Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Two books--Seasonal and Thriller

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It's that time of year, so I read a holiday-themed collection. Seasons Readings - A Collection of Holiday Themed Short Stories popped onto my Kindle. And you can't go wrong with the nine offerings in this holiday-themed collection. Though none of the stories really break any new or startling holiday territory, they're a solid grouping of stories. The opening story, Home for Christmas by Lia Fairchild and the last one, Kate and The Irishman by Mary Pay Hyland give us our sugary sweet Hallmark treat for the holiday romantics.

Nestled between these to anchoring stories, we have an assortment and some with a mystery bent. Though I liked A Basketball, A Storm Drain, and a Choo-Choo Train by Sue Owen, it seemed odd to savor the holidays with a serial killer. Another strong mystery story with a Twilight Zone twist at the end was The Jade Elephant by Libby Fischer.

Eleanor's Christmas Surprise by Tania Tirraoro gives us a story with a sharp reversal at the end. I felt that if the author would have dug a bit deeper, this story could have commanded space and dollars at some of the better print magazines. The bugaboo I had with it is why give away the story with the title--drop 'Surprise' from the title--and don't tip your hand. Rounding out the selections were stories that will satisfy most readers. The collection rates a "4".
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Upfront disclosure: I read Premonitions when it was a head dump of a few chapters; read it again when it was a complete novel in need of love; months, years whiz by. Read Premonitions when was being shopped around by an agent. Ran through it again recently.

Buy it here!
There is something satisfying in watching the evolution of a head dump into a full-fledged novel of power and sass, tenderness and carrying, and, of course, much danger, death, and destruction. The author has woven a story that is every parent's nightmare on steroids where bad guys hold all the cards and their opponents are little kids and one kick-butt lady named Mallory with attitude to spare when it comes to her kids and her premonitions.

Like many thrillers, this is one best served and read in a single sitting. I'm not a devotee of thrillers. They rely on me suspending too much of my disbelief as my anal retentive, procedural-oriented brain sniffs minor cracks in the plans of both the bad and good buys. However, I never waived though in my belief that the author was going to take me on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and then some. Take Premonitions with you when you have the time to feast on the words and enjoy the story as a single meal. It is a solid "4".

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