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Smashwords book reviews by Therra Dren
- Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #1
on Dec. 11, 2012
This is a fantastically great action spy novel that was fun to read from the first page to the last. The dead body under the bed and the hilarious antics following its discovery were reminiscent of Arsenic and Old Lace. I'm ready to visit the Bard's Bed and Breakfast right now!
- A Plague O' Both Your Houses: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #2
on Dec. 12, 2012
This second Bard's Bed and Breakfast gem was even better than the first. And that's saying a lot! The writing has tightened up with the perfect combination of action, suspense and humor. I especially appreciated the addition of some great characters who I'm hoping will become regulars. I can't wait for Bea & Ben's Next Excellent Adventure!
- Run for Your Life, Riley Horton!: A
on Dec. 14, 2012
Since I have already read and enjoyed twelve of Sara Barton's previous books, when this one came out I didn't even bother to read what it was about. I just downloaded it and dove right in. It took me a few chapters to get into the rhythm of the book but once I did there was no stopping me! This was a very intriguing novella that was similar to the Bodacious Baby Boomer books insomuch as a 'civilian' becomes caught up in the machinations of government agencies vs. baddies. My favorite type of book! Riley isn't a stereotypical timid librarian. She's intelligent and spirited and I couldn't help but compare her to the character Evelyn Carnahan from "The Mummy".
Evelyn: Look, I ... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
Evelyn: I ... am a librarian.
This is a very strong introduction to the "Tell No One" series. I am definitely looking forward to more!
- Seeing Stars
on Dec. 19, 2012
At the beginning of the book I thought it was just going to be a narrative of the author's visit with her sons to Universal Studios Hollywood and almost stopped reading.
But since I grew up in that area "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" (when I NEVER would have dreamt that we would EVER have subways in our seismically challenged land) I got a bit nostalgic and decided to continue. I am so glad I did because very soon the magic of their fantastic journey began.
I especially liked the separate experiences of the mother and the sons (surprisingly, I could relate to all of both side's experiences) and how they came together at the end for a very satisfying finale.
- It Will Be Our Little Secret: A Bodacious Baby Boomer Escapade #3
on Dec. 25, 2012
Although billed as A Bodacious Baby Boomer Escapade #3, given its release date I believe this was probably written prior to the other two books in this series. It was shorter than and not as complex as "The Deadly Secret of Dr. Arcanum Lock's Evolutionary Spirit Project" or "Where There's Smoke, There's Prometheus" (my AND my husband's favorite of the series) but still an enjoyable and satisfying mystery/suspense/romance nonetheless.
Bren is another strong female character who isn't afraid to tackle the unexpected with the help of her boyfriend Kel's delightfully spunky grandson Nate and Nate's great-grandmother Claudia. I loved how those two characters interacted with each other. Bantering back and forth, calling each other "Alien Devil" and "Spawn of Saturn's lawless frontier". Such a fun and wonderful relationship. And that defines this book for me, fun and wonderful!
- Where's Hansel and Gretel's Gingerbread House?: A Gabby Grimm Fairy Tale Mystery #2
on Jan. 03, 2013
"Snow White and the Hunter" was a wonderful read. But in this second installment Sara Barton once again outdoes herself by tightening up her writing with the perfect combination of action, suspense and humor, while adding depth to Deputy Gabby Grimm. She takes Gabby out of her Vermont comfort zone to the aid of her rather naive cousin Annette in the badlands of New York. Their "Road To" Black Forest Farm trek is as eventful and hilarious as any of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope's escapades. Overall this is a top notch thriller that's fun to read!
- Square Dance with a Scandalous Skunk: A Dance with Danger Mystery #1
on Jan. 05, 2013
I watch a couple of house renovation shows on HGTV and couldn't help but think about them while reading the travails of Suzanne and Jasper in this wonderful little psychological thriller.
Luckily the "Property Brothers" have never come across a dead body on any of their renovation jobs ... yet!
And digging up a dead body on "Love It Or List It"? Hillary would probably just worry about the chunk of money it would take out of her allotted budget and how she couldn't give the owners the Dream Basement Hockey Rink they just couldn't live without!
Oh, yes, I had a LOT of fun reading this one. Next stop, The Dance with Danger Mystery Anthology, "No Hiding Behind the Potted Palms!"
- What Evil Lurks in Monet's Pond: A
on Jan. 20, 2013
Maisie Carr is another wonderfully strong female lead with a very unique position with the CIA.
This book was an absolute joy to read. I loved the family values and genuine love of what our wonderful Country really stands for. "Truth, Justice and the American Way" isn't dead yet!
This is a very strong introduction to the "Paint an Impression of Murder" series. I am definitely looking forward to more!
Thank you Sara Barton, this was just what I needed right now! YOU are an American Treasure!
- Murder on the High Seas: A Practical Caregiver Caper #1
on Jan. 20, 2013
This little gem was a very enjoyable suspense filled mystery with a touch of romance that was both interesting and well written.
I really enjoyed the characters, especially the "pestering" Gully. And since I'm a Pisces who doesn't like water, except to drink, the peek into cruising the high seas was educational.
Next Stop, The Practical Caregiver Capers Anthology, "Having a Killer Time, Wish You Were Here!"
- Henry Hartman's Holiday Crisis: An
on Jan. 28, 2013
Henry Hartman may be "a big, fat liar" but he's a terrific character! I really like that he's an FBI agent who uses his wits and wit just as much, if not more, than his fists to get the job done. A Sam Axe kind of guy.
Henry and Syd are a great team, but the real shining stars of this book are the matriarchal members of Henry's family. These ladies are savvy, just as conniving as Henry, and a hoot to boot! They stole the book right out from under Henry and Syd's noses!
Once again Sara Barton starts off a new series with a bang up job. I can't wait for the next "Off-the-Books" installment.
- Having a Killer Time, Wish You Were Here! A Practical Caregiver Caper #6
on Feb. 06, 2013
What a wonderful Anthology! Once again Sara Barton's writing delivered a bit of pleasure into my life.
After spending a WEEK reading Nelson DeMille's The Panther I was in desperate need of something lighter and uplifting. This book of short novellas was just what the doctor ordered, no pun intended.
These well written stories were an excellent mixture of friendship, caring, romance, mystery and intrigue. A little something for everyone.
Overall this was an entertaining and refreshing diversion that is well worth a read!
- Nearly Departed
on Feb. 23, 2013
I absolutely LOVED this book. It is an intelligently written and quite humorous, ghost story mystery.
Always love a good con, and with both Dr. September and Bobo (whom I pictured as Izzy from "The Mummy Returns") running theirs separately and then together, well what's NOT to love!
Lots of twists and turns to the storyline to keep the readers on their toes, and the ending was one of the best that I've read in a very long time.
The addition of September and his buddy Luke taking the real life San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour was icing on the cake.
Very well done, Mr. Schlienger. I hope to see more of your work in the future.
- No Hiding Behind the Potted Palms! A Dance with Danger Mystery #7
on March 03, 2013
I have now read every fiction book that Sara Barton has written for adults. I had even read the last novella of this anthology already. But I was still not prepared for being totally blown away by the absolute WOW factor of these stories!
Each and every one had my total concentration and kept me reading just a few more pages before I "stop for the night; get dinner started; get something to drink; go to the bathroom!" These novellas really were that great. I was constantly getting emotionally involved with the characters, worrying over their predicaments like they were my own. And then, just when I thought I was absolutely sure what the outcome would be, POW, another twist!
Whew, I can breath again. Just in time to wait with bated breath for something new from this most excellent author.
- Where There's Smoke, There's Prometheus: A Bodacious Baby Boomer Escapade #1
on March 09, 2013
EXCELLENT EXCELLENT READ
My husband and I both agree that this is the best "Bodacious Baby Boomer Escapade" of the series!
Exciting, entertaining and a joy to read. The perfect blend of action and intrigue interspersed with some really way out there characters. Learning about the 50 year Soviet plot to penetrate the U.S. government was quite unexpected and chilling.
Cannot recommend this one highly enough!!!
- The Deadly Secret of Dr. Arcanum Lock's Evolutionary Spirit Project: A Bodacious Baby Boomer Escapade #2
on March 09, 2013
I originally read this back in December 2012 when it was free and I didn't yet have an account with Smashwords. I appreciate the "Read an Ebook Week Specials" so that I could add it to my account and write this review.
This is an intelligently written thriller with a dynamic main character.
Way back in 1965 Gillian Goodwin and many other unsuspecting innocent children were unwittingly manipulated by the chilling Dr. Arcanum Lock at his "camp" for child psychics.
Now she is confused and doubting both herself and those nearest and dearest to her, never really sure whom she can trust to the very end.
A top notch adventure from start to finish! I highly recommend!
- Little Red Riding Hood and the Secret Cookie Recipe: A Gabby Grimm Fairy Tale Mystery #3
on March 21, 2013
This is by far the most ambitious venture by Sara Barton since "Where There's Smoke, There's Prometheus". It is more intense and complicated than the first two Gabby Grimm books without going over the top. Gritty and suspenseful while still keeping that touch of charm and class.
Enjoyed the bringing together of so many characters from the previous books. Some who only had bit parts before got to shine with beefier roles here. Even Gabby herself was allowed to grow and bring her natural leadership abilities into the limelight.
I was especially glad to have Sam back, and appreciated how the relationship between Sam and Gabby was handled. It is acknowledged that they're having an intimate relationship without all the gory details! Steamy scenes make my husband blush. LOL
Thank you, Sara Barton, for another thrilling mystery for both of us!
- Wind-Scarred (The Will of the Elements, Book 1)
on April 03, 2013
I enjoyed this book IMMENSELY! It reminds me a lot of a GOOD Jack Chalker book, without the perversions.
I'm about half way through Book 2, and it just keeps getting better and better. Do I detect just a wee bit of Han Solo in Mat?
I highly recommend this book and wish to truly encourage Sky Luke Corbelli in his writing career.
- Water-Seer (The Will of the Elements, Book 2)
on April 05, 2013
Even though I'm a huge fan of the first eight seasons of Stargate SG-1, wormhole physics always left me cold. But man, Ezra Hawkins makes it FUN! Oh wow, how dense can I be? I just realized that Ezra is a descendant of Stephen Hawkins!
Anyway, I loved all the manipulating of the wormholes that Ezra pulled off and how he kept stumbling upon new ways to use them AND his new abilities. Especially liked when he was hanging with the hilarious "you really do belong in my cosca" Kirin, and Jonus (sooo picturing Stoick the Vast from How to Train Your Dragon). They were a classic combination.
Ciela is a wonderful new addition to the group. Lots of chemistry between her and Mat, that scoundrel. Everything better strucking work out well in the next book! Sure am glad I've already got it.
Oh, and even the chapter titles were fun. "All Your Base" hee hee.
- Child of Lightning (The Will of the Elements, Book 3)
on April 10, 2013
An extremely wonderful conclusion to an extraordinary trilogy!
I couldn't tear myself away from these three books. I tried to take a break between each book to decompress with a short read but every time I decided no, I've GOT to know what's next, and thus read the next one.
Kudos, Sky Luke Corbelli. I take my hat off to you for entertaining me most profoundly. Oh, and here ... you win the sunglasses.