Posted in books, Reviews

Book Review: B*tches. You know you love them.


You know what I love?  A lighthearted book that keeps me guessing, keeps me caring about guessing, and carries me through to the end on a fun-sized roller coaster of concern for how things will turn out for the characters.  The Bitches of Brooklyn is such a book.

the-bitches-of-brooklynRosemary Harris has done a fantastic job crafting realistic characters, realistic friendships, and making the lives of the five bitches from Brooklyn feel distinct, varied, and interesting.  You personally know at least two of these women, and have probably met the other three.  Some of them are your best friends, and at least one is your arch nemesis.  Each character is instantly recognizable as someone who could be sitting next to you at the movie theater.

Even better, the writing “for every woman who’s ever had a best friend and wondered…is she really,” is quick witted, clear, and keeps you hopping and hoping.  You’ll find yourself wanting the best for each of these women, and wondering just exactly what that will entail.  You certainly won’t be disappointed.

This was my lunchtime novel for about four days, and I really looked forward to cracking it open for company on my lunch hour.  As much as I wanted to get to the end to find out how the original set up was resolved, I was sorry to get to the final chapter because I really liked these women.  I would read spin-offs of this book, but I would really love to see a prequel.

For a light, fun chick-lit read, this one is 5 stars for me.

5 out of 5

About The Bitches of Brooklyn and Rosemary Harris:

Author Bio:

Rosemary Harris
Rosemary Harris

Rosemary Harris has been a bookstore manager, a video producer and a public television exec. Her debut novel, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies, was followed by The Big Dirt Nap, Dead Head andSlugfestall titles in her Dirty Business mystery series.  She is past president of Mystery Writers of America’s NY Chapter and Sisters in Crime’s New England Chapter. Like some of the characters in The Bitches of Brooklyn she was born in Brooklyn but now lives in New York City and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

 

To learn more about Rosemary and all of her books visit her atwww.rosemaryharris.com and Like her on facebook atwww.facebook.com/RosemaryHarriswriter

Trade paperback and ebook available at Amazon and bn.com now!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E3XMPN0

http://tinyurl.com/kydqs39

 

From the author of the Anthony and Agatha-nominated Pushing Up Daisies and Dead Head.

Are they really bitches? That depends who you ask…four friends await the arrival of a fifth at a secluded Cape Cod bungalow where they spend an all-girls weekend every summer. But this year the fifth woman doesn’t show. Instead she sends a note that reads –  “I’ve run off with one of your men.”

Has she? Is it a prank? Do they run for the phone or try to enjoy the weekend without her? Fun, flirty and filled with Harris’ trademark snappy dialogue and quirky characters forced to reevaluate their marriages, their friendships and their memories, The Bitches of Brooklyn has been called “a cross between Pretty Little Liars and Sex in the City.”

Inspired by a classic Hollywood film, The Bitches of Brooklyn will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner, Cathleen Schine and Susan Isaacs and is for every woman who’s ever had a best friend and wondered…is she really??

“Rosemary Harris is a GEM of a writer.” Joanne Fluke, NYTimes best-selling author of the Hannah Swenson series. “Smart, sassy and sophisticated, The Bitches of Brooklyn may be the best female buddy book yet. I dare you to put it down.” Elaine Viets, best-selling author of The Dead End Job series and Catnapped!

 

Follow the blog tour!  Rosemary is on tour until December 23rd.

Follow the blog tour! Rosemary is on tour until December 23rd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read an excerpt?  Click here http://rosemaryharris.com/bitchesofbrooklyn_excerpt.html

Posted in books, Lane is Reading, Reviews

Romance in Review: THE RELUCTANT BRIDE, by Beverly Eikli


Growing up, I spent many, many happy hours going through the novels on my grandmother’s bookshelf.  Her two literary passions were True Crime and Romance, and I read them all–covertly.  My mother preferred that I not read romance.

To this day, my favorite of the stories was a book called THE CHADWICK RING, by Julia Jeffries.   It was absolutely a guilty pleasure with an innocent, intelligent heroine struggling to find her place in a man’s world. When I signed up to read THE RELUCTANT BRIDE for Beverly Eikli’s book tour, I was just hoping to enjoy her latest romance novel.  I was not expecting to be swept up into the giggly, giddy delight I used to feel when I would sneak another historical romance out of Grandma’s bookshelf–but I did!

THE RELUCTANT BRIDE has everything a romance novel should.  You have your damsel in distress, your strapping-but-scarred hero, a rogue, a marriage of convenience, misunderstandings and drama, with the additional interest and intrigue of espionage and family secrets that threaten to ruin everything–seriously, if you like romance, this one will have you squirming happily.  Eikli has a wonderful command of the narrative, and she builds a fully fleshed reality for her characters.  I think she’s written a novel that will stand against the best of them, and it is as memorable as the one that has stuck with me since I was about 10 years old.

Scroll to read an excerpt below Beverly’s bio, a find out how to win a gift card giveaway from Beverly.

I’m giving this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer.
Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer.

About Beverly:

Beverley Eikli is the author of eight historical romances published by Pan Macmillan Momentum, Robert Hale, Ellora’s Cave and Total-e-Bound. Recently she won UK Women’s Fiction publisher Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition with her suspenseful, spy-based Regency Romance The Reluctant Bride.

She’s been shortlisted twice for a Romance Readers of Australia Award in the Favourite Historical category — in 2011 for  A Little Deception, and in 2012 for her racy Regency Romp, Rake’s Honour, written under her Beverley Oakley pseudonym.

Beverley wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.

After throwing in her job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.

Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, as well as teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon Ranges Further Education.

She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.

Beverley won the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star competition with The Reluctant Bride.

Shortlisted for the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Award for her novel Rake’s Honour

Finalist in the 2011 Australian Romance Readers Awards for her novel A Little Deception.

An excerpt from THE RELUCTANT BRIDE

Angus and Emily, newly married, have just been visited unexpectedly by Angus’s brother and his unsuitable consort. Emily, embarrassed by her highly pregnant state and knowing it will cause gossip amongst Angus’s family, reacts in this scene to her husband’s apologies for the situation Emily has just confronted.

With deliberate care Emily set down the plates once more and turned to look at her husband through narrowed eyes.

‘For contaminating me with a lady of dubious repute? But Angus, how much worse a contaminant would I have been had you not married me?’ She patted her swollen belly. ‘You’d be apologising to your brother. A fallen woman—’

‘Don’t speak like that.’ His wide-set eyes burned with undeserved defence of her. ‘Men’s impulses can be ungovernable, but ladies do not suffer such … urges … You were … taken advantage of.’

Emily stared at him. She sucked in a long, quavering breath as her simmering anger came finally to the boil. Is that what he believed? That she was insensible to passion? And that was a good thing?

‘What would you say if I told you that my impulses were every bit as ungovernable as Jack’s?’ She could barely control her anger sufficiently to speak. For days she had forced her feelings into the background, using the same emotional device against her unwanted husband as she had when her father insulted her, shutting out the hurt by erecting a barrier as impenetrable as steel.

Now, feeling surged through her, blackening her vision and causing her to sway. She put her hand on the back of the sofa to steady herself.

Angus stood awkwardly by the door, as if unsure whether to move closer to support her, or beat a tactful retreat.

Emily glared at him. ‘What if I told you that I was so consumed by passion in Jack’s arms I would not have heeded the Blessed Virgin Mary cautioning me against the temptations of the flesh?’ She tried to regulate her breathing, but the rage was clawing its way further up her body, threatening to make her its puppet. She, who never lost her temper. ‘I loved Jack. I was his slave in passion, every bit as culpable as he. If you are so concerned for virtue, spare your condemnation of innocent Miss Galway. You need only cast your eyes upon your wife to be singed by my sin. There! I have confessed my true nature. Whatever you thought of me before, you cannot but think worse of me now.’ She registered the horror in his eyes and was glad for it. Much better that she banish any pretence between them.

She’d never expressed anger as poisonous as this. At first it frightened her, then it sent exhilaration pulsing through her. Her love for Jack had been cut off at the root. Now hatred filled her veins, making her feel alive again. ‘And so you know, I care nothing for your opinion,’ she added.

She managed to remain upright, though her vision came in waves. She could feel her strength leaving her, but she had to spit out the truth so he’d have no illusions as to the kind of woman he’d married. A woman no good man deserved.

‘You married me because you needed a wife. I married you so I could keep my child. We made a contract. My body is yours to do with as you please, but that is all you will ever have. My thoughts, my feelings, my love will be forever out of bounds to you.’

GIVEAWAY
Beverley will award a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
the more times you comment on the tour, the better your chances of winning!
Posted in books, Reviews

Strawberry Scented Elegance


I have several more Cozy Cat Press authors to introduce to you, and I’m going to start doing that on Mondays.  Monday is a nice day to meet authors, don’t you think?  Also, when I started researching to sign up TIARA TROUBLE for blog tours, I realized that I have a blog.  This means that I can be a stop on blog tours!  This means I can read books, meet more authors, and tell you all about them.  Isn’t that exciting?  I think so.

I’ve already got two books in my reader, and you’ll see those reviews coming toward the end of September.

Between you and me, unless a book is NIGHT TRAVELS OF THE ELVEN VAMPIRE kind of bad (link to Irene’s review–NSFW, but that’s not Irene’s fault), I won’t be posting a bad review.  If I wouldn’t give a book at least 3 stars, I’m not going to acid rain all over another writer’s parade.

If you blog, and if you enjoy reading (free) books and reviewing them, I highly recommend signing up to host virtual blog tours.  Writers from smaller publishing houses, and indie writers have to get very creative about promoting their work, and will likely put in as much time trying to market a publication as they did drafting it in the first place.  It never hurts to expand your circle of influence either.  Never know who is going to be the next Big Thing.

I’m getting ready to read a book with goats in the title and a one-eyed soldier in the description.  I expect great things from it.

Posted in movies, Reviews

Movie Review: Elysium


Elysium.  I’ve seen worse.

(Spoiler free for your reading pleasure.)

Kidding.  I have seen worse, but it really wasn’t bad.  It’s not my kind of entertainment–I like my action peppered with one-liners and better looking heroes, but it was good for what it was.  Matt Damon is always excellent.  Alice Braga was great.  Sharlto Copley was a terrific bad guy, and was clearly having more fun than anyone else in the movie.

The plot was thin, but the smoke and detritus from the many explosions plumped it up a bit.  It was a sci-fi/action movie, and for that genre, it was a little better than all right.

What made it problematic?  Mainly, Jodie Foster.  I had no idea it was possible to be wooden AND chew scenery at the same time.  She was awful. I actually turned to B and asked, “When did Jodie Foster get to be terrible?”  I’m still flummoxed.  Maybe she’d had bad shrimp?  I don’t know.  All I know is that her wig and her calf muscles were doing most of the acting.

The other big problem for me was the fact that Matt Damon was the only white guy on Earth, and he was also the only guy who could save Earth.  They could have at least cast a few white extras to make it not-as-obvious that he was the blue-eyed, blond Messiah.  I’m white and I was kind of offended that the only character in the movie who was pure of heart and motive was a white guy.  Everyone else was some variety of hoodrat, save for the one female character, who had to be in peril and saved by the one white guy.  This role would have been perfect for Vin Diesel–and how often do you get to say that?

Oh!  There was one other white guy who lived on Earth, but he was just a bad boss character.

Did I laugh?  No.  Did I cry?  What do you think.  I cried at Glitter.  Of course I cried–there were sick children and sad Matt Damon.  Sad Matt Damon is enough to make anyone cry.  Sad Vin Diesel just makes you remember to buy prune juice.

3 out of 5 stars.

 

 

Posted in movies, Reviews

Movie Review: SHARKNADO!


My fear of sharks is well documented, so well documented that friends are forever sending me images of sharks out of a loving desire to frighten the excrement from my body. So, when I heard there was a movie coming out called Sharknado, I knew I needed to get in front of the train. I was going to watch Sharknado with my eyes wide open, if it required a clockworkian contraption to do it. Much as I tried to cure myself of the fear in second grade by reading every book I could find on the subject, I thought it would be healthy for me to expand my ridiculous fear of sharks in swimming pools to also include airborne sharks watch, and would make it a little harder for my friends to terrorize me.

Last weekend, I hunkered down for the storm.

I have not laughed so hard in ages.

The Fug Girls did a marvelous recap of the movie, and I am sending you over to their website to read it and weep with laughter. It is brilliant. They have screen grabs. I do not. Go read, then come back.

Are you back? Excellent.

So here’s what I loved about this movie: Everything.

It was terrible and awful in that way that comes right back around to being beautiful. I absolutely lost my mind laughing within the first five minutes, so much so that Thor left the computer game he was playing to come investigate, and stayed to howl right along with me. At one point, I was choking, I was laughing so hard.

Listen, there are a lot of different types of bad. This was the best kind. This was the kind that said, “We know we are making a movie about a tornado full of sharks, and we are going to play it out like we are 9 and 10 year old kids working with action figures. We are going to tap into our inner 5th graders and we are going to have more fun than Spielberg ever did.” And they did. I think the funniest thing to me was that they didn’t even TRY for continuity or realism in their effects. In some scenes meant to portray flooded out areas, from some angles the ground was absolutely dry. The actors were absolutely dry!

I mean, there is a scene where a school bus is stranded, with water up above its bumper. So when you see exterior shots of the bus, you see all this water. When you get a shot from the bridge above the bus, you can see right down the alley where the street is bone dry. 5th graders were directing these angles! Happy, thrilled, exuberant 5th graders. It didn’t matter because THERE WAS A TORNADO FULL OF SHARKS!

What did I not like: Nothing. This movie is my new best friend.

Worst scene: Sharks fall from the sky into a swimming pool–sharks in a swimming pool being my greatest irrational fear.

Best scene: Sharks fall from the sky into a swimming pool–sharks in a swimming pool being my greatest irrational fear. Ian Ziering douses the pool with gasoline and SETS IT ON FIRE. YES!!!

5 out of 5 stars