Angels Burning by Tawni O’Dell: Book Review

 angels BurningDisclaimer: I was sent this Kindle book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Years ago I read Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell  when it was an Oprah selection. I loved it.  I have no idea why I have not read any of her other stories but it is my loss.Luckily it can be rectified.
Angels Burning is fast paced and a good murder mystery. Actually there are two mysteries in the plot. Dove Carnahan, the  protagonist, is police chief in a small rural Pennsylvania town.She  is both feisty and an enigma.   She has her own dark secrets in that her mother was murdered when she was fifteen. She has been trying to protect her sister and her estranged  brother for years.   Now she has to try  to solve the murder of a young girl whose body was abandoned in a smoking sinkhole. Enter the redneck Truly family. The young dead girl is a member of this family. They have a criminal history. And the plot thickens from there. O’Dell’s characters are so well developed and portrayed.She has the entire  complicated Truly family that she must give voice to and she does this so well. Besides the plot and the good writing I think  character development is Odell’s strength. I hope she is considering using Dove Carnahan as a serial character in another book. She is just too good a character to appear in only one book. Meanwhile I have to look for Tawni O’Dell’s other novels. Can’t believe I lost track of this author since reading Back Roads.

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The Book of Speculation by Erica Swyler:Book Review

the book of speculationI really wanted to like this book as I had read that it was comparable to The Night Circus. While both the plot and writing were good it was not The Night Circus which was a magical book. The Book of Speculation is a darker book.Simon is an ex librarian having recently lost his job and has been sent a book out of the blue from an antiques bookseller. The book he is sent is a record of a traveling circus from the 1700’s.In this book is his grandmother’s name.All of the women in Simon’s family have drowned including his mother and all on the same date,despite the fact that they were like mermaids and could hold their breath underwater for long periods of time.Now the date is fast approaching and Simon’s sister has come to visit.His concern is that his sister Enola, who also travels with a circus reading Tarot cards, will suffer the same fate.Simon becomes convinced that the answers to the family secrets including his mothers death lies in this book. Meanwhile his life and house are slowly falling apart. The book’s chapters alternate between the 1700’s traveling circus life and the modern day life of Simon and Enola.
The book just did not have the magic of The Night Circus or the interesting characters.Although it held my interest,there were times the pace was slow.Debated between 2 and 3 stars but gave it a 3 star as the writing was good. This was a debut novel. I feel like I would definitely read the author’s next book because her writing in The Book of Speculation is very good.
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River Road by Carol Goodman:Book Review


river roadDisclaimer: I received this Kindle book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

I had never read of this authors other works but this book’s plot sounded interesting. The plot was interesting and that is about it. I know the author teaches creative writing classes and that is well established in her book as the main character Nan Lewis has the same profession. Nan is a college professor who suffered the tragic loss of her daughter by a drunken driver on River Road After attending a Christmas faculty party with lots of drinking and a discovery that she is not getting tenure Nan heads home by way of River Road. She thinks she hits a deer. She however cannot find any traces of a deer. However the next morning police visit her to inform her that one of her students, Leia, ( a student with a promising writing career) has been killed in a hit and run on River Road.The mystery takes off from there. A mystery that had so much promise but failed to deliver in my opinion. First of all the characters were not very well developed and it was hard to like them. The book began to ramble. I felt like it needed a lot of editing. For example we get a glimpse of her ex husband at the beginning of the book but his character is never developed and than all of a sudden he appears at the end. Am not really sure how much mystery there was to this book. I had my suspicions long before it ended. While the plot had such potential all in all I have to say that this was a disappointing read.

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50 word story:Assignment 13

      Ever Vigilant

It is Thursday. Is he there?

Despite the darkened sky,I see him.

He is a black man sitting in a white plastic chair.

He is surrounded by six white plastic chairs.

Despite the darkness I see the red glow from his cigarette.

I wave.

He smiles and  waves


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Tribute to Veterans


The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John McCraeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
hat mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw

 The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields


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Writing 101:Assignment Five

Because I knew you I have been changed for good                                            Stephen Schwartz

Because I knew youI happen to love quotes and there are so many to chose from.Choosing just one quote for this assignment was difficult. I settled on this one as not only do I like the song but I believe these words. In one day so many people can touch our lives and leave their mark on us.  Sometimes a simple gesture or word can change and brighten our way.  There are good friends that always change us for the better. But sometimes an acquaintance or blogger can light the way. Whoever it is I am grateful as they pass and shine their light on me.

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Writing 101:Assignment Four

train station He snapped the picture from the second floor balcony. He had a strange looking smile on his face. He was not happy with the blurred picture but he knew he had to exit the station.

The train patrons were not happy.There was the constant checking and rechecking of cell phones. As if that was going to change the situation. Some were running to see if   their train was on the track. It didn’t matter but the running helped them stay warm. The stations was frigid as if someone deliberately cut the heat.

The rumors were flying. Something on the track. But if that was true,why weren’t the other trains running? Was it a union strike? They were always threatening to strike.Someone said it was a baby carriage on the track. Another was positive there was an adult body on the track.

And he was outside delightfully imagining  the frustration they were feeling. He knew what was going to happen and he was patiently waiting for the big moment..the moment when their lives would change forever….

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