Review: The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison

I don’t review anything that isn’t fantasy or science fiction on this blog often unless it was something that really piqued my interest. And Sandra Hutchison’s The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire was something that caught my attention when I first read the summary. I guess it was because it reminded me a little bit of Another Earth, this awesome indie film starring Brit Marling. The movie and this book are quite different but have similar main characters. The story of Another Earth revolves around a young woman who cleans the house of a music professor who lost his family in a car crash. In Ribs and Thigh Bones, the story revolves around a teenage girl who keeps house for a physics professor who lost his family in a plane crash. Interesting, right?

Anyway, read on to know more about The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire and check out my thoughts on the book.

Read More

The Asphalt Warrior Series by Gary Reilly

I read Gary Reilly’s The Heart of Darkness Club last year and I really liked it. Reilly’s writing style and language is smooth, clever and quite entertaining. I would’ve liked to review the other books in The Asphalt Warrior Series, but I just don’t have the time. Hopefully though I’ll get a hold of the books in the not so distant future. :)

In the meantime, please read about the newly-released books in the series: Dr. Lovebeads and Home For The Holidays. Also, you might want to check out the other tour stops and enter the giveaways!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Back in the driver’s seat again, the cabbie who made readers laugh out loud in the first three installments of the posthumously published “Asphalt Warrior” series has returned for two more books written by best-selling author Gary Reilly.

Winner of the 1979 Pushcart Prize, Reilly passed away in 2011 after a two-year battle with colon cancer, trusting a pair of friends to publish an 11-book series after his death. Since then, the “Asphalt Warrior” series has been in the hands of Mike Keefe, a retired political cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner, and Mark Stevens, a former journalist and acclaimed author in Colorado. Following the successful release of the first three books – “The Asphalt Warrior,” “Ticket to Hollywood,” and “The Heart of Darkness Club,” which hit No. 1 on the Denver area bestsellers list – the two friends will publish two more books Nov. 21, 2013 in honor of Reilly through Running Meter Press.

Denver taxi driver Brendan Murphy, aka Murph, returns in Reilly’s fourth book, “Home for the Holidays.” It’s Christmastime, and Murph leaves his cab behind to visit his family in Wichita where he finds himself reluctantly reconnecting with his siblings. Meanwhile, Murph takes it upon himself to save an old friend from making the biggest mistake of his life – accepting a job where suits and ties are everyday attire.

In “Doctor Lovebeads,” Murph ignores the little voice in the back of his head that says to stay out of the lives of his passengers. Instead, he goes undercover as a hippie – muslin, sandals, VW van and all – to rescue two girls he believes have been brainwashed by a cult leader.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Doctor LovebeadsAbout Doctor Lovebeads

Denver cab driver, Brendan Murphy — known to all as “Murph” — once again violates his vow never to get involved in the lives of his passengers. This time, he is out to rescue to young neo-hippie girls he believes have come under the spell of a cult leader in a commune outside Boulder.

In Doctor Lovebeads, the fifth in novelist Gary Reilly’s Asphalt Warrior series, Murph must go undercover to accomplish his mission. He lets his hair go untamed, dresses in muslin and sandals and arrives on the scene in a beat-up VW van called the “Cosmic Wonderbus and Mobile Mercantile.”

Murph tries to pass himself off as an old live child in his confrontation with Brother Chakra. As the good Brother might say, “It’s a mind-blowing trip.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Home for the Holidays

About Home for the Holidays

Taxi drive, Brendan Murphy — known to all as “Murph” — abandons his cab and the mean streets of Denver for his hometown, his “dear ol’ Maw” and an Irish Catholic clan the size of Country Cork. It’s Christmastime in Wichita.

Home for the Holidays, the fourth in novelist Gary Reilly’s Asphalt Warrior series has Murph reluctantly re-establishing relationships with his brothers and sisters while trying to save an old friend from making a soul-killing mistake: seeking a socially-acceptable job.

It will take all of his persuasive powers to rescue Jimmy Callahan from “the suits.” That, and maybe a Christmas miracle.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

About the Author

Gary Reilly was a writer.

Simply stated, that was the essence of the man.

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas he spent his early years in Kansas and Colorado in a large Irish-Catholic family–seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Denver where Gary attended parochial high school, graduating in 1967.

He served two years in the army, including a tour in Vietnam as a military policeman.

After discharge, Gary majored in English at Colorado State University and continued studies at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.

All along, his overarching ambition was to write fiction. And he did, prodigiously. His first published short story, The Biography Man, was included in the Pushcart Prize Award anthology in 1979.

Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was the character, Murph, a likable, bohemian Denver cab driver. Starting with The Asphalt Warrior, Gary cranked out eleven Murph novels.

His dedication to writing did not include self promotion. Instead of seeking agents and publishers, he focussed on his craft, writing and rewriting, polishing to perfection. He wrote well over twenty novels before he thought he was ready make his work public.

Unfortunately, he passed away in March, 2011, before he could realize that dream.

Friends and family remember Gary as a fun-loving, generous soul who always had time for other writers, helping them shape their work, getting it ready for print.

Now, through Running Meter Press and Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, Gary Reilly’s fiction is finally coming to bookstores in Colorado and across the nation.

 

Review: The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

I finished this book on the same day I posted that I was late with this review. On that day I finished my work, did a couple of posts (including my tour stop post for this book), had a late dinner and then plopped down on my bed with my iPad and finished the book relatively quickly! Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with any more details about that so let’s talk about the book, shall we?

The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

The entire book is narrated from a first person perspective by the main character Murph, a 40-something Denver cab driver who also happens to be an English major grad and an unpublished novelist. The book is basically a snapshot of his life as a cabbie or as an “asphalt warrior” and about what kind of person he is, and then it gets pretty interesting when he picks up a guy who may or may have not left him a note on a five dollar bill. He picks this guy up a couple more times before the guy disappears and Murph gets investigated by the police.

The Heart of Darkness Club is the third book in the Asphalt Warrior Series. Find out more about the series here.

Great writing, great story

I really liked this book. I loved the writing style, the flow of the story, the plot itself, the characters, almost everything. The cover could use a little more work because it just doesn’t capture how interesting this book is. I haven’t read the first two novels in the series, but it didn’t matter because The Heart of Darkness Club can stand on its own. There may be references to stuff that happened in the previous books, but the author didn’t dwell on those too much and they didn’t leave any burning questions for the reader.

Read More

Blog Tour: The Heart of Darkness Club by Gary Reilly

Egad, I am delayed with a review again! I’m currently reading this book and it’s pretty interesting so far–flows easily and reads like a casual conversation. I’ll have my review before the tour ends!

In the meantime, read more about The Heart of Darkness Club and its author Gary Reilly (who passed away before any of his novels were published). Also, please check out the other tour stops. :)

About the book

Denverite Brendan Murphy, or “Murph” as he’s known to the rest of the world.

That world consists mostly of fares and doormen and fellow hacks from the Rocky Mountain Taxicab Company. He lives alone in his crow’s nest apartment, fries a hamburger for every meal, does his dish, then channel surfs for reruns of Gilligan’s Island.

He’s a radical minimalist.

Murph has two main goals in life. First, to earn no more from driving his cab than it takes to keep his bohemian lifestyle afloat. Second, never and under any circumstance get involved in the lives of his fares. He’s not very good with the first issue and spectacularly bad with the second.

There are ten adventures total in The Asphalt Warrior Series. The Heart of Darkness Club is third in the series.
Come prowl the mean streets of Denver with Murph and ponder the meaning of the world and all sorts of deep questions, such as:

“Why would anyone want to DO anything?”

Gary Reilly was a writer.

Simply stated, that was the essence of the man.

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas he spent his early years in Kansas and Colorado in a large Irish-Catholic family–seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Denver where Gary attended parochial high school, graduating in 1967.

He served two years in the army, including a tour in Vietnam as a military policeman.

After discharge, Gary majored in English at Colorado State University and continued studies at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.

All along, his overarching ambition was to write fiction. And he did, prodigiously. His first published short story, The Biography Man, was included in the Pushcart Prize Award anthology in 1979.

Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was the character, Murph, a likable, bohemian Denver cab driver. Starting with The Asphalt Warrior, Gary cranked out eleven Murph novels.

His dedication to writing did not include self promotion. Instead of seeking agents and publishers, he focussed on his craft, writing and rewriting, polishing to perfection. He wrote well over twenty novels before he thought he was ready make his work public.

Unfortunately, he passed away in March, 2011, before he could realize that dream.

Friends and family remember Gary as a fun-loving, generous soul who always had time for other writers, helping them shape their work, getting it ready for print.

Now, through Running Meter Press and Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, Gary Reilly’s fiction is finally coming to bookstores in Colorado and across the nation.

*Book summary and author bio were copied from Goodreads.

Follow the tour here!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Poison Me by Cami Checketts (plus the author’s top 10 favorite literary characters!)

Blog Tour Schedule

Hello! I am actually away at the beach this weekend, but here’s an awesome blog tour and giveaway for you! Read about Poison Me, the latest by author Cami Checketts. There’s a tour-wide giveaway so don’t forget to put in your entries for a chance to win AWESOME stuff! ;)
Alright, I’ll tell you right now what the tour-wide giveaway prizes are! Enter for a chance to win $50 doTERRA Oil basket and $35 wholesale membership, $50 Kate Ryan Skincare GC, or $50 Amazon GC!

Poison Me by Cami Checketts


Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.

But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love. — Get this book on Amazon


Praise for Poison Me

“Poison Me made me laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy myself. I wish I had a friend like Ruby! Snappy dialogue, romance, and a strong sense of family made this book well worth reading.”

– Rachel Ann Nunes, bestselling author of Line of Fire and Before I Say Goodbye

Cami Checketts is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She’s never been happier.

A portion of the proceeds from Cami’s books will be donated to The Child & Family Support Center. For more information on this worthy cause, please go to www.cachecfsc.org

Connect with Cami on her Book BlogFitness BlogFacebook, and Twitter!

More about Cami! Here are her Top 10 favorite literary characters:

  1. Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  2. Autumn Rain from The Imprint Series (Rachel Ann Nunes)
  3. Simeon the Javelin from The Kingdom and the Crown Series (Gerald N. Lund)
  4. Eli Stroud from Prelude to Glory Series (Ron Carter)
  5. Ethan Searle from The Broken Path (Cami Checketts – sorry, but I just love the man)
  6. Athos from The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)
  7. Aibileen from The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
  8. Charly from Charly (Jack Weyland)
  9. Caroline Mendenhall from The Work and the Glory series (Gerald N. Lund)
  10. Atticus finch from To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

$50 doTERRA Oil basket and $35 wholesale membership, $50 Kate Ryan Skincare GC, $50 Amazon GC  Ends 3/30/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight: Shades of Gray by Susanne Jacoby Hale

Nope, this is not that Shades of Gray. This is a different kind of book and I’ll be doing a review of this next year. In the meantime, read more about it and see if this is something that interests you! Download a preview by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. :)

About the book
In inner-city New York, horrors lurk in the unruly hallways of Malcolm High School. As in-school riots and gang violence consistently envelop the classroom, Olivia Dalton attempts to teach her students while simultaneously directing a drop-out prevention program that embraces an ever-increasing group of at-risk students. Left with little hope she will ever have children of her own, Olivia becomes entrenched in her students’ lives, partly out of love, but also out of an unconscious desire to avoid her own internal anguish.

Meanwhile, Olivia’s devoted husband, Tom, is having trouble facing his own disappointments in not being able to create a family. In an effort to protect Olivia, he attempts to hold her back from the one place she feels useful and fulfilled-her career. But despite her husband’s efforts to quell her desire to help the troubled and confused, Olivia presses on and believes in change, even in the face of her students’ continual mistakes and poor choices. Neither Tom nor Olivia have any idea that everything is about to change when an unassuming gift is left at their door.

Shades of Gray is the profound story of one woman’s unpredictable journey to the truth, new beginnings, and a kind of love she never knew before.


About the author

SUSANNE JACOBY HALE, a former drop-out prevention teacher in a New York City high school, earned a master’s degree from New York University in education and creative writing. Although, when she began teaching in the real ACE program, depicted in Shades of Gray, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. Having been out of the classroom for a few years, Jacoby Hale still felt the need to make a difference in the lives of students.

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Download a preview of Shades of Gray here.