Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living life as it comes

Reviews # 16 & 17 of 30 for 2017 Barefoot in White, ***** and Liquid Cool, *****

It’s not very often I find two books at the same time, to which I can offer 5 Stars, especially two in such diverse categories. But today’s reviews meet the criteria I set for personal favorites. BAREFOOT IN WHITE is a beautiful romance, and LIQUID COOL is a delightful Cyber Punk novel. I can highly recommend these two reads.

BarefootRoxanne St. Claire’s evocative prose can tug at the heartstrings as well as make that same heart race with anticipation.  The story puts Nick Hershey and Willow Ambrose on collision course. Willow’s the estranged daughter of a model-turned-fashion-designer and a famous rock-star. Nick, a Navy SEAL on medical leave, is bone-deep scared his career might be over. Willow, following a miserable childhood, has walked away from her unhappy past and everyone in it, finding fulfillment as a wedding planner. She and her two colleagues are accustomed to Bridezillas and are stunned by a young model who seems singularly uninterested in the details of her own wedding. She’s content to leave it all to the planners and her MOH who turns out to be a Man of Honor instead of Maid. The uncaring bride is a model in Willow’s mother’s employ and, as Willow soon learns, a favored friend of the family, perhaps even a surrogate daughter who has all the attributes Willow so lacked. Can it be mere coincidence the young friend of her mother has turned up at Barefoot Brides? Willow doubts it. It must be more interference by the mother Willow knows would like to revive their dead relationship–a relationship ruined many years ago by the older woman’s constant attempts at manipulation.

When she walks in on a gloriously naked “Man of Honor” in the bride-to-be’s villa, Willow is even more stunned. She knows this guy, but  Continue reading

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Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living life as it comes, What writing's all about

Reviews #13 & 14 of 30 for 2017 Kena the Good Hyena / Kena la hiena buena, Books 1 & 2, by Gabriela Arellano

I’m delighted to feature these two bilingual children’s picture books, KENA THE GOOD HYENA / KENA LA HIENA BUENO.Kena Hyena

Similar in tone to the ever popular Berenstain Bears books, Books 1, Being The Best, shows how good behavior can make any child’s life run smoother, and that being selfish and boastful can lead to unhappiness at school.

The second book, When Dad’s Away, illustrates the way a child mKena 2ight feel abandoned and unloved when Dad has to go far away to work. But it also reassures the child that distance is no barrier to love.

But, more important to me, as a writer, is that the author has aimed her work at young children and their parents of two different linguistic groups. During my years in Costa Rica I was struck (unfavorably) by the small number of people of all ages I saw reading for pleasure. On buses, on park benches, on beaches, it seemed few read anything but school texts or newspapers. Even large bookstores featured little fiction—especially for children. This may not be the case in other Spanish speaking countries, but to find a book like this is a real pleasure regardless of where it might be read and enjoyed because not only does it encourage adults to read to their children, it will surely help English speakers learn Spanish, and perhaps vice versa. Though in my experience it was the “Gringos” (myself included) who needed to learn, far more than the “Ticos.”

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Book Reviews from Rider of The Waves, Living the Writing Life

Review # 12 for 2017 A Merciful Death ***** By Kendra Elliot

Merciful DeathA Merciful Death *****

By Kendra Elliot

Mercy Kilpatrick, an experienced FBI Special Agent, is called upon to return to the community where she grew up to investigate the murders of two men she once knew. She was raised to be prepared for the worst that could happen to society, but the society of her own family deserted her when she most needed their support. Fifteen years before, she left town at the age of eighteen and built a life for herself, apart from those she loved. Mercy hides her estrangement from her parents and siblings from her FBI partners, making her return doubly awkward because she’s on edge, nervous about being recognized and probably shunned. When she meets the new Chief of Police, Truman Daly, they begin to work together comparing notes of past and present. It soon becomes clear that the very events that drove her away in the first place have an intrinsic connection to the current victims, one of whom was Chief Daly’s uncle. Mercy has never told anyone the full truth behind her reasons for leaving home and family. But knowing Truman Daly has as much at stake when it comes to solving the mysterious links, she wants to come clean with him, but he’s a lawman, too, so she doesn’t dare.

Ms. Elliot paints a vivid picture if life in a “prepper” community, and the attendant stresses that lead to inevitable conflicts between different factions with the same goal in mind, but whose methods are at odds. Set in the countryside if eastern Oregon, this story brings to life the sights, sounds, and smells of an area she clearly loves. Highly recommended for fans of both mystery and romance novels, though the romance plays second fiddle to the crime-solving,

 

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