Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Book Review Club (March 2013)

Happy First Wednesday of March! Which means it's time for the monthly meeting of The Book Review Club. We've put together reviews of books we've read and enjoyed. So, please click through the links under my review. Because...we do it all for you. Enjoy!

CRUSHER by Niall Leonard (young adult, thriller/mystery)

In a nutshell: High-school dropout Finn Maguire arrives home from his crappy fast-food job to find his stepdad bludgeoned to death in their London flat. Of course, our Finn is the main suspect, and he takes on the mystery in order to clear his name. And to find out what really happened to his stepdad.

The stepdad (an out-of-work actor and, then, a wannabe writer) was working on a screenplay about one of London's mobsters. Finn thinks. He really didn't pay that much attention when his stepdad was talking about his writing. Same thing happens in my house! Anyway, the stepdad's computer and the writing and research he's done is missing.

What I Loved: In a word--Finn. I loved this character. He's basically a loser, but you just know he won't stay that way forever. He has knack for sizing up sitautions and people. He's persistent. He has a good heart. I loved every word that came out of his mouth. Niall Leonard has a great ear for dialogue, which isn't surprising since he is a screenwriter as well. I'm interested in checking out a British crime drama TV show he writes for: Wire in the Blood. Also, CRUSHER is an edge-of-your-seat read, full of unexpected twists.

What I Loved a Little Less: the plotting. Weird as it sounds, there were just one or two too many twists.  And, while I'm all for adventure and chase scenes, the end of the book felt like Bruce Willis in one of those Die Hard movies. Too many fight scenes. I kept thinking poor Finn needed to be home and in bed with a steak over one eye, an ice pack over a fist and 800 mg of ibuprofen. Also, there wasn't one nice female in the entire book. We all know how unrealistic that is!

STILL...I loved Finn. Enough that I could overlook the plot stuff. Which is saying a lot for me. I'll read the sequel.

Particular to this Book: CRUSHED was written for Nanowrimo 2011. AND...Mr. Leonard is married to E.L. James of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY fame. Here he is talking about being Mr. Fifty Shades of Grey.

Without further ado, here are the links to this month's AMAZING AND THOUGHTFUL reviews! You don't want to miss them.


 Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: REVEL by Maurissa Guibord (YA fantasy)


 Scott Parker: BLOODHYPE by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction)

Sarah Laurence: THE BURGESS BOYS by Elizabeth Strout (literary, pub date 3/26/13)

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell (women's fiction)

Linda McLaughlin: THE SHADOWY HORSES by Susanna Kearsley (romance)
                                THE WINTER SEA by Susanna Kearsley (romance)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THROUGH THE GLASS by Shannon Moroney (adult autobiography)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Town Monday: My San Diego Living Room

Ever wonder what Mr. Summy does in his spare time?

Recently he invented... a treadmill shelf for his lovely wife. 

Mr. Summy came up with this brilliant design. He attached (with the help of his handy assistant, Child #4) a drawer glider on the outside of the treadmill handles. This is so I can glide the desk up and out of the way when folding the treadmill for storage. 

Child #4 is drilling holes into the side wood pieces. Mr. Summy is supervising.  I am napping. (kidding!)
Voila! A beautiful treadmill shelf is born. There are plans to paint it black, but it is completely functional. Cost $27.   As compared to, say, the Trek Desk which is about $500.
Just a gratuitous crazy pic of child #4

How many miles will I walk while writing the next book? I might actually keep track.

p.s. Watch this Wednesday for The Book Review Club!