Most Wanted – Author Spotlight

Reading is a risky business particularly if you are a reader like me who can have problems separating fiction from reality at times.

As readers we could take the easy way I suppose and follow the madding crowd and read offerings strictly off the bestseller list but personally I would wonder about the path and thus the authors not taken. Here is the answer, on the MOST WANTED page you will find the best books you haven’t read, meet the authors and stories destined to become favorites. Regularly, a new author will be featured, both published and those soon to be, with details about them and their work.

See the Most Wanted page for this month’s author Auralee Wallace and the first chapter from her upcoming novel Sidekick.

 Not everyone gets to be Batman.  Someone has to be Robin.

Bremy St. James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St. James, has been cut-off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit.  To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the circus is in town – a psychotic circus that has just robbed her of every last penny.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder.  This gives Bremy an idea.  Why not apprentice as a superhero?  Sure, Ryder doesn’t seem too keen on the idea, but that’s a minor detail for a girl not used to hearing the word no.

Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls – Tellulah Darling

200px-Pinky_and_the_Brain_vol1Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls was just plain adorable. Sam is sweet and sexy and Ally a refreshingly intelligent heroine. Told in alternating POV’s these lifelong best friends may seem to be  a strange combination on the surface. Classic opposites he’s Pinky to her Brain and they have a simple understanding he is the fun and frivolous one and she is the serious, slightly geeky part of the equation and this works for them until Ally’s “douche bag” of a boyfriend breaks up with her. What is a girl to do? The answer is obvious have your woman loving bestie turn you from a chokin’ to smokin’, unfortunately Sam’s make over works a little too well. Then what’s a self respecting player to do? Well to find out you will have to read it yourself.

SCIGTGThe title really says it all, Sam’s guide, consisting of steps named suspiciously like porn star names, is the answer to his best friend Ally’s dilemma when her pretentious  prat of a boyfriend dumps her on her birthday no less. Sam is none to pleased with the idea of applying his proven method makeover his best friend and he is even less pleased at his reaction to the result.

Why the hell can’t chicks be more like guys?

That question plagues high school senior Sam Cruz. Sam is perfectly happy being a player. He just wishes girls wouldn’t change the game from sex to relationships. It makes him look like an asshole. But when Sam’s best friend, Ally Klinger, gets dumped, she begs him to transform her into someone who can screw around then screw off. No risk of heartbreak that way. It’s Sam’s chance to create the perfect female AND cheer up his best friend. Armed with Sam’s Three Step Guide to Backseat Success, Ally gets the game better than Sam thought she would and before long, Sam has his wish: the female version of himself. Too bad it’s driving him nuts. Told from Sam’s and Ally’s alternating POVs, Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is a fast-paced YA romantic comedy that follows these teens as they navigate the minefield of sex, love, and friendship.

This book contains strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow.”

Tellulah Darling has written a fun, frothy adorably sweet but never saccharine Pygmalion type tale complete with a kitten and smart only slightly self deluded characters trying to find their way to love and shockingly finding each other instead. Pearl Petworth says read this book…now.

AUTHOR: Tellulah Darling

RATING: 4 Stars

GENRE: YA Fiction

Red Fox Experiment in Terror #2 – Karina Halle

Haunted lighthouses are just the beginning…

A New Mexican dusk
A New Mexican dusk (Photo credit: james_michael_hill)

Reading the Experiment in Terror series brings out conflicting impulses in me. I simultaneously want to rewatch old episodes of X-Files and/or Supernatural and retake abnormal psych. Don’t get me wrong I got an A in that class, probably why I find myself psychoanalyzing pretty much every character I read about up to and including Perry and Dex …okay and everyone else I meet too but that isn’t the point.

Ghost-hunters Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the wild coast of Oregon for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico, hoping to find the creatures responsible for terrorizing a Navajo couple.

Experiment in Terror has been grudgingly approved by Shownet and the onus is on Perry and Dex to make a success of it. Maximus, an old band mate of Dex’s, contact the pair after determining that the unexplained events taking place in Red Fox are beyond his questionable ghost whispering abilities. Perry and Dex have to pose as a married couple to stay with the devoutly religious Navajo couple which challenges Perry’s already conflicted feelings about her partner.

And that was exactly why I didn’t ever want to give a single ounce of myself away to Dex. He lulls me into a false sense of security and then treads all over me. Damn him and his stupid mustache.

Red Fox Book CoversRed Fox is but the second piece in an ever deepening mystery not only of what is causing animals to appear out of nowhere in a locked room, or rocks to pelt the house without known origin, but more so that of the characters of Perry and Dex. Karina Halle‘s sophomore effort proves that the downright creepiness of Darkhouse was not a fluke and has drafted a fascinating, strangely eerie tale which will likely cause her readers to think twice before wandering off into the New Mexican desert without proper supernatural protection.

AUTHOR: Karina Halle

RATING: 4 1/2  Stars

GENRE: Fiction

  • Red Fox (chippyreader.wordpress.com)

Flat Out Love – Jessica Park

Why I Flat Out Love Jessica Park

I feel like I should be wearing a Neitzsche is my Homeboy t-shirt as I write this review. Why, you may ask? Well you will have to read the book to find out. I have read Jessica Park’s Flat Out Love about four or five times since it’s publication in April 2011 and it is one of those rare books that improves each time you read it. It is a very misleading story, the cover and even the tone of the writing initially seem whimsical. A friend who read it recently asked me “why I didn’t warn her” quite simply it is a book that you just have to experience for yourself.

It’s not about a secret, it’s about a journey…

Julie has just found out first hand why you should never rent an apartment through Craig’s List. When she arrives in Boston ready to commence her college career instead of the 1 bedroom walk up agreed upon she finds a burrito stand instead. This might not be catastrophic under other circumstances but in a college town in August…

Coincidentally, Julie’s mother’s college roommate lives in Boston and after a panicked phone call she sends her son Matt to rescue Julie from the mean streets. It doesn’t take Julie long to realize that something is amiss in the Watkins household. Granted as the children of two professors dinnertime conversation is closer to a review of the global political climate than what happened on Jersey Shore last night but Celeste’s, the Watkins’ 13 year old daughter, attachment to a life size cutout of her older brother Finn is more than a bit eccentric.

Finn’s absence and Matt’s demanding schedule as a student at MIT make Julie’s continued residence with the Watkins family and companion to Celeste a natural progression. What is more unexpected is the relationship that develops between Finn the eldest Watkins son and Julie via Facebook.

Flat Out Love Series

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS – IF YOU HAVE NOT READ FLAT OUT LOVE – READ NO FARTHER (THAT MEANS YOU ANNIK!)

As I stated above there is no point in reading Flat Out Matt unless you have read Flat Out Love. Rather than a complete story it is a number of chapters taken from Flat Out Love and reinterpreted from Matt’s POV. Be advised that there are a couple of prologue type scenes that spoil the twist ending of FOL. For those of us who couldn’t get enough of Flat Out Love (pretty much everyone) and Matt too this is a welcome addition. I can only hope that upcoming revised edition of Flat Out Love incorporates Flat Out Matt and more. Regardless I am sure I will reread them both.

Jessica Park has taken a simple coming of age story and reinterpreted it in such a manner as anyone, even those of us who fell in love for the first time decades ago can relate and journey along with Julie to her HEA. She is truly a gifted writer and I am anxiously looking forward to her upcoming work.

AUTHOR: Jessica Park

RATING: 5  Stars

GENRE: Fiction

Darkhouse Experiment in Terror #1 – Karina Halle

Here is a short list of places I am now scared to go, thanks to reading Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series: lighthouses, the New Mexican desert, old hotels…wait no, that was because of The Shining but I am sure if I wasn’t already afraid, I would be after reading The Benson. I suppose things could be worse and I could be afraid to go into my own basement as Stephen King is purported to be.

After reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I realized that I missed the horror novels of my teenaged years. I discovered Darkhouse on my go to site for book discovery Goodreads and in doing so have rediscovered another significant love from my past The X-Files reincarnated in the characters of Declan (Dex) Foray and Perry Palomino. Dare I say that Dex and Perry are in their own way better than *gasp* Mulder and Scully. So much of the romance between The X-Files’ FBI agents took place off screen or was only suggested to the viewer and to a die hard romantic like myself it was just a tease. Despite the obstacles  between them the sexual tension is palpable almost immediately.

“There’s always been some­thing a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been deal­ing with a quarter-life cri­sis and post-college syn­drome like any other twen­tysome­thing, she’s still not what you would call “ordi­nary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pre­tend never hap­pened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luck­ily for her, that all comes in handy when she stum­bles across Dex Foray, an eccen­tric webcast pro­ducer. Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threat­ens her life and seduces her with a sense of impor­tance.

An abandoned lighthouse is the setting of Perry and Dex’s inauspicious first meeting. After Perry posts the footage from this terrifying encounter on her sister’s blog she sets in motion events that will threaten not only her sanity but her life as well.

Darkhouse was an eerie story rather than downright scary, that being said I did find myself putting down my trusty e-reader and turning in for the night more than once when I was alone in the house after an encounter with the ghostly occupant of the lighthouse. Karina Halle has expertly crafted a story with engaging characters that will bring readers back again and again.

AUTHOR: Karina Halle

RATING: 4 1/2  Stars

GENRE: Fiction

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Do Nice Guys Finish Last in LOST and in Literature?

Lost - Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Michael
Lost – Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Michael (Photo credit: wcm1111)

Being a perpetual student I am certain that at some point I will have to do a dissertation. Thankfully, I already have my topic selected, “Determining Your Future Romantic Success Based On Your Choice Between The Lead Characters On LOST.” If you are not familiar with it, the hit series aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 2004 to May 2010. The equal parts sci-fi and supernatural series featured the survivors of an airline crash who are marooned on an island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean between Sydney, Australia  and Los Angeles, USA.

Although it was hardly the main focus of the show, shortly after the crash a love triangle formed between three of the principle characters, the protagonist Jack Shepherd,  Kate Austen and James “Sawyer” Ford. Therein lies the  crux of my argument, despite his issues Jack embodied the stereotypical “nice guy or white knight” and Sawyer, the conman could be nothing other than the “bad boy.”  Ultimately and with much back and forth over six seasons Kate did pick Jack but was this simply a fictional construct done at the behest of the fans? Furthermore by the end of the series had Sawyer become a “nice guy” by, for all intents and purposes, settling down with Juliette?

http://savingpeople.livejournal.com/384125.html
http://savingpeople.livejournal.com/384125.html

Recently, I have noticed a disturbing trend, by the end of the story the “bad boy” is completely redeemed and seemingly not only ready but eager to settle down with the heroine complete with a white picket fence and two point five children. I seem to have become less willing to suspend disbelief that this is actually in any way realistic. Am I just being obstreperous? Yet this was my thought upon finishing both Hopeless and Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover and again when I completed Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. Perhaps this is just a trend with New Adult literature about which I am still trying to decide how I feel?

Again I come back to the same point, if what we read is simply entertainment then go ahead turn every bad boy into the model of domesticity. What I find contentious is if these stories perpetuate the belief that the smoking drinking philandering parolees that I hear about every morning on 99.9’s Bad Boyfriend Poker to make this transformation we are bound for disappointment.

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201211/why-nice-guys-and-gals-finish-last-in-love

http://www.collegemagazine.com/editorial/1586/The-Nice-Guy-Vs-The-Bad-Boy