Usually, I'm a mystery kind of reader. Over the past year, I've stepped out of my box and discovered some delightful surprises.
You'll notice I gave a blurb on the back of this book. It was an honor, because I loved the it. At its heart, this book explores the meaning of family, especially fatherhood. When a twelve-year-old girl shows up at the home belonging to a group of bandmembers, her simple declaration that she's here to spend the summer with her father sets off an unexpected emotional journey for each of the men. None of them, including the girl, knows the identity of her father, which has each of them considering what it would be like with a child. And what could be more complicated or funny than a girl with four dads? Interspersed with present day are flashbacks to the man who inspired the band, Uncle Joe, and his Forest Gump-like knack for being in the right place at the right time, providing inspiration for events that will make you chuckle. A heart-warming, funny tale that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page.
I sat next to author Sara LaFontain at the Tucson Festival of Books. We swapped books. A great deal. No Longer Yours is a sweet and funny romance. Cherry Waites is newly divorced. After discovering her husband's year-long affair, her natural optimism suffers a blip. She starts over in Whispering Pines Village on a small island as a school teacher. Her romantic interest, Matteo Capin, suffers from...but that might be giving too much away. A thoroughly enjoyable romance. The author has other books, which I will check out. I'd love it if they involved these same characters.
And we're jumping from sweet romance to horror. I also met author Danielle McCrory at the TFOB. I am a fan of Dean Koontz, so I looked forward to reading the book. McCrory hit the ground running. Literally. Her protagonist, Jessica Cleary, takes to jogging to help her recover from her father's death. She chooses a path not frequented by others, partly because it's approaching summer in Tucson. That means hot. Her run takes her into Wasp Canyon, and when she makes a gruesome discovery, the race is on. I can't think of a creepier location than a shadowy canyon. So enclosed. So isolated. Brr! And the details of how the creature hunts gave me the heebie-jeebies. The book is fast-paced and will hold you're attention. Just read it with the lights on.
I met Jessika Grewe Glover at our local Barnes & Noble, signing her book. First up, this is a grown-ups book, not another Harry Potter for your kids. The story deals with a deteriorating veil separating the human realm from the Fae. It's loss would mean dire consequences for both races. Neysa, a loner, makes friends with sibling neighbors who have something to hide. In fact, Neysa is hiding something herself, though she doesn't know it. When the truth comes out, she must decide if she's willing to fight alongside her new friends to protect everything they love, and everything she's growing to love, too. In her favor, she's an expert with a sword. This is the first of two books, and it ends on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to get the second book to follow Neysa's journey to its conclusion.