Every Wild Heart: A Novel
Every Wild Heart is the story of a woman, Gail, and her daughter, Nic. Gail Gideon is a radio personality who gives no-nonsense advice about love to her listeners. She’s built a sort of empire around her brand, including writing a book. Her minor fame often brings major issues, like rabid fans and stalkers from whom she must protect her privacy.
Nic is a painfully shy girl with a stutter. She lives for the days when she can leave school and ride her horse, Tru. One day, she takes Tru on a trail ride. She tries to jump over a fallen tree, but she falls off the horse and slips into a coma. When she awakens, her stutter is gone and she has a new sense of adventure. After her inhibitions fall away, Nic decides to train an abused horse, Peach, in secret.
This book is about the tug-of-war relationships mothers have with their teenage daughters, the efforts mothers make to protect their daughters, and the lengths to which their daughters will go to subvert them. With Nic’s newfound confidence, Gail feels the need to rein her in. But Gail ultimately realizes that she was the same way when she was fourteen years old. Every Wild Heart is a wonderful story to read for Mother’s Day.
William Morrow Paperbacks
The Sisters by Claire Douglas is one outstanding novel. One that compels readers to keep turning the pages. Two sisters…one died and the other still lives. The sister that lives has her world turned upside down. Her way of surviving is seeing her sister’s similarities in other girls. Once she sees someone with her dead sister’s qualities or personality she then attaches herself to that person. The only way to coping with her sister’s loss, Abi finds the tiniest things that remind her of her sister. In her mind she lets her sister live on…but she knows it’s not always good to do so. Readers will be caught breathless as they following Abi’s journey into surviving.
Claire Douglas is a talented writer whose world of fiction lures readers instantly. The world is so much like our own. Readers can easily connect with Abi and her loss. Her feelings automatically become the reader’s own emotions. The plot thickens as Abi sets herself up for failure, stress, and danger. So many what ifs and the suspense is high. The Sisters is a must read for all. The characters are so believable and the plot is fast-paced. Readers won’t know what really happening or going on until the ending. The lies told in this psychological thriller will keep readers, at the edge of their seats.
This was the first novel, I have read by Claire Douglas. I loved reading her debut novel and look forward to reading more of her works in the future. It was absolutely thrilling. Overall, I highly recommend The Sisters to readers worldwide.
The Sword of Telemon
Eiland’s Sword of Telemon is the first in the four-book Orfeo Saga. The story opens with Orfeo struggling to fit in upon returning to his family/tribe after having spent several years as a hostage in the city of Pylos. Shortly after the story opens, Orfeo’s brother Herron is taken as a slave by raiders.
Kiros, father of Orfeo and Herron, and King of the Achians (Achaeans), gathers the tribe at Delphi so that a plan of rescue may be formulated. In the end, Orfeo, the Wanderer known as Zurga, the hero Telemon (Telamon), and Telemon’s second, Orton, are dispatched on a diplomatic mission to ransom Herron or buy him from the slavers. Along the way to Pylos, Orfeo begins lessons in swordplay with Telemon. Zurga, whose role as a Wanderer puts me in mind of the Druids, teaches Orfeo the wisdom of the Wanderers. Together, Zurga and Telemon polish Orfeo as a craftsman polishes and shapes a raw gem to reveal the brilliance hidden within.
Things don’t go as planned with the retrieval, of course, and the group ends up tangling with a conquering people known as the Therans. Orfeo, accompanied by a young woman named Clarice, leaves the group to continue the search for the missing heir. Zurga, Telemon, Orton, and Nadahr, another Wanderer, recognize the danger the Therans pose, and remain behind to gather the various tribes together and begin arranging a defense against Theran incursion.
Orfeo and Clarice, traveling as entertainers, end up being invited to Thera by a man called Draik. Since they now believe Herron has been taken to Thera, they jump on the invitation and become contracted performers for Draik. For a while they are lulled into being at ease among the Therans, but that lasts only until things begin going south for the Therans in their war efforts. They seek scapegoats and turn on Draik, seeing his contributions to said war efforts as causing the failures. He is taken for treason, and the entertainer contracts he held are divvied up among the royals.
Orfeo and Clarice are nearly ready to abandon their search and flee Thera, when Clarice stumbles upon Herron. Mission complete, they flee Thera just in time, as the volcanic island decides to blow a gasket. Even so, the ship they are fleeing on is destroyed in the ensuing tsunami. The story goes on to tell the fates of the major players, some rather surprising.
Fun stuff: I really enjoy historical novels that look at the events that may be the seeds to myth and legend, in this case, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The supernatural elements are weeded out, leaving behind a story more realistically plausible. This story also provided a unique and different take on Thera, known today as Santorini — one place believed to have been fabled Atlantis. Orfeo and Clarice weather the fury of one of the most deadly volcano eruptions of the time, one that fair wiped out a civilization.
Not so fun stuff: The story started a bit too slow for me. The prose can be flowy. I do feel that there is much that could be condensed or chopped entirely. The story needs another good proofing. There were a scattering of grammar and spelling errors, along with some inconsistencies. Two that really stick out in my mind are a description of Orfeo waking with his left hand clasping his left arm, and referencing both Zeus and Mars in regards to the same character. If they are Greeks, it would Ares instead of Mars. I have the same qualm about the use of Vulcan instead of Hephaestus. I also had a disagreement with some of the variant spellings (Achian/Achaean, Telemon/Telamon, Orfeo/Orpheus).
However, all that being said, Eiland’s Sword of Telemon, is a delightful sojourn to an ancient time. I loved it so much that I just bought the complete four-book set. If you enjoy historical fiction, or Greek history and mythology, this book is sure to please. Come, walk with Orfeo as he finds himself and comes into his own, as a warrior, as a scholar, as a man of the Achaeans and a man apart from the Achaeans. This is a brilliant rendering of a classic myth, and a coming of age story easy to relate to, especially if you’re a little on the eccentric side, like me! Orfeo must learn where he truly fits in given the vastly different experiences he’s had and doesn’t always find it an easy thing to do.
It certainly starts with a kick and makes you ask questions that are later answered but from there on, I struggled a little until around the ten percent, there were loads of characters introduced and I found it difficult to keep up. Also the formatting wasn´t all that good this made me want to give up a couple of times, but once I got over it, I found the book to be thrilling.
Dane Alexander is the main character and after he is introduced there are some basic character development to help understand his background. I enjoyed the Dane Alexander character the best of all; he was refreshing. The childhood he has had helped him make some of the decisions he makes during the book.
The downside to the whole novel is that it is not a new idea, but put that to one side and you have a solid book. There are plenty of twists and turns, adventure and thrills which will keep you reading into the night. The plot is engaging and it gets the reader asking questions about what is right and wrong within large companies. The plot could be something that is actually happening in some part of the world.
The part where Dane dismantles the plane engine was great, although, I thought it would be hard to do so in the time frame written, but after all it is only a book.
I couldn´t warm up to the Rick Wrights character; cold and a little in-human, he comes across as a person locked into a life he isn´t enjoying with no way of it getting better. The author has described this character well.
The ending was even more fast paced than the rest of the book, tying thing up nicely. The title is very apt and suitable and the cover could be a little better. This is an interesting suspense techno-thriller.
The Lame Duck
Dr. Bob Cassidy, a caring selfless physician in a small rural Pennsylvania town, seems doomed for failure. During his two-and-a-half-year practice, Bob has been riddled with three mysteriously unsubstantiated malpractice suits. To add insult to injury, he is also surrounded by a group of powerful miscreants who wouldn’t love anything more than to see his career destroyed. Although Bob feels that he’s being set up when the attractive Angela Fratello—better known as the “Angel of Death” malpractice lawyer—seeks his medical expertise regarding her infected toe, the two, ironically, fall in love. Yet the plot only thickens when Bob decides to stand up to his enemies, instead of following Angela’s advice to get professional help.
Internist and author Bernard Leo Remakus offers his reading audience a view into the darker side of the medical world in his fourth novel. Remakus includes a host of carefully crafted characters that range from simple town folk to downright depraved individuals. In fact, many of Remakus’ well-developed cast will undoubtedly rub readers the wrong way, especially when they take jabs at meek Dr. Bob, who is clearly an underdog. Remakus’ lowlife cast serves another purpose in building the good doc’s persona—so much more than readers could ever possibly imagine.
While his audience wonders about Dr. Bob ultimate destiny, Remakus amuses them by providing hefty amounts of information besides background on Dr. Bob’s life, his father, and his adversaries—all punctuated with periodic romantic scenes. Remakus fills whole chapters in his third person narrative with apt medically-related information in connection with Dr. Bob’s patients, Angela’s physical conditions, other patient situations, and most importantly the real picture behind medical malpractice. Although the information may appear to slow down the plot a bit, Remakus’ purpose behind the information is to better define Dr. Bob’s world—indeed a foreign one, especially to those outside the medical profession. Besides all of the above-mentioned literary elements, Remakus also throws in random twists and turns along the way to keep his narrative moving. Closing unexpectedly, The Lame Duck is one fascinating read!
Amelia (Mel) Harper is plagued with dreams, ever since the loss of her parents in a car accident. Longing for interpretations to the vivid images that make her toss and turn at night, she finds solace in confiding her nightmares to a mysterious older gentleman named Harry, who only communicates to her through written messages. Although he offers good counsel, Mel’s problems are suddenly compounded by other perplexing situations, especially a call from a travel agency seeking confirmation to travel plans for two that she neither booked, nor paid for. When she decides to ask her best friend, Kevin, if he’d go with her and he accepts the invitation, Kevin is unaware of the background to this trip, as well as Mel’s hidden agenda – her sense that she is suppose to be there for something much more than a nice vacation. True to her instincts, what unfolds is a situation that is not only totally unexpected, but also metaphysically mind boggling.
In her debut novel, Kirk has produced a tale replete with unique characters that embody sturdy personality traits, in particular Mel — the lead protagonist. Written in first-person narrative, Mel recounts what takes place after her parents’ demise. Her life is pretty much centered on her work and her familial, platonic, and mysterious relationships that she has with her grandpa, Kevin, and Harry, respectively. Kirk keeps the plot crisp and flowing by slowly building suspense through Mel’s evolving dreams and the cryptic signs she discovers along the way, which are juxtaposed by her tight-knit relationships and by incorporating dangling closures to chapters that don’t immediately resolve in subsequent chapters.
Constant Pull may be earmarked as contemporary fiction; however, it leans more toward a thriller. Kirk has shrewdly integrated non stereotypical anticipation with the possibility of impending romance. Book one, which concludes with a riveting cliffhanger, will definitely leave readers yearning for the next in a brilliantly prospective series.