Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Clock of Life, Half Moon Hill, Death Without Company

Once again I have books of different genres to share with you today. One is a reflection of where we’ve been with an inspiring tale, the other is a romance that will warm your heart, and the third is a look at the American West and an intriguing murder mystery.

THE CLOCK OF LIFE by Nancy Klann-Moren

Book-with-Next-Generation-Award-Sticker-e1377126997945With the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in the news, now is the perfect time to discover THE CLOCK OF LIFE by Nancy Klann-Moren.

This intriguing story deals with the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, in the 1980s where racial attitudes were steadfast. The story focuses on Jason Lee, a white boy, and his strong friendship with Samson Johnson, a black boy. In addition, Jason comes to know his larger-than-life father, who was killed in Vietnam, through stories from those around him. Jason longs to be like his father, but doesn’t believe he’s capable of it.

THE CLOCK OF LIFE looks at two events in American history, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, that impacted a town, a family and the childhood bond of two boys much like it impacted people in real life. The historical references add depth and realism to this captivating story.

Klann-Moren has created characters that remain with you long after the story ends. The emotions of the era are felt through these characters and their actions. The story flows smoothly and holds you spellbound as Jason endures pain and finds he has his father’s courage and strength.

THE CLOCK OF LIFE is a subtle reminder of how far we’ve come, but also of how much more is needed to be done. These strong characters and reminders from the past are well blended for an inspiring read.

Author Nancy Klann-Moren’s website is
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren, AnthonyAnn Books, @2012, ISBN: 978-0988494411, Paperback, 364 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - A digital copy of this book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
HALF MOON HILL by Toni Blake

Half Moon Hill CoverWith HALF MOON HILL you get two love stories unfolding - one in the present and the other years before with ties to the present.

The main love story deals with Anna Romo and Duke Dawson. Their lives intersect at a time when both are hurting, hiding from society and wondering what lies ahead for them.

Narrator Jennifer Bradshaw brings the characters of author Toni Blake’s novel to life. Bradshaw vocalizes the highs and lows of the characters with great endeavor. Her way with words enhances the author’s story.

Anna has moved to Destiny to be close to the ‘real’ family she recently learned she had. Having been taken from them and Destiny when she was a child, Anna wants to re-connect but still needs space to adjust. She buys an old Victorian home on Half Moon Hill and decides to open a B&B after making repairs.

Duke is trying to come to terms with an accident in which his friend was killed and he was scared. Selling his biker bar, Duke has retreated to a shabby remote cabin leaving his friends to believe he’s left town. Living the hermit life, he’s trying to decide where his life is going.

During an outing in the woods near her home, Anna discovers Duke is living in the cabin on the edge of her property. Frightened at first by his wild man-look, Anna recovers and agrees to keep Duke’s secret since he’s her brother’s best friend.

Intrigued by Anna, Duke goes by her house where he finds her attempting outside repairs. Something draws the two to make a deal where Duke helps with the repairs for Anna’s continued silence about his whereabouts.

As the work progresses, so does the attraction between the two. Soon a passionate love affair begins. When the repairs are complete, Duke says goodbye and prepares to leave. Despite her love for him, Anna lets him go. 

The secondary love story is found in a diary Anna discovers in the attic. It tells of how the former owner of the house fell in love when she was young. The boy worked for her family and their love affair was forbidden. In the end, she had to make a choice between her family and her lover. Anna hopes her fate with Duke won’t turn out the same.

The author gives great depth to her troubled characters making them realistic and easy to like. The small town atmosphere is felt through her descriptions and the dialogue.

HALF MOON HILL moves at a steady pace and holds your attention as the two love stories unfold. The author has blended romance, family loyalty, a bit of mystery, humor, and heartwarming moments for a well balanced story. While this is the sixth installment in the Destiny series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Enough background is given to keep new readers up to speed on the town and its residents.

For a romance that will tug at your heartstrings and heat up the coldest of days, HALF MOON HILL fits the bill.

Author Toni Blake’s website is
Half Moon Hill by Toni Blake, Destiny Novel Book 6, Performed by Jennifer Bradshaw, Harper Audio, @2013, ASIN: B00DW7TW41, Unabridged, Digital Download, Listening Time: 13 Hours and 32 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Death Without CompanyCatching up past installments of a series can be fun, especially when it’s written by New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson and it’s the Walt Longmire Mystery Series.

In the second book, DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY, readers return to the rugged landscape of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Sheriff Walt Longmire is investigating the death of Mari Baroja, who was found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living.

As the story unfolds, Longmire looks into the mysterious woman’s past that goes back 50 years. Connecting the past to the present is the only way Longmire can find the killer. He has the help of his Deputy Victoria Moretti, his best friend Henry Standing Bear, and a new Deputy Santiago Saizarbitoria to search for clues. 

Johnson has a way of placing the reader in the middle of the action with his vivid descriptions of the landscape. His characters are well-developed but continue to evolve with each installment. They are realistic and likable.

The story moves at a steady pace with suspense, mystery and just enough humor sprinkled throughout for a smooth read. In addition, Johnson incorporates the history of Basque sheepherders who settled in Wyoming into the story and how their culture interacted with those residing there. 

DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY will pull you further into the Longmire series and hold you spellbound as you learn more about the fascinating sheriff and his trusty group of friends.

Author Craig Johnson’s website is
Death Without Company by Craig Johnson, Walt Longmire Series Book 2, Penguin Group, @2013, ISBN: 978-0143124818, Paperback, 320 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed your reading just a bit with these three fascinating stories. What are you currently reading?

1 comment:

  1. Mason - I'm a fan of the Walt Longmire series, so I'm so glad you profiled Death Without Company today. That's a terrific series of books. And the other two show just how varied and interesting your blog is - always new things to discover.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.