TJ J. (CraftyTJ) - Reviews

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Act of Will
Act of Will
Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 11/18/2006


In another well-written novel Bradford deals with the often-troubled lives of three generations of strong-willed women. Artistically talented orphan Audra Kenton leaves nursing to serve as nanny to precocious Theo Bell. Soon she meets and weds handsome Vincent Crowther, and they begin a long but unstable life together. Obsessively determined to give her daughter the best art education possible, Audra toils long and hard only to see Christina forsake painting for haute couture as a way to repay her mother's untiring sacrifice. At length Christina must allow her own headstrong daughter, Kyle, to determine the direction her own life will follow.


Alaska
Alaska
Author: James A. Michener
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 88
Review Date: 11/27/2006
Helpful Score: 3


The book begins a billion years ago. Its first characters are the mastadon and the woolly mammoth, followed by such other settlers as the Eskimos, Athapaskans, and Russians. Vignettes of characters as varied as the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who explored Alaska for Russia's Peter the Great, and Kendra Scott, the young Colorado teacher who taught the Eskimo children during the recent Prudhoe Bay oil boom, illustrate the colorful history of this vast and exploited land.


Alibi for an Actress
Alibi for an Actress
Author: Gillian B. Farrell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/3/2006


Herself formerly both an actress and a detective, Farrell offers a delightful debut mystery that draws on both these milieus.


All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small, Bk 1)
All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small, Bk 1)
Author: James Herriot
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 143
Review Date: 11/27/2006


James Herriot was a country veterinarion who lived in Yorkshire before (and after) World War II. His stories are funny, heartwarming, sad, and highly educational.


All or Nothing
All or Nothing
Author: Elizabeth Adler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 11/18/2006


Hollywood Hills private investigator Al Giraud hails from New Orleans's wrong side of the tracks; a tough-talking dick, he's as much a lover as a sleuth. Marla Cwitowitz is the gorgeous 30-something lawyer who's crazy about him and, after wheedling Al to give her assistant PI status, becomes his partner both on and off the job. They are a stereotypically mismatched couple: Al asks high-class law professor Marla, "What the hell d'ya see in me? An uneducated bum, an ex-cop, a two-bit P.I.? A lovely woman like you?" But Marla adores his street smarts, dinner conversation, and lovemaking skills, and she's thrilled at the thought of working with her man investigating murders. The trouble begins when a real estate agent, California golden girl Laurie Martin, disappears. Burly detective Lionel Bulworth and his brazen assistant Pamela "Pow!" Powers believe Laurie's client Steve MallardAwhose job is forcing him to relocate his Los Angeles-based family to San DiegoAis the guilty party. None too coincidentally, Al and Marla happened to notice Laurie and Steve together before the alleged murder. As far as they could tell, Laurie and Steve were not romantically involved, which does away with the cops' theory that Steve killed Laurie in a jealous rage. Steve's wife, the level-headed Vicki, hires Al and Marla to prove her husband's guilt or innocence. Inevitably, they tangle with the killer, and everyone's melodramatic gamble is the inspiration for the title clich?.


Almost Eden
Almost Eden
Author: Dorothy Garlock
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 8/1/2006


Shunned by the world who called Lightbody a half-breed and Maggie, a witch, they struck out together into the wilderness after the same dream, a paradisee of their own. Ahead of them lay terrible danger.


Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, Bk 1)
Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, Bk 1)
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1050
Review Date: 3/26/2007


Alex Cross, a black Washington, D.C., police detective with a Ph.D. in psychology, and Jezzie Flanagan, a white motorcycling Secret Service agent, become lovers as they work together to apprehend a chilling psychopath who has kidnapped two children from a posh private school. The psychotic villain, who aspires to become more notorious than Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann, is effectively nightmarish. Atypical characters, sex, sometimes shocking violence, and several surprising plot twists are all attention-grabbing, while short chapters with a shifting viewpoint add brisk pacing and genuine suspense. Patterson's storytelling talent is in top form in this grisly escapist yarn.


Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri
Author: William Barton, Michael Capobianco
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 10/19/2006


From a grossly overpopulated Earth in 2239 A.D., an exploratory colonization mission to Alpha Centauri finds Mies Cochrane carrying an autovirus inside him that, after sexual intercourse, halts conception?the perfect birth control. The explorers discover the remains of an ancient civilization and a way to see what caused their extinction through the eyes of the last, long-dead inhabitant. The authors (Iris, LJ 2/15/90) make a strong statement about overpopulation, solutions to it, and humanity's purpose for existing. This thought-provoking book, a mix of sexually explicit passages and scientific exposition, is recommended for adult sf collections.


Amends for Murder (Peggy O'Neill, Bk 1)
Amends for Murder (Peggy O'Neill, Bk 1)
Author: M. D. Lake
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 4/15/2007
Helpful Score: 2


The corpse of a distinguished professor of English, Adam Warren, is found in his office by rookie campus cop Peggy O'Neill. The conditions of his death are grisly: his skull was crushed by a hammer. Though evidence suggests that Warren has been killed by a thief surprised in the act of stealing a computer, O'Neill strikes out on her own to explore other possibilities. Her search leads her to suspects within the university community, including Warren's secretary, Doris Parker; his colleague and former protege, poet Lee Pierce; and Jack Becker, a specialist in criminology. O'Neill is drawn simplistically and superficially, and Lake provides some diverting plot twists.


Anywhere You Are
Anywhere You Are
Author: Constance O'Day-Flannery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 11/18/2006
Helpful Score: 2


In this novel she threads the romance of the old west, with the wonder of present day Las Vegas. She brings together two hapless victims to a quirk of physics, causing her to be transported first to the old west version of Las Vegas, Nevada. When she and her new found lover stumble back into the future well.... all manner of things happen and as always she makes it entertaining as well as thought provoking.
She includes great suspense and mystery, and causes the reader to press forward, wondering at every step of the way, paragraph by paragraph where she is going with this story, and HOW she will resolve it.


Apaches (Apaches, Bk 1)
Apaches (Apaches, Bk 1)
Author: Lorenzo Carcaterra
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 51
Review Date: 1/9/2007


Boomer. Dead-Eye. Pins. Geronimo. Reverend Jim. Mrs. Columbo. Legends of the NYPD, they were great cops. The best cops. But they are cops no more. Now they are apaches, a renegade unit working on their own.--reunited to bring down the most vicious criminal working New York City today. . . .


Ariel
Ariel
Author: Lawrence Block
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/8/2006


It's a story of the madness that lies just under the surface, and what it takes to bring it out; the need to give evil a face and a name


Atlantis Found (Dirk Pitt, Bk 15)
Atlantis Found (Dirk Pitt, Bk 15)
Author: Clive Cussler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 254
Review Date: 8/2/2006


As the story begins, artifacts from a previously undiscovered civilization, ancient but highly advanced, are popping up all over the globe. Pitt himself is on site in a Colorado mine when archeologists come across strange carvings and mysterious inscriptions. But then an explosion traps the party below ground, and a band of black-suited terrorists arrive at the scene with guns blazing. Though Pitt saves the day, the incident points toward a wider network of evil schemes. Working for the National Underwater & Marine Agency, Pitt finally identifies the terrorists as members of the Fourth Empire, an organization headed by the diabolical Wolf family, a secret clan of genetically engineered people who worship the Nazi Third Reich. But it's only after Pitt and his able sidekick, Al Giordino, battle old German U-boats, dodge surface-to-air missiles and narrowly escape death on a remote island off Australia that they find out what the Fourth Empire is up to. The neo-Nazis aim to prevent the world from discovering the artifacts of this previously unknown seafaring culture because they tell of a catastrophic event that wiped out civilization 9000 years ago and reveal when the next cataclysm will hit. The Wolfs plan to accelerate the date through their own scheme to destroy Earth, meanwhile sheltering themselves and their thousands of followers on enormous, disaster-proof ships. Pitt knows his assignment: save the world--a tall order, but one he's filled many times before. Cussler's 15th Pitt adventure (after Flood Tide) is a rampaging story of history, technology and heroism, written with Cussler's typical make-no-apologies enthusiasm.


The Awakening  (Vampires, Bk 5)
The Awakening (Vampires, Bk 5)
Author: Shannon Drake
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 127
Review Date: 11/18/2006
Helpful Score: 4


Megan and Finn Douglas perform their musical act in Salem, Massachusetts hotel during Halloween week. Instead of a warm return home for Megan, who once lived here, nightmares plague her. She dreams that Finn is evil and wants to harm her. Sex after they fall asleep turns very rough and frightens Megan. At the same time, Megan hears tales about the history of Salem besides the highly publicized historical witch-hunt. She learns that at one time Satanists attempted several times to bring forth the demon Bac-Dal. Several people including her cousin warns her that Finn is evil.
Finn worries about his wife and the strange occurrences including a weird fog that engulfs them. He calls an acquaintance from New Orleans, Lucian, who arrives faster than a human could, comes to help. Lucien and his friends struggle to keep Megan and Finn safe, but against what and who are unknown.

Though ALL HOLLOW'S EVE takes time to set the cast and location, once the troubles begin, this becomes an engaging paranormal romance.


B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 2)
B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 2)
Author: Sue Grafton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 461
Review Date: 4/30/2007


Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M -- not for missing, but for murder: and plenty of it.


Belinda
Belinda
Author: Mary Loos
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/5/2007


Beauty, Power, Glamour, Lust--Belinda Inherited it all. She was fifteen years old.


A Bend in the Road
A Bend in the Road
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1118
Review Date: 1/9/2007


Sweet, accessible, uplifting and predictable, the latest love story from Sparks (The Notebook) leaves the reader with just one burning question: Why is this consummate beach book being published in the fall? The nearly thwarted but eventually triumphant romance of deputy sheriff Miles Ryan and second-grade teacher Sarah Andrews goes down as easily as marshmallow fluff and offers about as much real nourishment. Miles's high school sweetheart, Missy, was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident, leaving him to raise their son, Jonah, in New Bern, N.C. Sarah's politically ambitious husband, Michael, dumped her when her ovaries proved inactive, and she fled to New Bern to teach, and love, other people's kids. Miles and Sarah meet at a parent-teacher conference, and the sparks fly. But there's a fly in the ointment as well; an italicized voice threaded among the happy chapters alerts us that Missy's death was caused by someone whose identity, if revealed, could destroy Miles and Sarah's newfound joy. In Sparks's heaven, clouds exist to make silver linings look the brighter. As tough truth shadows their landscape, Miles and Sarah find depths within themselves, and their rekindled light illumines all. New Bern becomes a city of the reborn. Charlie Curtis, Miles's stickler boss, learns to bend; Missy's aimless killer morphs into a healer; and Jonah once again knows a mother's love. The opposite of edgy, with simple sentences and soft-pedaled sex, Sparks's plain vanilla morality will doubtless sell like ice cream on a steamy day.


Best Kept Secrets
Best Kept Secrets
Author: Sandra Brown
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 196
Review Date: 11/5/2006


Alexandra Gaither is a savvy, beautiful attorney who finally has the power to get what she has always wanted-justice. Twenty-five years before, her mother died a scandalous death. Now as she investigates her mother's former lover, his best friend, and the father figure to them both, she will risk everything to uncover their best kept secrets.


Best Laid Plans
Best Laid Plans
Author: Constance O'Day Flannery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 4/15/2007


With her latest, O'Day-Flannery (Colliding Forces) makes it look easy to incorporate angels, quantum physics and the evolution of humanity into a satisfying neofeminist paranormal romance. When Cristine Dobbins's boyfriend of seven years deserts her, her friends, a group of five women called the Yellow Brick Road Gang, send her to a male escort resort to recuperate. Unfortunately, Cristine throws her back out before she can get any satisfaction. Back at home, a mind-blowing orgasm brought on by a floating cloud of lights heals herand leaves her doubting her sanity. Enter Daniel Burns, a strong, handsome, impossibly fast contractor who redoes Cristine's kitchen and refuses payment. Turns out he's not a handyman at allhe isn't even human. As Cristine allows Daniel into her life, she learns to open her mind and heart to extraordinary possibilities. O'Day-Flannery gives Cristine a rich inner voice and a compelling struggle for happiness, but the lessons she learns often sound like New Age hokum: "When you believe... you deserve whatever you desire, you shall have it." However, the novel's unapologetic pro woman stance is not just uplifting but downright smart, and the plot is intriguing to the very end.


The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans
Author: Sidney Sheldon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 139
Review Date: 10/21/2006


The Best Laid Plans begins with the meeting and mating of Oliver Russell, a promising young attorney-cum-gubernatorial candidate, and Leslie Stewart, the beautiful go-getter who is running his public relations campaign. Just as the pair is about to be wed, Russell's mentor, Senator Todd Davis, offers him a deal he can't refuse: marry my daughter and I will make you president. Russell accepts and Stewart vows revenge.


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