Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Any story that starts off with a disgruntled cubicle dweller has got me on page one. I can relate even though those days are behind me. Paranoia by Joseph Finder hooked me and kept me hanging It's a timely story of corporate espionage that's hard to put down.

Adam Cassidy works at Wyatt Telecom, a tech corporation but like slackers everywhere his big ambition is to do the least amount of work without getting caught. He wants a better job but he doesn't want to work. One day he reallocates company funds for an unauthorized retirement party and corporate security doesn't see it as the harmless prank he meant it to be. Adam is suddenly facing termination, a lawsuit and maybe even criminal charges. He's given a choice - go to prison or infiltrate a rival tech company as a corporate spy. The choice is clear. Adam is given a false work history, trained and told what to look for. He goes to work for Trion Systems, rises in the ranks and doubles his salary. There's just one problem, Adam likes his new job and doesn't want to spy anymore. But he has some powerful enemies and soon he doesn't know who he can trust.

Paranoia is an intense page-turner, a steep, curving rollercoaster ride of a read. The characters are flawed and believable. Written in first person, Finder takes you inside Adam's head as he struggles with his life, love and relationships. There's some violence and foul language, there's also some intense situations and twists. I loved it. Two thumbs up.

Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 28, 2004)

ISBN: 978-0312992286

Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages

Price: $6.99

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Liberation of Henry Belmont by Steve Godofsky

When I received a review copy of The Liberation of Henry Belmont by Steve Godofsky I got my box of tissues ready before I opened the book. I was expecting to read a tearjerker. Instead, I was quickly engrossed in a fast-paced adventure that hooked me on page one.

Henry Belmont, a successful CEO of a growing corporation, is married and the father of two teenagers. He's told he has ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and his life expectancy is only three years. Henry does everything he can to avoid dwelling on the progressive suffering he'll endure before the actual end comes. But sometimes circumstances conspire to bring him down and it all seems too much. His daughter is out of control, his son gets in a car accident and his wife treats him like dirt. Henry vows to focus on his strength of will. He does not tell his family or friends about his disease because he doesn't want to be pitied. Instead, he makes plans to hand the business over to a colleague so he can do all the things he's dreamed about.

Derek Rogers is a con man and a bank robber who plans to steal a ten million dollar painting and then sell counterfeits. Panama Ed, a widower and successful business man, buys a condo in a Floridian paradise called Moonlight Beach and spends most of his time at Milo's Bar. The lives of these three men come together in an ending I didn't see coming.

The best-written characters have flaws and imperfections that make them real. The good character development in this book makes it easy for readers to identify with them. The well-crafted plot takes unpredictable turns and combined with the drama and adventure, it's a satisfying read. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Eloquent Books (November 1, 2009)

ISBN: 978-1609110734

Hardcover: 172 Pages

Price: $23.95

Gail Pruszkowski reviews for "Romantic Times BOOKreviews" magazine and her work has been published in the "Cup of Comfort" Anthologies. Her first paranormal romance will be released in June 2010.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Veracity by Laura Bynum

Imagine a world where people are forced to accept implants that monitor every word they speak. Veracity, Laura Bynum's post-apocalyptic novel, is the chilling story of a pandemic that results in a dystopian state reminiscent of "1984." The first person present tense lends an air of immediacy that puts readers in the midst of the action. The well drawn characters showcase the best and worst of humanity in this thought-provoking look at an all too plausible future.

In 2012 a plague wipes out much of the country. A new government is formed to maintain order. The totalitarian regime, called the Confederation of the Willing, controls everything including the use of language. Words are erased from the vocabulary and those who use them are punished. The populace is implanted with monitoring devices and controlled by a sadistic, brutal police force known as Blue Coats. Harper Adams was six when the plague struck. She always had special talents and the ability to see inside people. Now she's a sentient monitor who reads people's emotions for the government. One day she's recruited by the resistance and becomes their secret weapon. Forced to give up her daughter and live underground she trains for a confrontation that could result in death for all those who are depending on her.

There have been many post-apocalyptic books written and some of the ideas in Veracity have been seen before but in this debut, Laura Bynum puts her own unique spin on the story of a world gone mad. Harper Adams is sympathetic character and we see her grow and become a strong heroine. Bynum does a credible job creating a chilling future that is easy to imagine. This is a thought-provoking book, with a universal message, and well worth a read.

Publisher: Pocket (January 5, 2010)

ISBN: 978-1439123348

Hardcover: 384 Pages

Price: $25.00

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Size Eight in a Size Zero World: A Novel by Meredith Cagen

As soon as I read the first page, I knew I would love this book! Size Eight in a Size Zero World: A Novel by Meredith Cagen is written in a voice that resonated with me. The author's smart, witty style moves along at a good pace and it kept me turning the pages. I could relate to the conflicted heroine and I kept hoping she would wake up and smell the coffee.

Lindsay Chandler is thirty-two, a working wife and mother, who lives in New York with her family. In the highfalutin' Manhattan society, she's an oddity, a woman who has a real day job, does not have a nanny and does her own cooking and cleaning. Lindsay's life looks perfect on the outside, but she's miserable on the inside. Her husband Grant, a divorce attorney, treats her like a servant, ignores their two kids and is an overbearing jerk.

One day Lindsay gets into the elevator of her building and meets a man who gives her goose bumps. They strike up a friendship. He appreciates her, asks her for advice and befriends her kids. Lindsay falls hard. She loves the way they interact; he seems to accept her, perceived flaws and all. The more she sees him the more she realizes all that she's missing in her marriage. She questions her life with Grant and decides to reinvent herself and make some changes. It all leads to a satisfying conclusion.

A wonderfully witty social commentary on the New York scene, this is also an endearing story of relationships, love and infidelity. The characters are believable and many women will be able to see themselves in Lindsay. Sometimes I wanted to scream at her and sometimes I wanted to cheer her on, but always she kept me reading. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author without compensation. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Publisher: iUniverse (November 23, 2009)

ISBN: 978-1440169748

Paperback: 340 Pages

Price: $19.95

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Fight MS with the J-WALKERS

Today I'm blogging about something near and dear to my heart - The MS Walkathon.

My beautiful, seventeen year old step-granddaughter, Jess, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Having MS means that you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. Symptoms and progression of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.

Our families have formed a team for Walk MS to support Jess, who has faced this diagnosis with great strength. Everyone is working hard to raise money so a cure will be discovered in her lifetime. We are really excited to be able to put our energy into something positive and take part in the 2010 Walk MS.

In the past two years the J-WALKERS raised over $89,000 and were named the largest friends and Family team in as many years. We invite you to join in the fun and walk with us on May 2, 2010 for this great cause. It's a fun, uplifting experience. Join us for breathtaking views from Martin Luther King Drive of Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive in historic Philadelphia PA. Take in the music, food, and festivities with your family and friends at our largest Walk site. There is fun for everyone, whether you are a walker, runner or volunteer

Or if you prefer to show your support by donating, you can make a donation online at
Join the J Walkers

The MS Society does amazing things for research in addition to the phenomenal support they offer those affected by this disease, rest assure, the funds raised are well spent.