formulation X101 is a wonder drug. It can inhibit the death of brain cells after the body has ceased to function giving doctors the time needed to repair the deadly injuries before re-starting the heart and life. After Isabel Leon undergoes this ground breaking procedure, she realises that her time is limited before the man who killed her tries again.

I keep imagining the value of such a drug and the lives that could be saved. Author Kira Peikoff also brings to light the cost associated with such discoveries. There is always at least one unscrupulous person who will stoop to the lowest level to unfairly take advantage of such work. That is where the story took twists that I couldn't have anticipated. I was kept on edge the entire time wondering what level Ms. Peikoff would take me to next.

There were lots of great things about this story that I want to comment on such at the setting, and the possibly unethical buying of trading of a certain commodity, but I don't want to spoil the story for you. I loved this book and am looking forward to reading more by Kira Peikoff.

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