The Muse Book Review Archives

Interview with Marcus Damanda by Pamela Jenewein
Loss of Innocence reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos
Audio Classes by DDP reviewed by Lea Schizas
Interview with Michael Perronne
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill reviewed by Gene Berger
Diverting the Buddha reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Launch Out Into the Deep reviewed by Mary Schneider
The Life Organizer reviewed by Alice Berger
Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Swapping Paint reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Through the Ages and The Sun is Hot reviewed by Christine Speakman

FEBRUARY 15-  Meet Swimming Kangaroo Publisher Dindy Robinson and her authors. The Swimming Kangaroo spotlight guests will offer several door prizes, and there will also be one Swimming Kangaroo birthday box that will contain books, plush and other goodies. Don’t miss this event. In order to meet our publisher and authors and take part in the door prizes, you need to register for membership at:


Karina Fabian: Magic Mensa & Mayhem (to be released, no cover art yet)


It's been a slow month at the Dragon Eye Private Detective Agency.  Vern, a for-real North African Faerie Wyvern, and his partner Sister Grace, a High Mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, haven't had to save the universes in--oh, must be months. After two decades of our world (the Mundane) and the world of Magic (Faerie) being connected by a transdimensional gap, people are finally starting to learn that magic and technology don't mix well, that using magic is a lot harder than Harry Potter makes it look, and--sorry--that a leprechaun is more likely to curse you with a pot belly than bless you with a pot of gold.  Nor has the agency had many less exciting cases lately, so when the Faerie Bishop has an assignment for them, they accept.


It should be a simple enough:  chaperone a bunch of Faerie guest panelists at a world Mensa convention.  They could just wander around the hotel, attend seminars and generally keep the Faerie out of trouble.  The Bishop has even arranged for Grace to speak on her favorite topic--liturgical music. 


But babysitting becomes supernatural Haz-Mat when bellhops start teasing the Viking Siegfried ("What's in your wallet? Hynuh, hynuh!"), one of the dwarves gets accosted in Bo-Bo Beaver's Fantasyland, helper elves start finishing the Mensans' puzzle books and messing with their presentation slides, Coyote (of Native American legend) comes sniffing around, and Grace's old rival, the Greek Muse Euterpe, gets nasty during the Magic in Music panel.  None of that, however, compares to when the High Elves decide to renew a war over the bull that isn't.


Looks like it'll be one of those "save the universes" jobs again….


Larriane Wills: The Knowing, Looking Glass Portal, Mourning Meadow, Thirteen Souls (coming very soon), Mark of the Sire (ditto)


Mourning Meadow Blurb:

Steven came to Morning Meadow just to see the mansion. Then he met Kari, strange, remote-- and the most alluring woman he’d ever met. But Kari has a secret. In fact, everyone at the Meadow has a secret, even the Meadow ghosts, and one of those secrets could kill.  Steven and Kari must work together to discover who wants her dead, or there will be nothing left but ghosts at Morning Meadow.


Thirteen Souls Blurb- well, actually this is what we have for right now. Larriane wrote this one and I haven’t had time to rework it:

Heather, her identity for the con, had all the necessary credentials for what should have been a quick and easy job. Convincing Gene she was a medium guided by a 200 year old spirit wasn’t as important as keeping him busy while the others worked the site. She hadn’t counted on the explosive attraction between them or the deadly conflict between him and his brother.


Janis Susan May: The Land of Heart’s Delight


When she went to South Texas as a County Home Demonstration Agent in 1940, Aletha Barrett was in culture shock. Raised in the gently rolling green farmland of Northeast Texas, Aletha was unprepared for the vast sandy expanses and different societies she found there. From unearthing baby rattlesnakes to exploring the unknown spiciness of Mexican food, every day was a learning experience.


Ever an adventurer, Aletha ventured deep into Mexico when it was largely unknown to North Americans. Over the course of several trips she witnessed what might have been a murder in Mexico City, endured the then-perilous Pan-American Highway at the mercy of a drunken bus driver and stayed in Acapulco when it was a tiny village with just two hotels.


In later years, after marrying and having a family, Aletha always said she was going to write a book about her life in South Texas, but somehow the right time never came. After Aletha's death, her daughter Janis Susan May, a writer and novelist, was going through her papers and found an outline, some notes and a rudimentary chapter or two. Janis Susan had been raised on her mother's stories and knew them by heart, so working from the notes she completed the book. It was, she says, the best testament she could envision to the memory of a remarkable woman.


Colin Harvey: Lightning Days, The Silk Palace, Vengeance (coming soon), Blind Faith (coming in the fall), Killers (ditto)

Silk Palace Blurb




...your name is given to you from the dying breath of a semi-sentient jewel -- and that to change it is heresy...


...a world where the gods walk among us...


...where hot-air balloons and hang-gliders co-exist with magic...


...a small city-state perched atop a giant albino rock, between two great empires...


...a young woman whose foolish prank may cost her life at any moment…


Imagine you are in The Silk Palace…


Lightning Days Blurb

There's a mystery in the caves of Afghanistan


British Special Agent Josh Cassidy knows there is no such thing as a routine mission when he is sent to accompany an ill-prepared band of reservists on a hastily prepared mission into the heart of Afghanistan. The mysterious heat source that showed up on the military satellites could be just about anything, but nobody is prepared to find a group of refugees from an alternate universe:  a group of intelligent, NEANDERTHAL refugees.


Elaine Charton: EZ Lovin’, Pandora’s Justice (coming this summer)


Ezechial Zachariah McAllister is a true Texan from the top of his Stetson to the tip of his leather boots. Known to his friends as EZ, he works for U.S. Customs out of Boston. Abigail Fairfax is a very proper Bostonian and the owner of the newest art gallery in the city. She agrees to let EZ use her townhouse for a stakeout to try to catch an art smuggler, but letting him masquerade as her lover proves to be more than she'd bargained for. How long can Abigail resist until she succumbs to EZ's Texas charm and the masquerade becomes real? 


Michael Charton: Holmes vs Moriarty (coming sometime) no cover or blurb available

Mark Eller: The Isabellan Enticement: Book 1 of the Turner Chronicles (coming next winter) no cover or blurb available


Kate Fellowes: When Shadows Fall


Gretchen Waller arrives at the remote estate, Mill Hollow, eager to begin her job as assistant to handsome author John David Honeycutt.  Amid the snowbound wild of the haunting north woods she finds deception and danger as John's investigation into his family's history stirs up dark secrets– secrets which have already led to murder.  Drawn to John, Gretchen soon takes up his quest to uncover the truth.  Can they solve the crime before the killer strikes again or will Mill Hollow claim more victims when shadows fall? 


Mary Andrews: The Fireborn Chronicles


The inevitable fusion of man, machine and the paranormal


The Universal Government has found an enticing strategy to bolster
cooperation and membership.   Each planet remains free to determine for itself what constitutes an unacceptable faction.  The Universal Government will remove the members of that faction and employ them on the Hive Planet.


Workers of the Hive are addicted to a wonderful and all-encompassing drug that can only be earned by working, thus converting each planet’s formerly unproductive and dangerous elements into a universal workforce that provides the ultimate interplanetary temp service across a truly universal web.


Since its creation, only one person has ever escaped the Hive Planet: A newborn, fully implanted with compu-link interface temple plates, but not yet introduced to the drug.  He now leads a Dark Ops unit for The Gov on a mission to uncover a psionic ring of criminals who have inexplicably taken control of an important Government Ambassador.


What they find will change the universe.


Beth Heywood: Cherished (coming in May)


Widow Adelaide Rawtenstall and her infant son are fleeing for their lives from her father-in-law, James Rawtenstall, whose long arm of influence stretches across the rivers and hills of northern England. Adelaide takes the only course of salvation open to her – she enlists as a mail-order bride, bound for Damnation Island, a remote and lonely outpost in the inhospitable South Atlantic Ocean.


Torn between two lovers, Adelaide must make a devastating choice between a once-in-a-lifetime overwhelming, shattering love, and a man of profound kindness and formidable compassion who has offered sanctuary for her and her unborn child, and whom she has also grown to love.


Where does her loyalty lie?  And can she live with the consequences of such a devastating decision?


Jack Adler: Ditzy & Champion


Welcome to the chat room

A place to talk about relationships.

A place to make connections.

A place to... meet your stalker?

Faye joins the chat room to relax and make friends.

She ends up getting more than she bargained for when one of her chat buddies steps off the computer screen and into her office.

Ray thinks he might just be the man of Fay's dreams, but instead Faye and her husband  find themselves in a nightmare.


Don’t miss this event. Ask our guests questions based on their books, the genre they write in, read excerpts of their books. Tons of fun and prizes to be had. Remember to register at:

See you on the 15th of February. If you have friends who love to read, then tell them all about us. What a neat way to interact with some of their favorite authors.


Lea Schizas

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