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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Review--Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor

Well, this post is 28 days after my last one, but I did manage to keep my promise to post again this month. Barely! My husband and I returned this past Tuesday from a 10 day vacation--5 day cruise to Mexico and then a stay at Orange Beach, AL. I was without computer access the whole time, but did have plenty of time to read!

First I want to give my own personal review for Donn Taylor's book Rhapsody in Red. I will draw tomorrow, December 1st, then post the winner of this book. They are in for a real treat. Donn's writing and characters draw you in from the very start. There is a musical quality to his writing and a musical theme throughout the book that adds much to the storyline. I even suggest you play some of the classical pieces his hero, Preston Barkley, is hearing in his head, while you are reading this book, to heighten the mood and the effect of the words.

I don't want to give away much of the plot line other than the back cover blurb I quoted from in my last post. I will share that Donn is a master at working all the subplots together seamlessly into a whole that will keep you guessing who the murderer is because he introduces us to so many well-written red herrings that you may not figure out the villain until almost the very end like Professor Barkley. The last line of the book leads me to believe there will be a sequel, and I certainly hope so. Preston Barkley now seems like a friend with whom I want to stay in touch. So, hurry up and write more, Donn.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Contest Winner, New contest and Excuses, excuses...

The winner of Ann Gabhart's The Outsider is Diana. I know she will enjoy it muchly. I saw Ann a couple of weeks ago at her booksigning in Lexington, KY, and she said a sequel is in the works, so I am eagerly awaiting it! Ann is on the left in the red jacket and Virginia Smith who also signed books that evening is in the red jacket on the right. I'll post more about Virginia later on this month, so check back to read about her and one of her new books. The other two ladies are members of our Unity Christian Church book club, Ellen Whitaker and Thelma Taylor, who also attended the signing at Joseph-Beth with me.

This month's book contest is for Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor. Don is another ACFW member whom I have met at conferences, along with his lovely wife, Mildred. Although I am only about 1/4 way thru this book (see excuses below!), I can already tell you that I am very impressed. Not only has Donn hatched a plot that has me wanting to stay up past my bedtime to see what happens, he has also done it with the cadence and lyrical writing one would expect from the poet that he is! Here's a blurb from the back cover copy to whet your appetite and make you want to leave a post so you have a chance to win this book:

"Preston Barclay is a self-made recluse (and he likes it that way). Teaching college history allows him time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and a headstrong colleague, Mara Thorn, discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press's monotonous solitude is destroyed. When the preliminary evidence singles out Press and Mara, they must take some chances (including trusting each other) to build their own defense--by bending the rules just a bit...Otherwise they both might end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse..." Sound exciting? Leave a post!

Now for the excuses part. I really hate to make excuses for not finishing this book sooner and for not blogging more this past month, but...I was taking two online classes, plus working on getting my final rewrites done before sending my two requested proposals off, plus had friends visit for nine days... So, although November looks to be a busy month also, I pledge to write at least one more time this month--once I get said proposals sent off and read Virginia's book so I can post a review of it. Hope you will check back and keep me accountable!