Posts Tagged ‘sexy’

Mama Black Widow

August 15, 2012

Author:  Iceberg Slim

Title: Mama Black Widow: A Novel

Genre: African-American, Urban Lit, GLBTQ

Publisher/Publication Date:  Old School Books, 1998

Number of Pages:  240

Geographical Setting:  Southside Chicago

Time Period:  1930s-1970s

Plot Summary:  Mama Black Widow tells the tragic tale of Otis Tilson, a 40-year-old gay drag queen living on Chicago’s south side during the racially turbulent 70s.  Much of the novel is told in a realistic way by Otis about how his family moved to Chicago from the south in the 1930s, and the hard times they had to endure from then on.  Most of the novel is spent examining Otis’s mother “mama,” a vile, manipulative, downright evil woman who basically destroys every member of the Tilson family.  She drives her husband away, coerced one of her daughters into prostitution, and a lot of innocent people suffer greatly by her hands.  The author of this novel, Iceberg Slim (former pimp) writes in a way that is both shocking and insightful.  The language is often blunt, candid, and very, very offensive.  Sex scenes are described in explicit detail, and tone often changes from jovial to deadly serious.  Issues such as integration, trade unions, Chicago’s underground gay scene, police brutality, and hatred for the white man are discussed at length throughout the novel.  Slim even admits in the introduction that he is not the greatest writer, but he writes for the common people, and “tells it like it is.”

Subject Headings: Chicago (Southside)–Police (Brutality)–House of Corrections–Plantations–Trade Unions–Black Power–Bars (Gay)–Drag Queens–Cross-dressing–GLBTQ–Pimps–Drugs–Guns–Prostitution–Religion–False Preachers–Sex–Erotica–Rape–Pedophiles–Martin Luther King, Jr.–Street Cars–The El

Appeal: Realistic, Shocking, Character-Driven, Blunt, Candid, Erotic, Frantic, Intense, Dramatic, Serious, Political, Steamy, Graphic, Comical, Gut-Wrenching, Tragic, Sad, GLBTQ, Sexy

3 Appeal terms that best describe this book:  Serious, Steamy, Graphic

3 Similar Non-Fiction works and authors:

Soul on Ice, Eldridge Cleaver

This non-fiction memoir by Eldridge Cleaver will appeal to Iceberg Slim fans for its ability to shock, outrage, and question the readers’ ideas of what it means to be black in America.  His memoir is both sincere, raw, and very engaging.  He says at one point, “I’m perfectly aware that I’m in prison, that I’ve been a rapist, and that I have a higher Uneducation.”  Cleaver made indeed be too offensive to some, but he always savagely honest.  He tells the truth and he knows it.

Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown

Claude Brown is a young, streetwise criminal growing up in Harlem in the 1940s and 50s.  This novel does an excellent job of describing northern black ghettos in New York in a turbulent, thrilling way.  Everything from pimps, drugs, street vendors, local shop owners, police brutality, gangs, sex and violence, and the gay underground are discussed in this book.  This book is however, quite inspiring and affirmative because Claude Brown is one of the lucky few who “made it” in this brutal world.

Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City’s Gay Community,  Tracy Baim

This handy reference book guides the reader through Chicago’s long and rich history of the gay community.  Those interested in Slim’s descriptive scenes of obscure bars and drag clubs will enjoy the multiple photographs presented within these pages (both in color and black & white).  The book draws on many scholarly, historical, and journalistic sources and covers time periods from pre- WWI to WWII-1960s, and 1970s to the present day.

3 Similar Fiction works and authors:

Blow Your Mind, Eric Pete

The description of the book reads,”In this erotic novel of sex and revenge, Eric Pete takes the consequences of dark sexual fantasies one step further.”  This story is about Tanner Coleman, his wife Bianca, and her wild sister, pumpkin.  When a man named Henry shows up and blackmailed Tanner, their lives are changed forever in a truly twisted way.  Not for the squeamish, this hardcore erotic, steamy, violent novel will appeal to Slim fans for its challenging dialogue, absurd situations, and the pessimistic world view that “we all die, and it will probably be sooner rather than later.”  Very popular!

Drag Queen, Robert Rodi

Considering the titles mentioned above, Rodi’s novel Drag Queen is a bit more light-hearted and comical, but also very engaging.  One review describes it as “The Parent Trap meets Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert.”  Gay attorney Mitchell Sayer has just found out from his mother that he has an identical twin, who happens to live not far from him in Northern Chicago.  The thing is, Mitchell’s brother is now named “Kitten Kaboodle,” gown-wearing, stillet0 strutting star of Tam-Tam’s “All-girl” review.  Furious, Mitchell tries to force Kitten into “the real world,” but Kitten feels she has a few lessons to teach as well.  Comical, insightful, and full of the Chicago landmarks Slim famously paints throughout his books.

Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby, Jr.

This graphic, brutally raw novel of characters living in Brooklyn during the 60s and 70s examines the anger and rage of many diverse individuals in a time where justice seemed non-existent.  Considered a classic of modern American writing, this book, as Slim would describe it, “tells it like it is.”  There are crooks, hoodlums, pimps, prostitutes, drag queens, gay men and women, police riots, and strikes galore.  Gritty and serious, blunt and brutally honest.  Truly essential.

Maybe This Time

August 1, 2012

Author:  Jennifer Cruise

Title: Maybe This Time

Genre:  Romance

Publication Date:  2010

Number of Pages:  342

Geographical Setting:  Ohio

Time Period:  1992

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary:  When Andie Miller’s ex-husband, North Archer, asks her to drive down to southern Ohio and take care of two children of whom he has recently become guardian, she is a bit reluctant.  She decides to go for a month, take the money that he offers and then be free to marry her new fiancé, Will.  When she gets down there she finds two uninterested children, one lazy housekeeper and a home full of ghosts.  With the help of several other family members Andie gets through to the children and discovers that the romance between her and her ex may not be dead after all.

Subject Headings: Nannies-Fiction, Haunted houses- Fiction, Domestic-Fiction, Divorce- Fiction, Paranormal- Fiction, Romance.

Appeal:  easy pacing, relaxed, character centered, domestic, quirky characters, sexy, light, heartwarming, humorous, upbeat, candid, colorful.

3 terms that best describe this book:

easy pacing, quirky characters, humorous

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Spook:  Science Tackles the Afterlife- Mary Roach

In an attempt to find out what happens when people die, Roach brings in the opinions of an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that there is an afterlife.  Readers interested in ghosts and the afterlife will enjoy this book.

Baking– James Peterson

The craft of baking is based on good technique. Learn the fundamentals well, and you can bake perfect cakes, cookies, tarts, breads, and pastries each and every time. That’s the premise of Baking, revered cooking teacher James Peterson’s master course in baking fundamentals. In more than 350 recipes and techniques, accompanied by step-by-step photographs, Peterson lays the foundation for lifelong baking success.  Readers inspired by Andie’s baking lessons with Alice will enjoy this guide to baking.

Getting it Right This Time:  How to Create a Loving and Lasting Marriage– Barry W McCarthy and Emily J McCarthy

Although divorce is common, it often holds negative associations. Husband and wife team Barry and Emily McCarthy view divorce and remarriage with optimism, showing it to be a courageous choice and a positive step towards a better life. In Getting it Right This Time, they zoom in on remarriage issues and identify the factors that led to the end of a marriage, using that information to help you learn from past mistakes and start over.  The themes of divorce and starting over are a strong part of Maybe This Time.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Summer by the Sea- Susan Wiggs

Rosa Capoletti runs an award-winning restaurant that is one of the most romantic in town.  She herself has not had a real romance since her love affair with Alexander Montgomery ended suddenly a decade ago. But Rosa’s life takes an unexpected turn when Alexander arrives back in town and asks for her help sorting through his late mother’s affairs. Reunited at the beach house where they first met and fell in love, Rosa and Alexander discuss the past and try to decide if their love can have a second chance.  “Maybe This Time and Summer by the Sea are character-driven, funny, and witty contemporary romances about second chances.”- Novelist

Eat Cake- Jeanne Ray

Ruth has always found baking cakes to be a source of relief from the stresses of life. And now-as her husband loses his job; her parents arrive for an extended stay, and her teenage daughter perfects the art of sulking-Ruth is going to have to save the day. Readers who enjoy the upbeat tone and well developed characters of Maybe This Time will enjoy this book.

Demon Hunting in Dixie– Lexi George

Addy Corwin is a florist with an attitude, who knows there’s not many men to choose from in Hannah, AL. Until one day Brand Dalvahni shows up.  He’s a supernaturally sexy, breathtakingly well-built warrior from another dimension.  Brand claims he’s here to rescue Addy from a demon, which she thinks is insane!  But right after Brand shows up, strange things start to happen and Addy knows she wants to keep Brand close.  This supernatural romance will appeal to readers of Maybe This Time who enjoyed the light and funny paranormal aspects of the story.

Name:  Becky Ozinga

Berlin: City of Stones

November 27, 2011

Author: Jason Lutes

Title: Berlin: City of Stones

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 209

Geographical Setting: Berlin, Germany

Time Period: September 1928-May 1st 1929

Series: Berlin Trilogy

Plot Summary: This is the first part of a trilogy that chronicles the lives of several characters as they struggle with their own hopes and dreams along with the larger (and darker) events that are happening around them.  This masterful piece of historical fiction documents the twilight years of the Weimer Republic, as well as the disillusionment of the Germans after World War I and the rise of two different political parties: Communism and National Socialism.  We see how the personal circumstances of some of the characters draw them to one party or another, while others simply try to live out their lives in spite of the events unfolding around them.  The two main characters are Kurt Severing, a cynical and world-weary journalist, and Marthe, a naïve but gifted and insightful art student exposed to the city of Berlin for the first time.  These central figures are only two of the characters who provide and intimate and emotional glimpse into a dark period of history.

Subject Headings: Art students, Journalists, Fascism—Germany, Men/Women relations, Communists, The Twenties (20th Century).

Appeal: Strong sense of place, intricately detailed, dark, compelling, atmospheric, engrossing, historical details, character-driven, cinematic, layered, thought-provoking, sexy, emotional, stirring, vivid.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Compelling, atmospheric, intricately detailed.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman:  For those who are interested in reading more about the Jewish struggle during and after World War II, this Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel does a great job describing the horrific story of the author’s parents fight to survive the Holocaust and how the survivor’s children are affected.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi: Another nonfiction graphic novel that would appeal to those who like Berlin’s focus on character and its thought-provoking analysis of a society during a specific time in a specific place.  Although this is about the daughter of Marxists growing up in Tehran and therefore has a very different plotline, the historical detail and atmospheric nature of the novel will appeal to those who like these same elements in Berlin.

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920’s by Otto Friedrich:  A nonfiction book that profiles some of the “colorful personalities” who contributed to the social, political, and cultural environment of Berlin in the 1920’s.  A good nonfiction crossover that would appeal to those who read this graphic novel and are interested in the history of Berlin, particularly the years between the world wars.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore: Although this graphic novel takes place in the future, it will appeal to those interested in totalitarian regimes and the people who fight against them.  Despite its larger meaning, this will appeal to those who like the focus on characters in Berlin as well its bleak and suspenseful elements.

The Golem’s Mighty Swing by James Sturm: A graphic novel that follows a traveling Jewish team in the early days of baseball, this will appeal to those who like the historical elements of Berlin, the Jewish characters in Berlin, as well as the bittersweet appeal that Berlin carries.

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton:  A classic novel that envisions a dystopic future.  A good crossover for fiction readers or vice versa.  Despite the sci-fi genre that is very different from Berlin, this is a character-centered and profound story that will grip almost any reader.

Black Ice

October 5, 2011

Author: Anne Stuart

Title: Black Ice

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 384

Geographical Setting: France, in and aroundParis; AppalachianNorth Carolina

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Ice Series, #1

Plot Summary:  When American in Paris Chloe Underwood takes a translating job at a French chateau for the weekend as a favor to her flighty roommate, she thinks she’ll be spending her time with a group of high-powered grocery importers. But when she discovers that the group of grocers is, in fact, arms dealers, she finds herself on the run for her life with the sexy and dangerous Bastien Toussaint as her protector. . .or is he her kidnapper?

Bastien Toussaint suspects the naïve young American of being an operative, but he can’t figure out who she’s working for. As an operative for the shady anti-terrorism group The Committee, he’s tired of killing, tired of hiding, and tired of living. Something about Chloe gets under his skin, and when he realizes that she is an innocent who has stumbled into danger, he betrays everything he thought he knew to keep her safe.

Subject Headings: arms dealers, France, Paris, suspense, romance, covert operations

 Appeal: violent, graphic, steamy, romantic, breakneck, sexually explicit, claustrophobic, dangerous, simple language, fast-paced, suspenseful, plot twists

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: dangerous, violent, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible  by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun

This biography of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, delves into the international arms trade and the shady character who controls much of its operations. Just as Black Ice explores the line between justifiable violence and that which readers cannot forgive, this book explores the man behind a trade that some praise and many condemn.

We’ll Always have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light by John Baxter

Part memoir, part travelogue, part gossip sheet, this collection of essays by an Australian expatriate delves into the seedier side of the city, detailing cafes and brothels, bondage shows and museums. For readers who love both the romance and squalor ofParis.

The Social Agent: A True Intrigue of Sex, Spies, and Heartbreak behind the Iron Curtain by Charles Laurence

This chronicle of secret agents in 1950sPraguefocuses on the seductive double agent Jiri Mucha, whose famous friends and social magnetism placed him at the center of a world of danger and intrigue.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Undertow by Cherry Adair

In this first book in a series about three treasure-hunting brothers, Zane Cutter hires childhood friend Teal to serve as a mechanic and diver on his latest mission. As their feelings for each other heat up, so does danger from every source, including bad guys, Federal agents, and even a hurricane. Like Black Ice, this features an exotic setting, lots of danger, and a steamy romance.

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

When Janie Bright and her friends make a list of the qualities they’d like to see in their Mr. Perfect, they don’t expect it to end up going public—or to end up in danger from a crazed stranger. But is the undercover cop—or is he really a bad guy?—next door is both sexy enough to keep Janie busy and bad enough to keep her safe? This book features a dangerous situation, a shady is-he-good-or-is-he-bad hero, and a lot of steam.

Show no Mercy by Cindy Gerard

This first book in Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops series features a damaged reporter, a shadowy billionaire, and the damaged hero who is a member of an elite Black Ops force.  With a high body count, bombings, kidnappings, and plenty of suspense to balance the romance, this book shares the high violence and sexuality level of Black Ice.

Name: Shelley

The Perfect Husband

October 5, 2011

Author: Lisa Gardner

Title: The Perfect Husband

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 1998

Number of Pages: 404 p.

Geographical Setting: Arizona (Nogales), U.S. East Coast

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Pierce Quincy Novels

Plot Summary:  Abused by her father as a girl, gentle and obedient Tess Williams believes that she is saved when police officer Jim Beckett appears in her life and marries her, only to discover that life married to sadistic and controlling Beckett is even worse than life before.  Upon discovering that her ‘perfect husband” is actually a serial killer, responsible for the brutal deaths of ten young women, Tess is instrumental in helping the police department put him behind bars.  At the beginning of the novel, Jim Beckett has escaped from prison and is determined to track down and take his revenge on his wife, killing her and taking away their four-year-old daughter Samantha.  Knowing that the police cannot protect her from such a man as Beckett, Tess leaves her daughter in a safe-house and travels to Arizona to enlist the help of ex-marine, retired mercenary and troubled, alcoholic widower J.T. Dillon and his icy, strong-willed FBI Agent sister, Marion.  What follows is a fast-paced and engrossing suspense novel, which takes you alternately between lust, romance, and sheer terror, as J.T. Dillon and Tess struggle to prepare for Beckett’s attack, fall in love, and fight their individual demons along the way.

Subject Headings:  Serial murderers’ wives, escaped convicts, Men/women relations, Revenge in men, Self-defense for women, Married people, Former Marines, Serial murderers, Domestic Violence

Appeal: Suspenseful, fast-paced, thrilling, psychological, character-centered, frightening, sexy, romantic, nerve-shattering, plot-driven, engrossing, multiple points of view, dramatic, menacing, violent, grisly, steamy.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, engrossing, sexy.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed American:  The true, historical account of the serial killer of H.H. Holmes who preyed on young female fair goers of the Chicago 1893 World Fair. A non-fiction work that reads like a gritty and grisly fast-paced suspense novel.

2) Roger Depue, Between Good and Evil: a master profiler’s hunt for society’s most violent predators: A former FBI serial killer profiler and investigator shares his experiences in law enforcement and as a member of the clergy who counsels convicts, describing his part in the creation of new law enforcement programs and techniques.

3) Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders: The prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca trials presents the inside story behind the Manson killings, explaining how Charles Manson was able to make his “family” murder for him, chronicling the investigation, and describing the court trial that brought him and his accomplices to justice.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1) Tami Hoag, Deeper Than the Dead: Like Gardner, Tami Hoag’s novels frequently read like movie scripts and are full of the thrills, chills, and fright that Gardner readers have come to expect.  This novel also contains a serial killer in a small town.

2) J.D. Robb, In Death Series: Lisa Gardner and J. D. Robb both write romantic suspense featuring fast-paced investigations that pit investigators against a range of deadly criminals. Both offer the satisfactions of on-going series characters, detailed settings, fascinating investigations, and romantic interest

3) Harlan Coben, Tell No One:  Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben write fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries that are well-plotted but also feature intriguing characters and accurate details about crime-solving.  Tell No One also involves a serial killer and male/female relationships.

Name: Rebecca C.

1st to Die

October 3, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Title: 1st to Die

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 462

Geographical Setting: San Francisco and Napa Valley, California; Cleveland, Ohio

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Women’s Murder Club

Plot Summary:  In San Francisco, a serial killer brutally murders and sexually assaults newly married couples oftentimes just hours after their weddings.  Enter Lindsay Boxer, a police inspector who battles not only a maniac killer in the world, but her own potential murderer in her own blood.  Fortunately, Lindsay has the support of her greatest friends: Claire, a medical examiner, Jill, an assistant district attorney, and Cindy, an up and coming reporter for the Chronicle.  Together, they make up the Women’s Murder Club and work together to catch a killer.  Along with her new partner, Chris Raleigh, Lindsay must race against the work of a homicidal maniac as well as against the ticking time bomb in her own body in order to solve the case before time runs out.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, Suspense, Romance, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Cleveland, Domestic Abuse, Sexual sadism, Negli’s aplastic anemia

 Appeal: Engrossing, breakneck, dangerous, suspenseful, sexy, romantic, multiple points of view, series characters, engaging characters, action-oriented, explicitly violent, plot twists, sexually explicit, simple language

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Breakneck, dangerous, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

This title delves into the practice of profiling serial killers and how that works in the real world.  It gives insight into the mind of the real serial murderer.  In 1st to Die, Lindsay mentions the profile of the killer they are hunting and the book also gives insight into the murderer’s mind.

Murder by the Bay: Historic Homicide In and About the City of San Francisco by Charles F. Adams

This book tells the stories of real life murders that occurred in San Francisco and involved many of the well-known celebrities of the day just as 1st to Die’s fictional murders involved high profile citizens in Patterson’s version of San Francisco.

Many Overboard: Inside the Honeymoon Cruise Murder by Joan Lownds

Details the story of a real-life murder that took place on a couple’s honeymoon just eight days after their wedding. This mirrors the honeymoon killings that take place in 1st to Die.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Burning Time by Leslie Glass

The first of the April Woo mysteries, this book mirrors 1st to Die in that it features a female investigator and a psychopathic killer who stalks his victims.

Fall From Grace: a Noir Thriller by Clyde Phillips

This book is the first of the Jane Candotti mysteries and similarly to 1st to Die, features a female investigator working in San Francisco.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

This book, part of the Rizzoli and Isles series, is a gritty, fast-paced novel about two women, a police inspector and a medical examiner, who work together to solve a crime, similarly to the work of the Women’s Murder Club.

Name: Christi H.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

May 26, 2010

book

Author:  Steig Larsson

Title:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Genre: Adrenaline/ Mystery

Publication Date:  2008

Geographical Setting:  Stockholm/ Sweden

Time Period:  present day

Series:  first book of Millennium trilogy

Plot Summary:

Mikael Blomkivist was a respected journalist, as well as founder and publisher of Millennium magazine, who built a career exposing financial corruption. After losing a libel case against Wennerstrom, a crooked but well protected venture capitalist, Blomkivist anticipates a jail sentence, financial collapse and the sinking of his magazine. In a moment of uncharacteristic desperation, Blomkivist answers the call of Dirch Frode, a lawyer intently seeking the journalist’s services on behalf of his client. Henrik Vanger is the retired patriarch of the Vanger family- a long-standing name in Swedish finance. Vanger seeks Blomkivist assistance in investigating the cold-case disappearance of his niece Harriet that occurred 40 years earlier.

Little does Blomkivist know that before meeting Frode or accepting Vanger’s offer he was being watched. Lisbeth Salander, mysterious and meticulous sleuth who looks more like a punk rocker than professional investigator, had already compiled his full profile for Frode, a client of Milton Security. Promises that the Wennerstrom case and Vanger’s desire to employ Blomkivist are not to be believed.

Blomkivist and Salander become unlikely partners attempting to solve the mystery the Vanger family’s grisly, dysfunctional history. The pair finds themselves in dangerous territory as they unravel a tale of torture and serial killings against a backdrop of astonishing corruption.

Larsson’s book has won several awards including Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel, Anthony Award for Best First Novel, British Book Award 2009 Crime Thriller of the Year, Library Journal Best Books 2008.

Subject Headings:  Mystery Thriller, Cold cases (Criminal investigation), Murder investigation, Journalists, Hackers, Violence against women, Swedish fictionTranslations into English, award winner/best seller

Appeal Terms: complex, multi-layered, strong characters, sexy, dark, corrupt, violent, fast paced, tense, financial thriller, dangerous, exciting, grisly, dramatic, award winning

Three terms that describe this book: multi-layered, sexy, financial thriller.

The next two books in the series are:

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Relevant Fiction Works:

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company.

Similarities: Strong, unusual female protagonist, conspiracy reaching back to WWII, multi-layered story

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
A black female elevator inspector must prove that her method of inspection by intuition, as opposed to visual observation, is not at fault when an elevator in a new city building crashes.

Similarities: Strong female protagonist, negotiating career in jeopardy, intertwining multiple plotlines
Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin

Twenty years after Jens disappeared without a trace from the island of Oland, a package is mailed to the boy’s grandfather that contains the worn and mended shoe of a child, prompting the grandfather to contact the child’s mother, resume the hunt for the boy, and make a shocking connection between Jens’s disappearance and the island’s most notorious murder case.

Similarities: Translated Swedish author, Father-daughter relationship

Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

The boys on the tracks: death, denial, and a mother’s crusade to bring her son’s killers to justice by Mara Leveritt

Linda Ives’s simple search for truth in the case of her son, who along with a friend was killed by being pushed in front of a train, reveals a frightening web of multiple murders, government corruption, and political scandal

Similarities: Cold case/ unsolved mystery, murder investigation

The house of Mondavi: the rise and fall of an American wine dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler

Traces four generations of a Napa Valley wine-making family, from the arrival of Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi at Ellis Island in 1906, to the scandals that rocked the family throughout the twentieth century, to the battle over the family’s billion-dollar fortune.

Similarities: multi-generational family business scandals

The Madoff chronicles: inside the secret world of Bernie and Ruth by Brian Ross

Discusses the multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme masterminded by Bernard Madoff, including his motives for the financial betrayal and others who were involved in the scheme.

Similarities: White-collar crime, fraud and corruption investigation

Skyscraper

June 24, 2009

Author: Zane

Title: Skyscraper

Genre: African-American, Women’s Lives

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 289

Geographical Setting: Washington, D.C.

Time Period: Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: It’s the week before Christmas, and the employees at Wolfe Industries are acting naughty, not nice: blackmail, prostitution, and corporate espionage are only a few of the activities conducted after hours. This book weaves together the story of three employees and the head executive, bringing the action to a head at the annual Christmas party. Zane’s main characters are fun to follow, and her cast of mischievous secondary characters are equally enjoyable.  Readers looking for sexy scenes, funny dialogue, and a happily resolved ending will not be disappointed.

Subject Headings: African-American owned businesses, African-Americans, Men/women relations, Sexuality, Christmas parties, Single mothers, Marriage, Office romance, Extramarital relations, Secrets, Erotic fiction, African-American, African-American fiction21st century

Appeal Terms: Gossipy, urban, conversational, sexy, light tone, interweaving plot lines, multiple points of view, graphic, page-turner, character-centered, racy, resolved ending

3 terms that best describe this book: Conversational, sexy, character-centered

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction:

If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs by Big Boom (Humorous, conversational, contemporary love advice)

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey (Conversational, relationship-centered, contemporary love advice)

It’s No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal–a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All by Carmen Bryan (Gossipy, sexy, contemporary, scandalous)

3 Relevant Fiction:
Thong on Fire: An Urban Erotic Tale by Noire (Sexy, contemporary, conversational, page-turner)

The Playa’s Handbook by Brenda Jackson (Romantic, sexy, contemporary, resolved ending)

Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey (Sexy, contemporary, page-turner)

Name: Marisa

Tell Me Lies

April 1, 2009

Title: Tell Me Lies

Author: Cruise, Jennifer

Publication Date: 1998 (hardcover); 2004 (paperback)

Number of Pages: 322 (hardcover); 369 (paperback)

Genre: Romance; Contemporary

Geographical Setting: Frog Point, Ohio

Time Period: Contemporary – late 1990s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: While innocently cleaning her husband’s car, Maddie Faraday, finds a pair of black thong panties under the driver’s seat of his car. Faster than Maddie can confront her husband, Brent, about his extramarital activities, she and her best friend Treva uncover a laundry list of his misdeeds that including cheating, embezzlement, and a plan to skip town and flee to South America. As Maddie’s world begins to crumble an old high school flame, C.L. Sturgis, returns to their small town of Frog Point, Ohio, ready and willing to rescue Maddie and her eight-year-old daughter Em. Things get even more complicated, when Brent is found dead and Maddie becomes the police department’s prime suspect. As gossip in town begins to swirl, Maddie and C.L. work to find Brent’s true killer and exonerate Maddie. As they come closer to the truth Maddie and C.L. become romantically involved. Ultimately, is revealed redeems Maddie, but shocks and stuns the residents of Frog Point, giving them plenty of good gossip.

Subject Headings: Small own life; Extramarital relations; Gossiping and gossips; Marriage; Husband and wife; Eight-year old girls; Murder; Truthfulness and falsehood; Deception; Mother and daughter; Mother and adult daughter; Secrets; Ohio

Appeal: easy, fast paced, quirky, well developed characters, character centered, domestic, multiple plotlines, racy, resolved ending, romp, sexually explicit at times, steamy, contemporary, humorous, romantic, sensual, small town, sexy, charming, candid, concise, suspenseful

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction): Philips, Susan Elizabeth – Ain’t She Sweet (small town, second chances, revenge, deception, contemporary romance) Evanovich, Janet and Charlotte Hughes – Full Scoop (secrets, scandal, mother and daughter relationship, mystery, suspense, humorous) Andrews, Mary Kay – Little Bitty Lies (men and women relationships, deception, lies, best friends, suburban setting, contemporary)

Similar Authors and Works (Nonfiction): Dunbar, Robin – Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language (analyzes the human rituals surrounding gossip and how humans rely on gossip to maintain contact); Edelman, Hope – Mother of My Mother: The Intricate Bond Between Generations (examines the relationships between mothers, daughters, and granddaughters and how these relationships can impact a woman’s life and development) Gertler, Stephanie and Adrienne Lopez – To Love, Honor, and Betray: The Secret Life of Suburban Wives (individual stories of suburban wives and their stories of marriage, infidelity and love)

Name: Joanna