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A BRILLIANT DECEPTION: An AB&T Novel ~Kim Foster

Monday, July 20th, 2015

When Kim Foster sent me an email asking if I would like to review her new book I jumped at the opportunity.  I have reviewed her first two books in this series, A Beautiful Heist  and A Magnificent Crime over the past several years and I could hardly wait to dive into this new book and see what Cat Montgomery was up to these days.   Within the first two pages, the reader is whisked off to Venice and quite the adventure.

Cat Montgomery is a jewel thief for the Agency of Burglary &Theft.  She is very good at her job as she steals back famous and expensive pieces of jewelry taken up by the wealthy; what has been stolen from somewhere else.    She is just off a heist of a famous necklace from a hotel safe in Los Angeles when she is pulled into a job in England of the Lionheart ruby ring.  The ring has been found in a grave in the UK.  With all her planning and care the Caliga, a notorious crime organization takes the ring just minutes before she arrives.   Her job now is to return the ring to England and rescue her new co-worker.

A BRILLIANT DECEPTION brings the whole team back together and Ethan, Jack, Brooke, and a new character Felix join the planning and head off to Venice to retrieve the ring and steal it back.  A love triangle forms which adds and interesting dimension to the fast and furious pursuit of the ring.

The writing is good and well paced and I just leaned into this read and found it hard to put down.  When I did need to do something different, it was easy to come back to and the story moved very well.   It was a good adventure and I liked the ending.

I did find it hard that Cat’s mother did not figure into the story as much, but she was instrumental in starting Cat thinking about a new career or about how to use her skills in a more productive direction.

Great for the beach – lighthearted and fun, it was interesting to explore some English History and the Robin Hood legend further.  I highly recommend this story and this author.  I believe that everyone will enjoy A BRILLIANT DECEPTION.

Kim Foster is the author of the Agency of Burglary and Theft Series of Thrillers. She first got her degree in Medicine and has been a family physician in Victoria, British Columbia for sixteen years.   Online, you can find her blogging about her left-brain, right-brain mash-up on www.kimfoster.com.  Kim lives with her husband and their two young boys.  She is hard at work on her next book and drinking a lot of coffee. (from the book cover)

Foster is making some special offers on Facebook to promote A BRILLIANT DECEPTION

Related:
A Beautiful Heist 
A Magnificent Crime

THE SERPENT OF VENICE: A Satire ~Written by the witty, clever, author, Christopher Moore

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

“Shakespeare and Poe might be rolling in their graves, but they’re rolling with laughter.  Moore is one of the cleverest, naughtiest writers alive.” ~Carl Hiaasen (cover)

Christopher Moore enthusiasts will love this book.  Teenage boys who need to read THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by the Bard will love reading this book.  Teenagers will love this book and the irreverent humor and saucy taste of Shakespeare’s famous comedy.

“Moore’s greatest asset is his skill with language. Readers with a certain Monty Python nerdiness will rejoice in its hundreds of insults…and jokes… Witty and wise…Serpent is a bright, quick novel.” ~ USA TODAY  (cover)

Yes, indeed THE SERPENT OF VENICE is all of this and these reviewers who are paid for their words folks are absolutely spot on with the thoughts they share.   I did read this book cover to cover in 6 hours, it is Christopher Moore in full – bodied wetsuit of jest, humor and brawdy paraphrasing of Shakespeare’s glorious comedy.

I did laugh several times, and I know 3 older women who have shared PRACTICAL DEMONKEEPING, another Moore novel, with our book group, which we all enjoyed.   I found THE SERPENT OF VENICE over the top and  I believe F*#K is definitely not my favorite adjective.  The serpent was a delightful addition to the story, Pocket was a great and clever court jester-emissary-narrator and the women were just amazing.  Pocket’s sidekicks Drool, the muscle guy, and Jeff, the monkey, were just so-so characters and helpmates to the story.   I did enjoy the parallels and additions and then I just got tired of reading the book.   I would not read the story again, but I have referred the book to Mothers of 15-year-old boys who are not reading much of anything right now; the first report is that one son thought it was great and is currently reading it.

I did feel compelled to look up The Merchant of Venice in Spark Notes* and that was so reassuring that I borrowed my daughter’s complete Shakespeare and read the comedy start to finish; enjoyed the humor and rough language immensely in true form.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for sharing this new book with me.

In Christopher Moore’s own words:

(The afterword was the best part for me) “ The point of this, I suppose, is that I didn’t intend The Serpent of Venice to be a story about discrimination, although discrimination is manifest among the characters.  For me, it’s a story about hypocrisy and greed, courage and grief, anger and revenge.  But most important, I wanted it to be a story that shows how cool it would be to have your own dragon, which I have wanted since I was five.”

Bio and links:

“Christopher Moore is the author of thirteen previous novels, including Lamb, The stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacre’ Bleu, and A Dirty Job.  He lives in San Francisco, California” (back cover)

www.chrismoore.com
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Related:
Strings and Bones
The Crown 
The Chalice  
Equal Rites 

INAMORATA: a Novel ~Megan Chance

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

“Inamorata: a woman with whom one is in love or has intimate relations; to inspire with love.”  (dictionary)

“Succubus: A demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep” (dictionary)


The artist’s muse has always been an important mythology and particularly during the 1700s in Italy.  Who inspired the great works of poetry, music, sculpture and paintings?  It could not just be the artist themselves, it had to be a god or a demon which freed the spirit and produced the fame and fortune of their work.  I personally believe this idea has been around for all the ages and I hear writers speak of it now and entrepreneurial spirits also.

INAMORATA is just one of those stories with some nice twists and turns to increase the historic romance qualities.  The beauty, sex, and expectations are all centered around Venice during this interpretation of the story because a stunning Courtesan is living within the city – Odile’ Léon.   Nicholas has figured her out and all the dead bodies floating by and is going to reveal her true nature to the world to cause her destruction.

Young twins arrive in Venice, one an artist the other a storyteller, to find fame and fortune and make a name for themselves.  They are intensely attractive and talented.  They were orphaned as children and only have each other to depend on for their livelihood.  Nicholas is trying to shield them and connect them to the proper sponsors and Léon is trying to find them to perpetuate her life.

One of my most favorite twists in INAMORATA is the Odile’ Léon, after 350+ years would like not to just give artists fame and fortune before she sucks the creativity out of them, she herself wishes for fame!    She has all the fortune she needs, yet she wishes to have her own abilities to remain a part of history and the mythology.  This tale gives her name to the world, but does the demon muse still live on today?

The demon muse theme has come to my attention numerous times in my studies and where as I love the romantic concepts it inspires I now see more where the theme brings along so much destruction of the human spirit and may even block a great mind in the current technological generation.  Steve Jobs comes to mind, his eating pure, meditation, and clean lifestyle allowed creativity to flow in huge bounds of energy release.

INAMORATA is definitely a good read if you like romantic historic fiction and it will capture your attention. I would recommend this book to young adult readers and creative people. How does your muse assist you in your success?

“Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction.  Her novels have been chosen for the borders Original Voices and IndieBound’s Booksense programs.  A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.”  (from press release)

Megan’s Official website
Also by Chance: Susannah Morrow, An Inconvenient Wife, The Spiritualist, Prima Donna, City of Ash Bone River

tlc logo TLC Online Booktours sent me an unproofed PDF copy of this book for review and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to read this book

Related:
The Forever Man
Painting Juliana
The Quick   
The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend