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Searching 4 Mr.Right.com

 Cover Image

Searching4MrRight.com
Rene D. Schultz
ISBN 10: 0979203031
ISBN 13: 978-0979203039
183pp
Light Sword Publishing LLC

 www.searching4mrright.com

 Searching4MrRight.com by Rene Schultz

 Things sure have changed, dating in the 21st century requires much more than a cute outfit and a winning smile – a mix of computer geekism, nerves of steel, the confidence of high powered, Wall Street wheeler-dealers, the patience of Jobe and the ability to laugh as hard at yourself as you most assuredly will at others. In her debut novel, “Searching4MrRight.ComRene Schultz shares her personal journey from frightened divorcee to online dating extraordinaire.

Married at the tender age of 19, Rene’s portrait of wedded bliss was developed inside TV studios, on the sets of family hits, such as “Leave it To Beaver and Father Knows Best.” Back then there was a ‘formula’ for a successful union…Dad goes off to work every morning and Mom stays home, happily cleaning, cooking, shopping and caring for the children. It is important to keep in mind that during this time the emotional side of marriage was a non issue. Hind sight being 20/20 it is easy to see that failing to include the mental health of the marriage in the formula led to many divorces. Such would be the case for Rene, after 24 years and two wonderful children, her marriage ended.

Rene compares her experience to that of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – divorce being the tornado that spun through her life, destroying her well manicured facade, ripping her from her comfort zone and propelling her into a strange, new world. After a few months of self imposed isolation, she was absolutely sure of one thing…that she was not prepared to spend the rest of her life alone! Rene wanted to find someone, the next question was where? Friends encouraged her to get out there and meet new people, however, none of them knew any single men, so blind dates were crossed off the list. Of course there was the whole bar scene, but she wanted to avoid that – seeing as how alcohol severely blurs both the vision and one’s moral compass. Then there was the computer, for the fast-paced, hurry and hustle single, the Internet was quickly becoming the must have tool for dating in the 21st century. From the privacy of her own home she could surf, sort and select potential dates from literally thousands of single men, now that sounded like a win-win and Rene decided to dive into the wild-wide-world of Internet dating head first.

It is her dating experiences that comprise the meat and potatoes of this insightful and heartily entertaining book. From the log-in Id’s to the individual dates, everything is presented as it was experienced. Beginning with the introductory email, the reader absorbs the dialogue and is immersed in the story, step by step with Rene. The anxiety and excitement, as well as, nervous apprehension and old self-doubts, that fill the atmosphere of any first date are related so well that the emotion transcends printed words and is felt the reader.

Straight-forward, unabashed and unapologetic, you can’t help but root for Schultz to find her prince charming, while at the same time, the novel is so entertaining you secretly hope she’s taking notes and keeping a diary of all the frogs she had to kiss a long the way and that she will share those in “Searching4 part two.” Candid, heartfelt and humorous, Rene Schultz has delivered a genuinely good book. Pick up a copy, get comfy and enjoy!

 Happy Reading,
    – RJ  🙂 


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NOTE FROM YOUR RESIDENT REVIEWER:
   “Don’t judge a book by the cover” has never been more true than with this book. Although most would never admit it, many readers will pass on a book simply because of the cover art…to do so with Searching4MrRight.com would mean missing out on a truly entertaining, personable and well written novel.

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Searching4MrRight.com by Rene Schultz

 

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Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

Curse of the Spellmans: A Novel
Lisa Lutz
ISBN 10: 1416532412
ISBN 13: 978-1416532415
Fiction/416 pages
Simon & Schuster
www.simonsays.com

www.lisalutz.com

Warning: Spending time with the Spellman Family is highly addictive and produces uncontrollable bouts of laughter.

Two years have passed since Lisa Lutz’s debut novel introduced the lovably, dysfunctional Spellman Family and mesmerized readers from coast to coast with the kind of snooping, scheming and blackmailing that could only exist between parties who truly care for one another.

We rejoin Isabel Spellman (a.k.a. Izzy), in San Francisco, now thirty years old and once again working for her parents at Spellman Investigations. Enjoying independence living in Bernie’s (an ex-cop and friend) apartment while he was away became a short-lived vacation when he unexpectedly returns nursing a broken-heart, forcing a reluctant Izzy to move back home. Thus beginning the spin of an all new web of action-packed insanity.

Izzy becomes fixated on her parent’s new neighbor, John Brown. She’s plagued by unanswered questions…what’s in those bags of shredded paper? If you live alone, why lock doors inside your home? It just didn’t add up and her incessant probing makes Mr. Brown suspicious of her. One thing leads to another as she is convinced his landscaping business is merely a front or cover that’s hiding something much more serious. She investigates Mr. Brown relentlessly, until he finally gets a restraining order against her. Arrested four times in the past three months, Izzy is in jeopardy of losing her PI license and even though her parents disagree strongly about Mr. Brown, she steadfastly refuses to let it go.

All the while her father seems to be experiencing a “retirement age freak out” and her mother has taken to vandalizing a motor bike every night. Younger sister Rae has developed an intense friendship with Henry Stone, a police inspector with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The considerable age difference sparks the interest of Social Services, who despite the parents argument, simply refuse to see things quite so cut and dried.  So in order to protect Rae’s newly found “straight-laced way of life,” which everyone agrees should be credited to Mr. Stone’s obvious positive influence, big sister, is recruited and agrees to play along, pretending to be Henry’s fiancee’. It doesn’t take long for Izzy to discover Henry Stone is a really good guy, a little off, but a good guy non-the-less.

What follows is a laugh out loud, edge of your seat, knuckle crunching read that’s loaded with that special Spellman sassiness. The smart-mouthed, in your business, business of private investigating, has been laid bare for all to enjoy in Curse of the Spellmans. This is one of those books you just can’t seem to find a good place to stop – til you get to the last page. And then you can’t help but wish for more. Lisa Lutz has created an original series, that just keeps getting better and better. With a cast of kooky and oh so lovable characters that are both frustratingly nosy and eternally loyal readers are cheering, sneering and giggling their way through these delicious literary treats. Well written, funny and full of heart – Lisa Lutz has developed a signature series that above all else, entertains!

Kudo’s.

Happy Reading!
-RJ Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

Readers should be prepared for an experience like no other…Earthly Pleasures is a little taste of paradise, right here on earth!   8)

Earthly Pleasures
Karen Neches
Fiction/320 pages
Simon & Schuster; 1 edition
8)
ISBN-10: 0743292480
ISBN-13: 978-0743292481
www.simonschuster.com

www.karenneches.com

Karen Neches’ new novel, Earthly Pleasures is a light, fun read that is filled equal amounts of humor and heart.  At the conclusion of this wonderful novel readers are left to hope that the eternal forever place will be as lovely, fun filled and exciting as Neches’ brilliantly designed and thoroughly developed fictional paradise.

As the story begins we are introduced to Skye Sebring, a greeter in Heaven’s Hospitality Division. Her assignment is to help Earths recently departed through the transition. Meaning, she meets and greets all the newcomers, takes them on a tour of their new ‘home’ and answers their questions. While the main objective of Skye’s fellow angels is to return to Earth, Skye is quite content to remain right here in Heaven.

That is until the day a motorcycle accident brings Ryan Blaine to Heaven. Son of a former president, attorney, star of Heaven’s reality show Earthly Pleasures, Blaine is popular, handsome and engaged. Skye is immediately taken in by Ryan, so when he is jolted back to his physical body on Earth she becomes almost obsessed with the show and with finding a way to be with Ryan. There was something between them…he appeared to know her…how could she remind him of someone? Skye was a ‘new soul,’ she had never been on Earth or had she?

The story takes off from the first chapter and soars right through to the conclusion. There are techno-gadgets that have their basis in reality, but Neches has souped them up. There’s a little of everything, but not so much of any one thing that it over-powers or detracts from the main theme. Well written, fleshed out and delivered with a passionate voice that commands the readers full attention. Earthly Pleasures will tickle your funny bone and touch your heart with a cast of clever characters carefully navigating multiple story lines that co-mingle perfectly to keep you guessing, wishing and hoping. Karen Neches has penned a truly original story that is absolutely brilliant in its’ creative simplicity. Delivering an interesting novel that maintains its’ entertainment level from beginning to end, allows readers to pass the time quietly turning pages…a pleasure, that to a book-lover, sure feels a lot like Heaven.I will be keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

Happy Reading!
   – RJ

 

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Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files: A Novel 
Lisa Lutz
ISBN 10: 1416532404
ISBN 13: 978-1416532408
Simon & Schuster
Feb 12 – 2008 (reprint)
Fiction/384 pages
www.simonsays.com 

 www.lisalutz.com

Lisa Lutz’s first novel, “The Spellman Files,” introduces readers to the lovable, albeit highly dysfunctional Spellman family. Be prepared to adore this zany cast of characters, that will butt their way right into your heart and have you laughing a long the way. A strong female protagonist with a meddling family may, at first glance, seem a bit blase’, but don’t be fooled, the writing, narrative and perspective work together like a well oiled machine generating the ideal reading experience…

Secrets, scheming and sneaking are all part in parcel of a good days work for a private investigator. Albert and Olivia Spellman have been spying on people for a living since shortly after they wed and their three children have been immersed in this environment all their lives. Even though David, the Spellman’s oldest son, left the family business to pursue a career in law, he can’t avoid occasionally being lured into one of his parents schemes. The youngest daughter, Rae, has been honing her spy skills from the tender age of six, when she convinced her parents to allow her to tag along during surveillance operations. Now a mischievous teenager, she utilizes this unique knowledge to conduct “personal surveillance,” on her friends.

Isabel, 28, is the stereo-typical middle child still trying to rebuild the bridge of trust destroyed during her rebellious teens. A sure-footed investigator, with sound judgement,  when it comes to business; however, the same cannot be said for her choices in men. Criticized by her perfect older brother, emulated by her younger sister and hounded by her parents, Izzy’s life borders on the edge of insanity, which she desperately wants to escape.

Sharp-tongued, Izzy Spellman has even reduced her failing love life to a list of wise-cracking facts- name, age, relationship length and ‘famous last words.’ Izzy discovers potential ‘ex-boyfriend #9’ while working the case of Daniel Castillo. Izzy is quite smitten with the Guatemalan dentist and knows the importance of keeping her family in the dark about her new love interest. And in a family of snoops that’s impossible! When she discovers her parents have Rae following her, it is the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and Izzy quits.

Of course, this hard-nosed, scheming family isn’t going to just wither-up and go away, so they offer Izzy a deal…solve this one last case and she is free of her contract. Catch? Oh certainly- there’s a big catch…The case they choose is that of a missing teen from Marin County that disappeared near Lake Tahoe some twelve years ago. Izzy hoped her grit and determination would light a fire under this cold case and thus dissolve the contract that had held her hostage in the family business. So she literally throws herself into this decade old case. However, while digging into the unsolved case, her little sister, Rae goes missing. She seems to have vanished into thin air and although Izzy and Rae bicker, as do all sisters, she loves the nosey little hellian and will stop at nothing to find her.

Sassy, witty and loaded with sarcasm, this fast-paced story swirls around the outrageously dysfunctional Spellman Family. Even in a house where it’s normal to find triple locks on bedroom doors, the Spellman’s hide their fair share of secrets. Lisa Lutz’s debut novel, “The Spellman Files” explores the inner workings of the family dynamic, from Izzy’s perspective. Revealing how just below the surface stuff… the snooping, scheming and wire taps, there’s a deep, heart-felt sentiment. Cleverly layered throughout the story is that familiar “something” we can all recognize…that “thing” bonds and unites families despite all the shortcomings and misunderstandings. “The Spellman Files: A Novel” is an entertaining read that unfolds with deliberate precision. Kick and crunch action is followed by off-the-wall, whip-smart punch lines that will have you laughing out loud more than once. Original, kooky and delightfully dysfunctional, Lisa Lutz gives readers a fresh new way to enjoy comedic crime novels. And readers can rejoice, there’s more zaniness to follow. So get acquainted with the Spellman’s and settle in for a truly enjoyable series.

Happy Reading!
   ~ RJ

 

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Wife In the Fast Lane by Karen Quinn

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Wife In the Fast Lane
by Karen Quinn
Fiction/448 pages
Touchstone (a division of Simon & Schuster)
ISBN 10: 0743293967
ISBN 13: 978-0743293969
www.simonsays.com

www.wifeinthefastlane.com 

 Ever wondered what it would be like to have it all? Of course, we all have…Karen Quinn’s novel, “Wife In the Fast Lane” provides a front row, often harried view of the glamorous life, that to the average person seems far-fetched and outlandish, at best. Quinn invites us to sit back, relax and see the world from the platinum side of the coin for a few hours. Christy Hayes knows the meaning of hard work and dedication, however, winning two Olympic gold medals did not prepare her for the cut-throat world of commerce. As founder and acting CEO of Baby G, an athletic shoe company, Christy needed to reinvent herself to look the part. Following the advice of her best friend and Baby G’s second in command, Katherine, she moves to an apartment, with the “right address,” a new wardrobe and haircut complete the transformation from athlete to successful athletic company owner. Well, superficially anyway…Christy is a beautiful, strong woman, but her lack of education and inexperience force her to rely on Katherine more and more.

Christy joins countless high profile, money makers and trend setters in Davos, Switzerland. Famous for hosting the annual World Economic Forum and global political and business elites, she looks forward to rubbing elbows with and learning the secrets of successful CEO’s. Christy is a fish out of water and finds herself star-struck at every juncture, especially with the gorgeous, media mogul, Michael Drummond. An evening of talk and sipping champagne and it is obvious Christy is in love. This whirlwind marriage creates a corporate power couple that would make others green with envy. Even with help at home from Maria, Christy’s maid and dear friend, she is unable to keep up with the demands of being CEO. So, she unwittingly turns the reigns over to her best friend, which plays right into Katherine’s diabolical plan to oust Christy from Baby G.

When Maria dies unexpectedly, Christy honors her friends’ last wish and adopts her 11 year old granddaughter, Renata. She soon discovers that cut-throat, backstabbing isn’t confined to the executive board room, there’s trouble brewing everywhere… It seems a newspaper reporter wants to have more than her eyes on Michael and the PTA leader of the private school where Christy enrolled Renata is bordering on psychotic.

From the Upper East Side of Manhattan to the luxurious village of St. Tropez, to the resorts of Aspen and Davos, readers will journey to glamorous locales, meet outrageous characters and laugh out loud more than once. Although the central theme is balanced atop a heap of coincidences which may be difficult for some, this is a good read, with light, quick wit, a few shadowy characters to add just enough shadiness to have you cheering for Christy and talking aloud, as you try to warn her of things to come. So, if you’re reading this one on a plane, subway or train don’t be surprised if, from time to time you catch the other passengers looking at you quizzically…You would do the same if the person in the seat next to you was having a conversation with their book.   🙂

I recommend “Wife In the Fast Lane” to anyone who enjoys a book that’s simply a lot of fun to read! Quinn’s quiet style and evocative characters delivers a truly distinctive reading experience. With only two novels to her credit readers are in for a real treat as she hones her craft and continues to develop that extra special something that defines a novel as a Karen Quinn original. I am on board for the long ride and anxiously await her next novel!

Happy Reading!
 -RJ Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn

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The Ivy Chronicles
by Karen Quinn
ISBN 13: 978-0641784095
ISBN 10: 0641784090
Fiction/352 Pages
Penguin Group USA
www.us.penguingroup.com 

www.karenquinn.net 

We get by with a little help from our friends has never been portrayed with such an ingenious mixture of passion, humor and what could only be defined as sheer female empowerment. Author Karen Quinn takes us inside one woman’s journey from the top, to the bottom and back to the top again.

Ivy Ames…devoted wife and loving mother of two, was living “the good life.” With a combined annual income of two million plus, the Ames’ family had all the luxuries and perks of the social elite. Eight months ago, Ivy’s husband, Cadmon, lost his job and instead of cutting back on expenditures, they continued to revel in the lavish lifestyle they had grown so accustomed too.  On a typical, all too hectic morning, Ivy had barely managed to get herself to the bank on-time, when she is caught off guard by a note summoning her to the boss’ office. You could have knocked her over with a feather when she heard him say “human resources has your package, a car will take you home…”  The words kind-of-faded into a blur. After a day filled with indignities and humiliation, she longed for the warm, sympathetic embrace of Cad’s arms. But that was not to be…As the smell of orange bubble-bath was wafting through the air, she opened the door to the bathroom, only to find her husband bathing a naked woman. It was Sassy!  The wife of the man that had caused her to lose her job! Enraged, embarrassed and deeply hurt she ordered Sassy out of the house, threatening to drop a hair dryer into the bath water if she did not leave immediately. Refusing to let Cad she her cry, she turned and with all the strength she could muster, she gave him his walking orders as well.

It is this one devastating day that lays the foundation for the rest of the novel. With her life in shambles, Ivy embarks on a new career, setting up a business that caters to parents that want their children in the most elite kindergarten programs on earth. A wonderful idea that just needed a boost to get off the ground. Her best friend, Faith, was wealthy and more than willing to help in any way possible. With a few well placed phone calls to her high society acquaintances, Ivy’s referral box began filling up. There’s a host of outlandish, colorful personalities that make up Ivy’s clientele, each adding their own unique flavor to the story. There’s a single father with mob ties; a mixed religion couple; a mom who tries to bribe the board at every school; a gay couple with a wheel-chair bound adopted son; etc. Ivy endures an ongoing cycle of nerve-racked parents having mental-melt-downs during the application process and crazed parents bombarding her with verbal assaults. She quickly discovers these parents do not recognize the morally accepted boundaries of right and wrong…when it comes to securing a slot on the kindergarten-roster of their choosing, anything goes!

Snooty, snobbish, egocentric and over-the-top, Karen Quinn’s novel “The Ivy Chronicles” is a tongue-in-cheek read that delivers exactly what was promised…a light hearted read, filled with quaint characters and quick wit. While criss-crossing moral and ethical boundaries in hopes of being accepted to an elite kindergarten is wrong on so many levels, it it is the catalyst propelling the humorous insanity. Putting the idea of elite, prep-style kinder-care into perspective for these folks would be impossible. But then again so was the concept of downsizing for Ivy, as she continued to carry her Barney’s shopping bag everywhere, hoping to portray that up-town image she missed so desperately. 

 If you’re looking for a Saturday afternoon read that doesn’t require a lot of thought…that you can just read for the light and fluffy experience…The Ivy Chronicles is a good choice. Fun and seemingly far-fetched, I couldn’t help but wonder with Quinn’s insider knowledge, how far did she stretch the characters, if at all? I am anxious to see what Warner Brothers does with this zany cast of characters, as the book has been optioned and Catherine Zeta-Jones will be starring in the movie!

Happy Reading!
– RJ
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If Truth Be Told

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The Gospel According to Sidney Welles

Sidney Welles is assigned the Catholic Church image overhaul campaign and sets out to give the church a face lift of sorts…what ensues is a hilarious stumble through questions of faith, love and self discovery.
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