Monday, July 24, 2017

Avon Calling: A Woman's Work is Never Done by Hayley Camille

Ding-dong, Avon Calling!

It’s the summer of 1943, and Betty Jones is living the perfect life. Married to her beloved, George, a successful insurance man, with two children, George, Jr., age 5, and Nancy, age 11, she completes her days helping her Avon business customers and friends. Just when life becomes a little too much, the sound of “Avon calling” and the little bit of pampering that accompanies it can really boost a girl’s day.

But Betty isn’t all that she seems. Underneath that perfect exterior, Betty has secrets. For one, she can hear your thoughts.

Wow! Betty is my new super hero, and Avon Calling! is my new favorite series. A Woman’s Work is Never Done is the first episode and is a great start to this series. Episode 1 introduces the character Betty Jones and her family, and gives us a glimpse into her backstory, growing up with an abusive father who is a member of a local crime family in New York City and her heroin-addicted mother who uses the drug to quell the voices she hears in her head. Her mother could also hear other people’s thoughts, and the constant barrage from these voices drove her to find relief, and ultimately her death, in a syringe.

The author has incorporated the fashion, the language of the time, and the cultural history of the door-to-door Avon Lady into this story of mob crime and paranormal gifts. I can’t with to get into the next episode A Dream That I Can Call My Own.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Indentured (The Mystic Saga, #1) by Scott McElhaney

Declan Stringfellow is on a vigilante mission to take out the drug dealers and their organization when he is shot, rushed to a hospital, and undergoes an MRI to determine the damage. One minute he’s entering the scanner and the next he’s waking up (in a new, healthy, and fit body) in the far distant future aboard a spaceship. Future humans have developed the technology to highjack the results of MRIs collected in the past and imprint them on the brains of commercially-developed human bodies. Although the original Declan and the others with him lived out their normal lifespan in the past, the new beings only have memories up to the point of the MRI and nothing further. To their horror, they have been created to serve as “Indentures” or slaves. They are on this space vessel bound for an uninhabited planet light years away with the goal of building a base for future colonists already enroute from Earth. However, not everything is as it seems and many of the Indentured aren’t “on board” with their new lives.

This is the first book in a five-book series, The Mystic Saga, by Scott McElhaney. With an interesting storyline that goes from modern times to well into the future, a variety of characters, cool tech, heartbreak, and mysteries all around, the story had me hooked right away. There are intriguing developments all along the way that the characters question, just like I was doing. I’ve already obtained Book 2, Legacy, to continue the fun.

Severing Sidney by Jason Werbeloff

When Geppetto (the Gutter surgeon and 'parts' dealer from The Organ Scrubber) receives the "Save the Date" (awesome touch!) announcing the "Merging" ceremony of his only child (only daughter), Simona, he leaves his home outside the New York Bubble and travels back to his home country, the Roman Bubble. The announcement has taken its time finding and getting to him in the Gutter and he must leave immediately as the ceremony is to take place in 2 days time. Arriving in his former home, he discovers the ceremony has actually already taken place and Simona has already "become one" with her intended, Neville. To recognize their new relationship and state of being, they have taken a new name, Sidney, a melding of both their birth names. But Geppetto cannot find the true essence of his beloved daughter in the new being and sets about to rectify the situation as only a surgeon in the Bubble World would do!

This slice of life in the Bubble World adds to our knowledge and understanding of author Werbeloff's universe and we get to see some of the backstory of characters that appeared in the very first story: Geppetto and his niece, Florenza. I particularly was surprised by the introduction of Geppetto's ex-wife, Lilly White. I was suitably horrified by this latest installment in the Bubble World saga and look forward to more.