Posts Tagged ‘dialogue rich’

Lady Be Good — Susan Elizabeth Phillips

July 31, 2012

Author:  Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Title:  Lady Be Good

Genre:  Romance

Publication Date:  1999

Number of Pages:  372

Geographical Setting:  Texas (primarily Dallas and Wynette, a fictional suburb of Austin)

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series (If applicable):  Third book in the Wynette, Texas series

Plot Summary:  Lady Emma Wells-Finch—the prim, proper, and prudish headmistress of an English all-girls boarding school—is in a most unfortunate engagement to the despicable Duke of Beddington who threatens to close Emma’s beloved school if she does not agree to marry him.  Unable to turn him down, she has no other alternative but to get the Duke to call off the wedding by convincing him that he grossly misjudged her character.  Under the pretense of conducting research, Emma flies to Texas with the intention of ruining her good name through ten days of defamation and debauchery.  Only one person stands in her way: Kenny Traveler, Texas’ hottest and most (in)famous bad boy pro-golfer. Recently suspended by the PGA after his involvement in a series of scandals, Kenny is doing his darnedest to stay out of the tabloids so he can get back into the game.  So when Kenny is hired to assist Emma in her “research,” their opposing agendas—not to mention their innate attraction towards one another—puts more than a few roadblocks in their plans.  Lady Be Good is a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that is both sensual and sentimental, and is an excellent starting point for those new to the romance genre.  Phillips’s witty prose is engaging and full of juicy descriptive details sure to please almost any romance reader looking for something light, quick, and humorous.

Subject Headings:  British in Texas; professional golfers; PGA tour; love stories; headmistresses; blackmail; chauffeurs

Appeal: character driven, descriptive, detailed setting of Texas, dialogue rich, engaging, familiar characters, fast paced, funny, recognizable characters, sensual, steamy, sympathetic characters

3 terms that best describe this book:  Romantic comedy, sensual, and descriptive

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

            3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Bud, Sweat, and Tees: A Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour by Alan Shipnuck

Alan Shipnuck provides a thoroughly detailed, no-holds-barred inside look at what really goes on during the PGA Tour, both on and off the golf course.  This title is suggested to readers especially interested in learning more about the golfing aspects of Lady Be Good.

2)  My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler

The always irreverent and bawdy Chelsea Handler relates a number of funny sexual encounters from her life.  Suggested for readers who enjoyed the steamy and scandalous sections of Lady Be Goodbut are looking for something more salacious.

3)  Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

This collection of essays from Candace Bushnell’s popular column in the New York Observer provides humorous and touching insights into the dating and sexual lifestyles of Manhattan’s upper and middle classes.  Suggested to readers who enjoyed the funny and steamy elements of Lady Be Good, but are looking for more general insights into men and women relations.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

When Minerva Dobbs discovers that her new admirer, David Fisk, had bet his friends $10,000 that he can get her into bed within a month, she figures she can play him, use him as a date for her sister’s wedding, and dump him before the month ends.  Like Lady Be Good, Crusie’s Bet Me is a hilarious contemporary romance featuring an appealing and engaging cast of characters.

2)  Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson

Former B-movie actress Chelsea Ross is in desperate need of work, so when she is offered $10,000 to be the personal assistant to former hockey star Mark Bressler, she eagerly accepts the position despite her employer’s cantankerous disposition.  Nothing but Trouble is a funny and amusing contemporary romance between a strong female character and a professional sports player that readers of Lady Be Good may enjoy.

3)  Texas Bride by Joan Johnston

A historical romance set in late 19th-century Texas, Miranda Wentworth is forced to become a mail-order bride when the Chicago orphanage where she lives kicks her and her siblings out and marries Jake Creed, a failing Texas ranch owner struggling with the memory of his late wife.  Texas Bride is suggested to readers looking for a romance novel with a heavier western theme that is more serious in tone than Lady Be Good.

Name:  Zach Musil

Dearly Devoted Dexter

October 12, 2011

Author: Jeffrey P. Lindsay (narrator Nick Landrum)

Title: Dearly Devoted Dexter

Genre: Psychological suspense fiction

Publication Date: July, 2005

Number of Pages: 292 (8 audio CDs)

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Dexter #2

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade police department, who incidentally doesn’t like blood.   Unknown to his co-workers and his police officer sister, Deb, he is a neat serial killer, who preys on other serial killers.  This series is the story of Dexter, and his serial killer persona, that he affectionately refers to as the “Dark Passenger”.  While working for the police department, he encounters serial killers, hunts them, and disposes of them with his own variety of vigilante justice, while trying to hide his extra-curricular activities from the people in his life. While the Dark Passenger is targeting a pedophile and a photographer, Dexter’s boss is starting to suspect that Dexter is not what he seems.  Meanwhile, a darker serial killer comes to town and exacts disturbing revenge on a list of veterans from an army occupation in El Salvador. Dexter must throw his suspecting boss off his trail and does so by accidentally getting engaged. This little complication gives Dexter more trouble than tackling two serial killers. This audio performance illustrates the quiet, introspective and charming character of Dexter, in juxtaposition with his very dangerous activities.

Subject Headings:  Crime laboratories, Forensic scientists, Morgan, Dexter, Police, Psychopathic criminals, serial murder investigation, Serial murderers, Serial murders, Vigilantes

Appeal:  gruesome, sarcastic, fast-paced, disturbing, first-person narrative, issue-oriented, contradictory, suspenseful, offbeat, gritty, dialogue-rich, puzzling, charming, introspective.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: witty, darkly humorous, grisly

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

 1)    Mindhunter: inside the FBI’s elite serial crime unit by John Douglas-This collection of interviews of real serial killers reads like a fiction novel and chronicles the development of the Investigative Support Unit of the FBI. These interview get into the minds of the killers to probe for their motivations.

2)    Crime Beat: a decade of covering cops and killers by Michael Connelly-Before he was the author of popular mystery series featuring Detective Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly was a crime beat reporter in Florida and Los Angeles.  This book shows how this work contributed to the details in his novels.  Includes the true crime story of a Florida serial killer, Christopher Wilder.

3)    Without Pity: Ann Rule’s most dangerous killers by Ann Rule-This prolific true crime writer gives equal attention  to the criminal, investigators and prosecutors (Novelist).  This book covers crimes committed by seemingly normal me, like Dexter.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

 1) Double Cross by James Patterson-This is a suspenseful, dark and violent series set mostly in Washington D.C. about a police detective, Alex Cross, who is a psychologist and uses his talents to profile the serial killer he is tracking.  The identity of the killer is sometimes surprising.

2) Heartsick by Chelsea Cain-This gruesome and violent series starter was chosen for the treatment of the relationship between a police officer and his abductor-serial killer who let him go. This story gets inside the serial killer’s head as well as the officer’s. The dark local of the Pacific Northwest adds to the darkness of the story.

3) Final Price by Gregory J. Smith-This detective with a sidekick story, similar to Dexter and his sister, is a story of brutal serial murders told in a darkly humorous fashion with the subject of revenge.


Fire and Ice

October 5, 2011

Author: Garwood, Julie

Title: Fire and Ice

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publciation Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Chicago, Illinois; Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Buchanan Novels ( 7 of 8 )

Plot Summary: Sophie Rose is a feisty and tenacious journalist with a nose for a good story. When Sophie leaves her job at a major Chicago newspaper to work for a small local paper in Alaska, she unintentionally finds herself in the middle of a bizarre story. Far from the city crime beat, she now covers local stories and showcases hometown personalities, such as the winner of several area 5K marathons. When that runner turns up dead with Sophie’s business card tucked into one of his trademark red socks, Sophie follows the trail of the mystery north to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. She is accompanied by former FBI agent Jack MacAlister, who serves as her bodyguard. Sophie and Jack face the dangers of the Alaskan wilderness, as well as their growing attraction toward each other.

Subject Headings: Conspiracies, Former FBI Agents, Bodyguards, Attraction, Male/Female Relationships, Protectiveness in Men, Moving to a New State, Murder Investigation, Small Towns, Female Journalists

Appeal: Action-Packed, Character-Driven, Fast-Paced, Atmospheric, Dramatic, Romantic, Steamy, Suspenseful, Conversational, Descriptive, Dialogue-Rich, Simple Language.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Action-Packed, Steamy, and Suspenseful.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell

Similar to Sophie Rose, the heroin of this book is a writer who seeks to uncover hidden secrets. Similar to Fire and Ice, this book features action, adventure and romance. Readers who enjoy Romantic Suspense with strong female lead characters may enjoy this book.

The Maze: FBI Series by Catherine Coulter

This book introduces Catherine Coulter’s famous FBI couple, Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich. While these characters reappear in many of her books, this book follows a similar pattern to Fire and Ice in that it follows the characters as they solve a mystery, falling in love in the process.

Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard

This is the first book in Gerard’s well-reviewed Black Ops series. Readers who enjoy Fire and Ice will likely be drawn to many of this book’s similar features. It has a female journalist, political conspiracy, action, adventure, and of course… romance.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska by Guy Grieve

Alaska serves as an essential backdrop to Fire and Ice. The setting has a significant impact upon the way in which the plot unfolds. Readers who are drawn to Fire and Ice because of its setting may also be drawn to Grieve’s account of his time spent in the Alaskan wilderness.

Emus Loose in Egnar: Big Stories from Small Towns by Judy Muller

The evolution of Sophie’s career as a journalist, especially her transition from the big city to a small town, has significant impact upon her character development. Readers drawn to stories about journalists in small towns may find this an interesting read.

The FBI Career Guide: Inside Information on Getting Chosen for and Succeeding in One of the Toughest, Most Prestigious Jobs in the World by Joseph W. Koletar

Similarly, Jack’s past as an FBI Agent plays a significant role in shaping his character and his personality. Readers drawn to stories about FBI Agents or former FBI Agents may be interested in learning more about the profession.

Name: Brigitte Bell

The Traitor’s Emblem

October 5, 2011

Author: Juan Gomez-Jurado

Title: The Traitor’s Emblem

Genre: Suspense, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 321

Geographical Setting: Munich, Germany

Time Period: 1919-1940

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: In 1940, a Spanish sea captain rescues German sailors during a dangerous storm. As a reward, one of the castaways gives the captain a mysterious gold and diamond emblem. The story of the emblem holds the truth behind the web of family secrets, betrayal and murder of one German man. Disgraced and impoverished Paul Reiner never knew his father. After his death 15-year old Paul and his mother are forced to live with her sister as help. Paul believes he died heroically in a shipwreck but a secret revealed from his cousin sends Paul on a quest through Nazi Germany and colonial South Africa to find the truth about his father’s death. The next 15 years of Paul’s life are dedicated to tracking down his father’s murderer. Gomez-Jurado weaves adventure and suspense with a star-crossed romance between Paul and Jewish, affluent Alys Tannenbaum who overcome immense obstacles to be togther including Paul’s cruel, vengeance-seeking cousin Jurgen.

Subject Headings: Nazi Germany, Family Relationships, Freemasonry, Family Secrets, Betrayal and Secrets

Appeal: action-oriented, character driven, complex, dialogue rich, fast paced, historical details, investigative, multi-layered, plot twists, short chapters, strong sense of place, well researched.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Action-Oriented, Investigative, Plot Twists

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Rise and fall of the Third
    Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
    by William L. Shirer

Fans of the The Traitor’s Emblem may enjoy reading the history of Nazi Germany,
beginning with Germany’s loss in World War I to Adolf Hitler’s rise. This non-fiction
read will provide readers the history and understanding of 1920’s Germany, its
politics and culture mentioned in the book.

2. Freemasonry: Symbols, secrets,
by Kirk W. MacNulty

This fascinating read depicts the
mysteries behind the centuries-year old fraternal order, Freemasons. Readers who
want to learn more about Mason rituals, history and symbols described in The Traitor’s Emblem will enjoy this

3. Stalin’s Children: Three
Generations of Love and Betrayal
by Matthews Owens

This title is an extraordinary
history and memoir of Michael Owen’s family in Russia beginning with his
grandfather’s execution in 1937. It follows the Owen family through three
generation as they struggle with war, hardships, sacrifices and a star-crossed
love affair between Owen’s parents.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Lost Symbol by
    Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol chronicles symbologist Robert Langdon
as he follows clues to a mysterious puzzle that will lead him to his missing
friend in Washington D.C. Langdon unlocks the mysterious to the Freemasons and
the capital through this fast-paced, action thriller.

2. Cold Vengeance by
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Special Agent Pendergast seeks vengeance
for his wife’s murder which takes him on a chase through Scotland, New York
City and Louisiana.  The more involved he
becomes, the deeper he is forced to dig into his wife’s past. The murder conspiracy
may be more complex than Pendergast may have imagined.

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by
Alexandre Dumas

Innocent, Edmond Dante is betrayed
by friends and unjustly imprisoned for live. He escapes after 14 years seeking
revenge for the ones responsible for his imprisonment. Once escaped Dante finds
hidden treasures, described by a fellow inmate, and becomes a wealthy Count.
Dante creates an elaborate plan bringing down the men who stole 14- years from
his life.

Name: Noelle Swanson


The Help

February 16, 2011 Stockett, Kathryn

Title: The Help

Genre: Historic Fiction

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 451

Geographical Setting: Jackson, Mississippi

Time Period: 1960s

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: When newly graduated Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan returns to her childhood home in Jackson, Mississippi, she’s expected to lunch with childhood friends, play bridge, and marry well. Skeeter has different ambitions; she longs to be a writer.  Faced with the challenge to write about something that disturbs her, Skeeter is determined to write the stories of the black maids working in white  households. Skeeter must convince the reluctant, fearful, yet courageous maids to divulge their candid inside stories.

Regal, wise and intelligent Abilene’s been trusted to raised 17 white children, but is relegated to the garage to use the toilet. Minny’s been fired from numerous households due to her out-spoken, sassy nature, yet her home-life is abusive. Written with homespun dialogue and first person alternating points of view, this character study provides a richly- drawn, realistic picture of three women living in Mississippi in the 1960s. These courageous women and their friends risk retribution and violence to tell their stories.  Stockett’s leisurely paced and poignant debut novel provides an occasionally humorous, yet candid, realistic and insightful look at racial injustice, discrimination, and segregation.

Subject Headings: Historic Fiction; Southern Women; Segregation; Jackson, Mississippi; Domestic Help; Civil Rights Movement: Domestic Fiction; Interracial Friendship; The Sixties.

Appeal: candid; leisurely-paced; strong sense of place; engrossing; first person multiple points of view; realistic; richly drawn characters; authentic storyline; character-centered; accurate historical details; dialogue rich; homespun language; humorous; moving.

3 terms that best describe this book: poignant, racial injustice, friendship between courageous black and white women.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Halberstam, David—The Children (Civil Rights movement, the South, courage, African American)

Kay, Mills—This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (Civil Rights, racial injustice to women, bravery)

Parker, Idella—Idella: Marjorie Rawlings’ “Perfect Maid” (domestic workers, racism, the South)

Skloot, Rebecca—The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (mistreatment of Blacks, moving, written in multiple threads, candid)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Berg, Elizabeth—We Are All Welcome Here (the Sixties, women’s friendships, domestic help, Civil Rights, heartwarming, character centered, leisurely paced, strong sense of place)

Kidd, Sue Monk—The Secret Life of Bees (white child raised by a Black woman, the South in the 1960s, female friendships, character driven, moving, humorous)

Straight, Susan—I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots (strong African American Southern women, character-centered, poignant, expressive dialogue)

Name: Debbie Siegel