Sunday, June 27, 2010

From Sookie to Senior Sleuth

Today I am going to be reviewing 2 distinctly different authors.  One name you will recognize, the other you might not, but that doesn't mean you should read him!

Charlaine Harris, infamous for her Sookie Stackhouse paranormal romances (the source for True Blood) and Bob Moat, an amateur sleuth writer extraordinaire!

Let's get to the vampires first (because, you know that's how we roll :-) 

Again, I am not writing this review for someone who likes paranormal romance or vampires in general.  Because, let's face it, you are already reading Charlaine.

I am writing this for, well... mainly guys.  Guys who shake their head at the vampire/romance genre.  And I don't blame you.  There is a LOT of silly stuff that goes on in a lot of them and even in Charlaine's work.

However, with Charlaine, I do have to say no matter some of the silliness, there is such good writing under there that whatever she puts out, I want to read.  Because isn't that the crucible?  Not genre, or subject or silliness, but whether or not it is a good read?

And let me tell you, any of the books are a good read.

Plus for you single guys, I am telling you, it gives you something to talk about with the chick in Starbucks watching True Blood on her iPhone :-)

Onward to Bob Moat.

To be honest when this one came across my desk, I groaned.  As I mentioned on the stream, I'm not a huge fan of amateur sleuthing, especially in the senior citizen bracket.

I like my investigators hot and knowledgeable.   Top of their field.  I am far more of a 'procedural' girl (evidenced clearly by Plain Jane).

So I can honestly say I was not just pleasantly surprised by Bob's "Classmate Murders" but downright shocked at how engaging and entertaining a read this book was.

He threw my pre-conceived notions about what a senior citizen sleuth could be out the window and made me sit up and pay attention.  I was immediately drawn in my his beautifully honest lead character, Jim Richards, who is putting up one heck of fight against aging, while of course solving crimes that hit a little too close to home.

From Richard's deep relationship with his old co-worker (without a hint of any weird, latent, homo-eroticism) to his complicated feeling for his own aging parents, I can say that Jim Richards is as interesting as any hunky C.S.I. professional.

Would I like to have seen smoother dialogue and Bob to trust his reader enough to not lay in so much description?  Yes.

Do I want to read more of Jim Richards adventures?  Heck Ya!

Again, if you love amateur sleuths, you've got to check out "Classmate Murders."  But honestly, even if you are like me and a little iffy on the sub-genre, I am telling you that this book packs a big bang for it's buck! (and yes, Bob, that pun was intended :-)

Find "Classmate Murders" eBook on Smashwords:

Until next time!

Don't forget "Plain Jane," my new thriller is out!

You can buy the eBook at http://bit.lyb60jVe and a 50% off coupon (just cuz you are cool) RH88E

Leave a comment below with your twitter or email contact and Bob will send you the code for a FREE eBook of "Classmate Murders!"

And if you have your own thoughts about either Harris or Moat's work, leave a comment below :-)

Also please join me @cristynwest on GoodReads at:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Doomsday Key and Plain Jane

Doomsday Key by James Rollins

If you are at all a fan of Rollins, Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, or Dan Brown, you simply must read (or re-read) Doomsday Key.  And the very least you  need to pick up the paperback version for a peak into Devil Colony.

But what if you aren't a Rollin's fan or you keep trying to talk your non-Rollins fans into his work.  What would motivate you to read Rollins?

I am going to say that usually the reader that is resistant to Rollins is a woman.  Because let's face it, most guys are going to be all over 'scientists with guns' and a series of books based on a team called Sigma Force.

What most chicks don't understand is that while Rollins loves to blow things up and really crank up the tension, he also writes rich prose and has very strong female characters that will go toe-to-toe with any male character and his romantic tension is lightyears beyond most of the male action/adventure authors out there.

So as much as I love Doomsday Key (full of fact/fiction blurring of history and science delving into ancient cartography and killer fungi) I would recommend any newbie to Rollins (especially female) to read Altar of Eden first.  #kindoflikeyourfirsthitofheroin

This novel has a female Hero (a veterinarian, Jim's homage to his previous profession) and is a stand alone book so you can get a sense of his innate, intricate story-telling without having to worry about a lot of back story (although to be fair, he blows a lot of stuff up in this one too, after all, he is still Rollins).

Now, once you've whet your whistle with that baby, grab yourself a copy of Sandstorm.  The first Sigma novel then work your way (I anticipate very quickly if you are anything like most people) through the 6 novels until you consume Doomsday Key (and yes, that pun was intended #onlysuperfanswillprobablygetitthogh :-)

Here is the link to Doomsday Key:

Here is the link to Altar of Eden:

Plain Jane by Cristyn West

First of all, yes this is my own book.  I confess.  So why am I reviewing it with Rollins?  Well, because he said I could! And I'm going to let Jim do most of the talking....

This is the blurb he gave my "Kiss the Girls/Silence of the Lambs" style novel:
"Wickedly macabre and blisteringly paced, "Plain Jane" marks the debut of a thriller for the new millennium.  Brash, funny, terrifying, and shocking, here is a story best enjoyed with all the lights on!  Don't say I didn't warn you!"

So, if you are a guy and like Patterson, it's pretty certain based on that Rollins review that you're going to like Plain Jane.  But what about chicks?

Well, did you know that the majority of Criminal Minds fans are female?

Yep.  So it isn't that chicks don't groove on serial killer stories, I feel they don't like serial killer stories that demean or victimize women (it is one thing to have female victims, it is another thing altogether to victimize them). And being a chick myself I try to... well... empower them #inthecoolway #withguns #notthep.c.way

But enough about what I think...

Here is the link to if you would like to buy the paperback of Plain Jane:

Or you can buy the eBook at for $2.99: http://bit.lyb60jVe
Leave a comment below with your twitter or email contact to receive a 50% off Plain Jane ebook coupon!

And if you have your own thoughts about either Doomsday Key, Altar of Eden or Plain Jane, leave a comment below :-)

Also please join me on GoodReads at:

Until next time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review Policy

With all the reviewers out there, who needs another one?

Um... because we will tell you what you actually need to know.

Enough with the stupid spoilers or a reviewer trying to prove they can write a better review than the author could their book.

We are here to give it to you straight.  So, let's be clear you are going to see a lot of...

"If you like James Rollins work... just go out and buy this book #jeez
 However if you aren't familiar with Rollins or not a huge fan (which seems completely bizarre but I guess could happen) these are the reasons you should read this book."

Each posting will have a review of a bestseller along with a less known author to give you something to read once you've devoured all your favorite author's books :-)

And yes, we do get the vast majority of the books we review for free #dealwithit

You will also notice that there will never be a review of less than 3 stars.


Well, um, we kind of would like to have a life and we're not going to waste our precious time reading a book that can't even scrounge 3 stars.

We mean, we love thrillers and all, but #dang

If you are an author that wishes a review and isn't offended by this review policy, feel free to email us at thrillersrockT (at) aol (dot) com. :-)