Rosepoint Reviews – November Recap

Happy Holidays! Christmas tree decorations

We are now on a frantic race to the end of the year! SOO much to do on top of regular blogging, reading and reviewing activities. Gifts, wrapping, cards, dinners, and events, one of which I’m participating in tomorrow at the Lake County Public Library! I will be presenting the new edition of Sole Survivor, new cover, as well as the story of how the painting came into my possession almost 90+ years after it was painted.  If you just happen to be in the area….

Author Event - Lake County Public Library

Gearing up on holidays, and down on books, I read and reviewed seven books including many ARC’s, as well as #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting two of my favorites (Dr. Jan Pol and M. D. Grayson). Spent some heavy time doing #AmReading posts, as well as #TBR pics, which is a great way to introduce what I’ll be reading and reviewing next. These are concentrated on #Bookstagram and shared with this blog. Bookstagram gives me the opportunity to use that artistic inclination my grandfather bestowed on me, and it’s been a lot of fun.

My November reads, all ARC’s through NetGalley:

  1. November 06 – Outside the Wire by Patricia Smiley
  2. November 07 – Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone
  3. November 11 – The Tell All by Libby Howard
  4. November 19 – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
  5. November 21 – The Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler
  6. November 26 – The Plot is Murder by V. M. Burns
  7. November 28 – Mayhem & Mass by Olivia Mathews

Here’s hoping all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good day of food and family, but many of you not in the U.S. will also have a chance to do that on Christmas. There is something magical this time off year; in our part of the world, snowfall and the beautiful sights and smells of leaves, fireplaces, and winter-time activities. In my younger years, that included skiing. Now I’m looking wistfully at snowmobiles. Definitely on my bucket list!

Not all of my December reads are ARC’s from NetGalley, but the month has filled in very quickly. Hope all of you are avoiding the puddles and finding just the perfect gifts! Winter is a great time to read. Do you have one you are excited about? I’m always open to recommendations! ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

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#Author Spotlight – Dean Koontz

author spotlight

Rumored to be worth over $145 million, Dean Ray Koontz is most definitely a successful author. Born in Everett, PA in 1945 (72 years of age), his novels are generally described as suspense thrillers, although he frequently infuses his stories with horror, fantasy, and sci-fi aspects as well.

His official website notes he has sold over 450 million copies of his works, sixteen (paperback) of which were included on the NY Times bestseller list as number one. He used numerous pen names early in his career including Brian Coffey.

His childhood less than standard 50’s Cleavers, Koontz was the product of an abusive alcoholic father and his defiant “physically diminutive mother.” Koontz discovered the Catholic faith and converted while in college. Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton(And btw, he gives a shout out to English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton who wrote about the fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective Father Brown. Father Brown is a featured English series on NetFlix.) I find this connection fascinating since I innocently wandered into Mayhem & Mass recently and the review brought a comment from fellow blogger, Angela of Books and Opinions, LLC who also noted G. K. Chesterton as being a favorite ol’ English author. (Freaky, huh?)

Graduating in 1967, Koontz went on variously teaching English in high school and working for a federally funded poverty program. It was during this time that he began writing in earnest and in ten years his major breakthrough novel, Whispers, was published in 1980. Of course, since I’m usually late to the party, was just introduced to Koontz through NetGalley with a book I recently read and reviewed called The Whispering Room. It was just released on November 21, 2017 and I still think the newest of his books.

When I mentioned to my son that I was reading a Dean Koontz book, his eyebrows shot up. “I’m surprised you’re reading Koontz, mom, he’s a horror writer.” (Not considered my usual genre. True.) And, perhaps this might be considered that, but more so psychological thriller and suspense. (Also, gripping, thoughtful, and perhaps sci-fi coming true.) After I posted my review, one of our old Navy friends, Kitra, saw the review on Facebook and noted, Just an FYI he grew up in Ted’s little town, donated a lot to the library in honor of his English teacher. Was happy to see that.”

Dean Koontz - author - Happy Holidays photoDean Koontz is currently living in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden, Ms. Elsa. You’ll have to read her story, which is related in typical humorous Koontz style here.

Mr. Koontz has joined my favorite authors list and I’m looking forward to his next well-crafted novel. Have you looked into his books lately? Which was your favorite? (Info gleaned from Wikipedia and the Dean Koontz website.) ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Mayhem & Mass – a Book Review

Mayhem & Mass by Olivia MatthewsTitle: Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery) by Olivia Matthews

Genre: Currently #623 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Crafts & Hobbies (and Animals) (huh?)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: To be released November 28, 2017 – Happy Release Day!

Source: Kensington Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Mayhem & Mass Simple cover includes a church in the background; not representative of the novel location setting, nor is there a cat in the book that I remember. “For a plain clothes nun, sleuthing is a habit…”

Yes, I must admit to being Protestant. My husband is the Catholic. After more than 50 years with him, I still scratch my head over some of the rituals, beads, saints (some that have been desainted), but must also admit to many practices and ceremonies that I’ve enjoyed as well. My hubby and I were extremely privileged to sing in a choir for (Saint) Pope John Paul II in 1989 at Castle Gondolfo. (You can’t deny that holy aura.) So it was when I saw the title and read the blurb that I had to request and read this book. Continue reading “Mayhem & Mass – a Book Review”