Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Whole New World: "The Gargoyle Hunters" by John Freeman Gill

Author John Freeman Gill's thrilling debut novel, The Gargoyle Hunters, takes you on an astonishing and breathtaking journey into a subculture of 1970s New York City that most of us never realized existed... the subculture of salvaging artifacts from buildings that were designed by architects and sculptors to withstand the ages. Buildings adorned with all manner of  stone and terracotta gargoyles, sea nymphs, Gods, Goddesses, animals, plant life and odds and ends that Mr. Gill brings brilliantly to life.
The narrator of this story is 13 year old Griffin Watts, a  native NYer, who loves the city and all it has to offer. He is the son of mostly estranged parents. His father, the artifact salvager -in-chief, is a man who loves lost New York and its relics maybe more than he does his son. His mother is a bohemian artist who takes in tenants, all male, and allows them to mostly freeload off her often at the expense of her children. Griffin and his older sister, Quigley, a theatre geek girl always off to the next audition, are mostly left to their own devices.
Although Griffin has friends, and a crush on a slightly older girl, he longs for his father's attention, and when his father finally focuses that attention on his only son... you begin to fear for Griffin's well being as he is swept into the life of the artifact salvagers and their obsessions that sometimes leads them to the tops of buildings and to secret worlds unseen by the unobservant passers-by.
Griffin, and his family and the amazing city of New York, its past, both recent and distant, are brought so vividly to life that this book really stays with you long after you've finished it. It is memorable and has the feel of a book you'll want to revisit every so often. This book won't be released until March but I wanted to help get the word out. A BIG thank you to Edelweiss for the DRC!

And, a mixtape review! From Disney's "Aladdin" via youtube

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Second Chances: "738 Days" by Stacey Kade

Amanda Grace was 15 when she was abducted by her school bus driver. In the 738 days that she is imprisoned and abused one thing keeps her going... a page torn out of a  magazine featuring the gorgeous visage of leather jacketed teen heartthrob, Chase Henry. Amanda imagines him encouraging her to escape, something it seems impossible to do, but when her chance comes, it's the imaginary Chase urging her on as she makes contact with a repairman from behind the locked door. The police arrive, the bus driver is killed, and Amanda is freed.

Two years later, Amanda, now back at home with her parents and two sisters, is still traumatized. Her family either treats her with kid gloves or ignores her. Therapy hasn't really helped. She is also famous for surviving the abduction and everyone knows how much Chase Henry meant to her, or at least the imaginary one did.

Meanwhile, Chase Henry, former beloved idol of teen girls everywhere, is now trying to save what he has left of a career. Fame and money had gone to his head and his reputation as an actor tanked after word of his bad behavior and drinking spread. Struggling to rebuild his career by taking a minor role in an indie flick, his publicist has an idea. Why not surprise Amanda Grace with a personal visit as her home is only a couple of hours from the film location.

What happens next in this intriguing, riveting and yes...steamy! story will keep you reading and rooting for Amanda and for Chase. These are two people you care about as they fight to overcome their demons. Highly recommended.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Stormy Weather: "Nora and Kettle" by Laura Nicolle Taylor

It's the early 1950s. Nora is the 17 year old daughter of a famous civil rights lawyer. Her mother is dead, killed in an accident falling down the stairs at home. Now there's no one else to care for her little sister, Frankie, or to come between them and their horribly abusive and bullying father. Frankie wears a hearing-aid. The direct result of some of that abuse when she was only three. Can Nora stay alive long enough to protect her sister? To escape from the prison that is their home?

Kettle is a street smart boy. He, too is 17. And an orphan living with his friend, Kin, and a group of lost children beneath the streets of the city. He is half-Japanese. A living reminder to people with a racist bent of the not too distant past of World War II. Kettle and Kin work to try to provide for the children under their protection. They call themselves the Kings and have "King" names. Each morning they fight the men desperate for work on the docks of the city. The work is hard and dangerous and often the danger doesn't come just from the work...but from the other workers who resent them for their race.

Sometimes after a hard day at work,  Kin and Kettle sleep in an alleyway adjoining a posh street. One day Kettle sees a hand reach out a window and drop something. He investigates and finds it to be a small sculpture. He hides it away. A secret treasure. In the days to come, Kettle finds many other objects, objects he also keeps hidden away. Whose was the hand he saw in the window?

How Nora and Kettle's lives intersect is something the reader will have to discover. This is a book I received from NetGalley (thank you NetGalley!) and knew nothing about. It is a hard book to read at times, because of what the lovely, brave Nora has to deal with. and Kettle is a boy you'll take to your heart. These are two people who come to vivid life on the page. People you'll care about. If you are looking for something thought-provoking and a book you'll think about long after the final page, then be sure to give Laura Nicolle Taylor's  "Nora and Kettle" a chance.

And even though this song has nothing really to do with the book, Nora and Kettle have to deal with some stormy weather of their own... so, through the miracle of youtube: the most fabulous Lena Horne:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

All You Need is Love: "Disfigured" by Wendy Coles-Littlepage

Sylvie Bessette, the narrator of this swoon-ily romantic re-telling of Leroux's classic, is an independent young woman, a divorcee', and also an orphan. Wanting to stand on her own two feet and not be dependent on any man, she rents a store-front with rooms above and sets about starting a catering business. Her hope, being the daughter of a doctor and a caring mother who was also a great cook, is to prepare meals for invalids. She renovates and supplies her kitchen and then places ads in the local paper in hopes of attracting clients.
Attract them she does! Her first client is a Doctor who arrives at her shop accompanied by a nun. He is the physician in charge of a "private" hospital. Would she consider supplying meals for nine patients and delivering them on a daily basis? It is a dream come true for Sylvie. She would make enough to keep her in business. Before this negotiation is settled, the Doctor asks her to take an oath of secrecy regarding what kind of hospital she would be working for. An oath which she agrees to. What could it mean? We shall see!
A little while later, Sylvie is shopping at the local street market, and by chance makes an acquaintance that will change her life forever. She witnesses a woman get knocked down in the street by a donkey. Coming to her aid, she invites her home to freshen up and to stay for tea. This woman is none other than Madame Giry!
Sylvie and Celestine Giry become friends. Celestine learns that Sylvie cooks for the hospital and that her clients there are scarred and disfigured. After querying her about her feelings towards these patients, and hearing that Sylvie has no problem with their physical differences, she presents the case of her friend, a man who also suffers from a "disfigurement" , and invites Sylvie to take him on as a client. She assures her that this gentleman would pay well depending on his satisfaction with her cooking. She agrees, though, once again, she is presented with a set of rules she must follow. And follow them she does. Until her curiosity gets the better of her. Who could this mysterious new client be?
Can you guess? Yes! It is Erik, the Phantom of the Opera! As she delivers his dinners to his designated spot, we see and hear about the Phantom and the events that unfold at the Paris Opera House through Sylvie's eyes.
This is a captivating concept as sometimes we only hear second-hand, as Sylvie does, about Erik's exploits, things familiar to any Phan, and that take place "off stage" so to speak. And MS. Coles-Littlepage has given us a darkly romantic Phantom, one who seems to come to life on the page, and a man that the reader (if you are anything like the Recommender!) will fall in love with along with Sylvie.
This book was recommended to me (thank you, Lisa!) and I am, in turn, recommending it to you! If you are a Phantom Phan or just someone who likes a good story, then be sure to add Disfigured to your collection!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Big Bang: "Learning to Swear in America" by Katie Kennedy

Katie Kennedy's Learning to Swear in America is a must read for anyone who craves something different, something completely original and with a lead character who will win you over from the first page. Yuri Strelnikov is that character. Ms. Kennedy brings him to life so brilliantly that the reader wishes he were actually alive and could maybe take charge of some other problems besides the asteroid that is hurtling towards Earth.
This asteroid is aiming to take out a good chunk of North America. It has a name. The BR1019.
 17 year old Yuri Strelnikov is a boy genius from Russia who has arrived at NASA's Near Earth Object Program (part of its Jet Propulsion Laboratory) based in Pasadena, California, to share his input on how to stop it from destroying California, among other things.
The scientists, professors and Military personnel working on this project are all much older, some much, much older, than Yuri, who holds a Doctorate and works at a university in Russia. His time will be spent at the lab and at the hotel he's been booked into.
One morning, as he pours himself a coffee at work, he sees a girl walk into the room. She was around his age and very striking what with all her dangly jewelry and unique hair color. She was looking for her father. Not a scientist, the janitor. A guard escorts her out. Angry at the guard's treatment of the girl, he follows her out bearing coffee and donuts. They seem to connect... but then she spots her Dad and takes off.
Will Yuri ever see the girl again? Will the asteroid crash into Earth ? These are questions that will all be answered in this stunningly delightful debut novel. Ms. Kennedy is a terrific story teller and I guarantee you will fall in love with Yuri. The Recommender certainly did. 5 stars! Make that a whole galaxy of them! A BIG thank you, NetGalley for approving this DRC!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Truth and Lies: "Unhooked" by Lisa Maxwell

What can I say? I am almost always attracted to the fictional outlaws and bad guys and the anti-heroes like... the Phantom, Dracula, and...pirates! in the books I read.  One pirate in particular: Captain Hook! The Recommender LOVES Peter Pan based novels and has read some really good ones. I just finished Lisa Maxwell's very intriguing take on the Captain and LOVED her depiction of that character.
But, let us start at the beginning. Gwen Allister has lived all her life on the move. Her mother, an artist, has dragged her from place to place seeking to avoid "the monsters". Could all this be part of her artistic sensibility, as she takes commissions and creates art, or could she suffer from some sort of delusions? Gwen isn't sure. So when they end up in London and take up residence in an old house, Gwen and her friend Olivia, who is spending the summer with the Allisters, don't know what to make of her mother's reactions to a mural on the wall. The faded painting seems to portray a group of  dancing fairies. Why should this bother her mother? And then, there's the bracelet her Mom gives her, blue-gray stones, to protect her, but...from what?
After they are finally settled, taking the room with the mural, and wondering at the landlord's warning about turning off the light that hangs above the bed, Olivia suggests they go for a run. After their run and unfamiliar with their surroundings, Olivia approaches a girl to ask for directions. Gwen sees the girl as a threat, with pointed teeth and dark, strange eyes, but Olivia just sees someone normal, wondering why Gwen is dragging her rudely away.
And later, in bed, dismissing the warning about the light, Gwen turns it off.
Not long after, she is abducted by winged creatures, flown through the night, and dropped into the sea!
It is when she comes to, rescued, and finding herself on a ship, of all things, that she comes face to face with the man who commands it. Captain Hook. A man not so much older than her, it seems, and yet with an air of authority, a scar across his attractive face and a mechanical hand instead of the mythical hook.  His crew is made up of a variety of young boys, all armed.
Is she as delusional as her mother? This can't all be real...can it?
You will have to see for yourself whether Gwen survives her ordeal and what else lies in store for her and those she loves. And, you ask, what about Peter Pan? He's there, too, in a very interesting incarnation. But it is Hook you will remember...long after the final page is turned.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Gone Hollywood: "Be Frank With Me" by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Sometimes you just fall in love with a character when you read a book. And you will do just that with Frank, the little boy referenced in the title of this charming debut novel.  It's the kind of book that's so good you don't want it to end.
Alice Whitley works at a NY publishing house as an assistant to editor Isaac Vargas, who, back in the 70's had discovered a manuscript by a young woman that became a world-wide and continuously in print best seller. Think "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "Catcher in the Rye". The book "The Pitcher" was that huge and had been made into a movie, as well.
The author of that best-seller never wrote another word and became a kind of recluse living in California with a wall around her compound to keep her fans at bay. After making some bad investments and losing a lot of her savings, M.M. (or Mimi) Banning realizes she's got to produce another book and contacts Mr. Vargas. She also requests he send her an assistant. Mr. Vargas decides Alice is the girl for the job.
 What Alice finds waiting for her is not, as she thought, the transcribing of the cranky Ms. Banning's manuscript as she writes it... but rather to be the caretaker of her 9 year old son, Frank.
To say Frank is on a spectrum doesn't do him justice. He's on his own spectrum. One that includes a very full and extensive knowledge of golden age Hollywood movies and every bit of dialogue or trivia that goes along with them.
Plus, he has a sense of style to go along with the leading men he admires and a huge wardrobe of suits and costumes for any role he feels like inhabiting on any particular day. He also has issues which Alice must learn to navigate while also keeping tabs on his mother, typing away behind closed doors, and keeping notes for her boss in case he needs any information on how she's doing.

The Recommender won't spoil the pleasure of this engaging story by giving away too much about the trials and triumphs of Alice and Frank. You'll want to discover them for yourself. And Ms. Johnson deserves some kind of special award for giving us Frank and Alice and the rest of the characters that inhabit her endearing world.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Doesn't Kill You: "The Last One" by Alexandra Oliva

Right from the opening sentence, which tells us that the first one on the production team of the new reality series In the Dark to die will be the editor, we know we are in stay up all night and read this to the end territory!
At the beginning of this blockbuster reality show the producers have nicknamed their chosen 12 contestants according to their physical attributes or skills or sometimes by both. Zoo, a wild life educator whom the editor has pegged as "fan favorite",  Tracker, a man with a winner's expert survival skills,  Black Doctor, Airforce, Carpenter Chick, Waitress, Rancher, Banker, Cheerleader Boy, Biology, Engineer and Exorcist. We will learn more about each of them as they face the group and solo challenges to come.
They have been given a safety phrase, and anyone who wants out at any time, is to say "Ad tenebras dedi" (Latin for "To the night, I surrender" ) and be whisked away. Those words must be said in order for them to be able to leave. With that in mind, the competition is on. Will anyone break and say them? Who will make it to the end? You'll find out as the book weaves back and forth between the action in the woods and Zoo's perspective of her challenges. We, the readers, will learn that something happened outside the massive setting of In the Dark and while these contestants fight to survive there is an even greater survival challenge awaiting them.
This is Ms. Oliva's first book and one that's sure to make her a "Fan Favorite"! It is so visually written you might feel as if you've been watching In the Dark instead of reading The Last One! The Recommender cannot recommend this book enough!  If you read one book this summer... this should be it! Due out July 12th. Thank you, NetGalley, for the DRC!

And a music video that seems to capture "Zoo's" spirit...Kelly Clarkson singing "Stronger" thanks to Youtube!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bad Blood: "Obsession" by Nora Roberts

When you work in a library you get to know what patrons like and over the years the Recommender has checked out and in a heck of a lot of books by Nora Roberts (plus another heap by J.D. Robb)...and yet, I had not read a single one.
I was perhaps falsely under the assumption that anyone who is THAT popular and can write THAT many books... may not be as good as people claimed.
All that changed when a co-worker (Jessica) said "I think you'd like this book. It's dark."
Me? Like something by Nora Roberts? I have a reputation for reading "dark"??? (I do like subject matter that deals with the world ending or missing people or vampire romances or, of course, Phantom of the Opera themes, so yes, that part is true!).
The book that caused me to realize Ms. Roberts is a writer that grabs you right from the start...or at least her latest book Obsession did. It's a book you don't want to put down and it begins with a brave little girl. One who performs an act so daunting and heroic and one that changes her life and the lives of her extended family.
Naomi Bowes, unable to sleep because of the heat one summer night, watches out her window and sees something odd. Her father going into the woods with a flashlight.
Could he be going down to the creek to cool off? Scrambling after him she follows behind, not to the creek, but deeper into the woods. She watches him uncover something, then disappear into the ground.
What could he be doing down there? Maybe putting together a new bicycle for her birthday. She hides until he leaves, but there is something about her father, a strict religious man who was an upstanding member of the community... that frightens her.
Holding her breath, she waits until he is out of sight, then opens the door in the ground and makes her way down, following a series of strange sounds. Maybe he got her a puppy, she thinks, but it is no puppy awaiting her. Instead, she sees a naked teenage girl. One who was beaten and bloody and tied up with tape over her mouth.
Without hesitation Naomi releases the girl who is so injured and weak that Naomi must help her to navigate the woods into town and to the police dept. In her search for something to free the girl from her restraints, Naomi finds evidence of other crimes. Crimes too horrible to imagine.
We'll stop there. This is already too much information, but the book jacket gives you this much right up front. And like most of the books the Recommender looks for, it is one that will keep you up all night. Naomi is a wonderful, admirable character and the reader will follow her through this ordeal and into the future. You'll have to get a copy of Obsession to see what Ms. Roberts has in store for Naomi.
Needless to say, I have a lot more respect for Nora Roberts and all those checkouts!

And in another mix/tape review, this song, 'Bad Blood' by Alison Mosshart, was featured on "The Walking Dead" as a theme for Carol and it seemed to fit Naomi as well. Thank you Youtube!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reach Out of the Darkness: "The Rainbow Comes and Goes" by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

A lot of us remember when Anderson Cooper reported from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and how he seemed truly concerned for the victims. That was just one instance in a long career, but it showed a compassion rare in today's media market.
Gloria Vanderbilt has been in the eye of the media for most of her life. From the time she was born into a wealthy family, through a world famous custody battle. The media covered her marriages and her design career, her ups and downs. She survived some things that many others might not.
Anderson is Gloria Vanderbilt's son, and for those who never knew that, this book celebrates that relationship.
In a year long e-mail conversation, these two make public some very intimate details about their lives. It is a brave, heartbreaking and enlightening endeavor, for Mr. Cooper and Ms. Vanderbilt ... and for the readers.
As someone who has admired both Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt (I have always adored her beautiful art and collage work) this book was a look into their lives, in their own words. It's an idea many could embrace, or wish we could still reach out to those whose lives we'd like to know more about. It's never too late to open the door to a conversation like these authors did. After all, Mr. Cooper was in his late 40's when they began. Ms. Vanderbilt was 91.
The title comes from a poem by William Wordsworth. It can be read here:
Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

This song seemed apropos: Reach Out of the Darkness by Friend&Lover (thank you, Youtube!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Going for the Gold: "Roses and Rot" by Kat Howard

As we learn in Kat Howard's glittery , gorgeous and atmospheric debut, Fairy Tales don't always have happy endings, not for everyone, and when they do... the hero, or heroine, must survive an ordeal to find their way out of the forest, and possibly, into the castle.
Imogen and Marin are sisters. Sisters as different as night and day. One dark and one fair. At one time they were as close as any two people could be... but then Imogen must flee their family home and the way to do that, to survive, was to go to boarding school and leave her precious sister behind.
Now, both grown-up and talented in their own unique fields, Marin has reached out to Imogen to join her in applying to a very prestigious Arts Colony, Melete, in the wilds of the New Hampshire woods.
Both sisters are accepted and Imogen finds herself in an enchanting world of esteemed mentors and talented new students. Settling into the tower of one of the assigned student houses, this one a fantastical Queen Anne, seemingly perfect for inspiring new ideas for her writing project, she unwittingly annoys another resident who had designs on that very room. Helena, a poet, with published works and an attitude to go with them.
Soon she is joined by Marin and a new friend, a singer/songwriter, Ariel. Hoping to put their past behind them and embrace a new closeness as both sisters and artists, they are at first tentative to talk about their past... and the mother who sought to turn one against the other as girls. It is clear they have a lot of baggage to unpack over the nine months they will spend at Melete. Marin, leaving her dance company to seek guidance from one of the most acclaimed (and handsome!) dancers in the world of ballet.
And Imogen, a writer of original, dark fairy tales, will be mentored by her favorite author.
Can anything be better than that?

Yet... there had been rumors about Melete. Those that are accepted must do the best work of their lives. They want to please their mentors, but is there something else going on?  And odd things seem to happen. It's almost as if they are being watched. Eyes seem to be everywhere. Will the sisters gain fame and fortune from their stay? And what must they give up to attain it?
"Roses and Rot" is a memorable and haunting journey. You'll find yourself thinking about it long after you've turned the final page, like the very best of fairy tales and legends. This book is highly recommended. 5 stars. In fact, make that a ceiling full of stars!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon and Schuster for the DRC!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bon Voyage: "Day Four" by Sarah Lotz

Sarah Lotz is a pretty compelling author and she writes in such a grab you at the first sentence way that, know this... before you know it you will be trapped at sea on the Beautiful Dreamer, a third rate cruise ship with an international crew and a diverse group of passengers ranging from some swinging singles to the followers of a famous psychic, Celine Del Ray, and her posse.
You will never be able to look at a cruise ship the same way after you board this fictional vessel. As suggested by the title, up until Day Four, all seems to be running smoothly. Then, suddenly, bit by bit, things seem to shut down, or off or catch fire or ... well, you'll have to get a copy because the less you know going into this story the better. Most of what happens seems pretty plausible. As things fall apart and people demand answers from the crew who know about as much as they do but try to hold things together as they await a response from their captain who seems not to be addressing the chaos onboard.
As with The Three, Ms. Lotz's writing is so visual you can picture the Beautiful Dreamer and her saga coming to life in an almost cinematic way. Like The Three, Day Four is also highly recommended! As mentioned in the book's promos this is a companion story to the The Three sharing a bit of the same background which is referred to in this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Child's Play: "The Three" by Sarah Lotz

On a day that came to be known as "Black Thursday" four planes crash at different locations around the world.  Over a thousand lives are lost and yet, miraculously, there are three survivors. Three children, one from Japan, one from the UK and one from the USA... and briefly, long enough to leave a recorded message on her cell phone, Pamela May Donald, a middle-aged house wife from South Texas. What can it mean?
Author Elspeth Martins gets it all out there in her gripping book Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy (Inside the phenomenon of The Three)!
She gathers together interviews with relatives of survivors, the e-mail exchanges of two Japanese teens, and much, much more. You won't be able to put Ms. Martin's book down, nor the book by the real author of all this creepy fun, Sarah Lotz!
In a brilliant use of a book within a book you can almost believe in the media circus that surrounds the survivors and their families as they try to make sense of the phenomenon and the religious cult that builds around the woman from Texas and her final words sent via that cell phone. Ms. Lotz writes with such a riveting visual intensity you can imagine it all unfolding as you read. Highly recommended! Stay tuned for a review of a companion book: Day Four!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Out of the Blue and into the Black: "Redemption of Shadows" by Cathy M. Conway

It is always fun to discover a new Phantom author and see what journey they have in store for our favorite characters. I recently downloaded "Redemption of Shadows" by Cathy M. Conway and started glancing at it to get an idea of what she was doing... and next thing, I was half way into it! This is a very addictive story!
The story begins with Erik recovering from a drug induced sleep, a ploy for Christine to come back and be with him at his death bed. The Persian left them alone, so, who knows what happened between them? Two days later, Amir is finally getting Erik to return to life. A life without his beloved Christine. Was it really worth it? It would have been easy to just slip into the great beyond.
But, no. Fate has other things in store for him. He returns from an outside excursion to find someone has entered his passage ways. Determined to find the intruder and possibly put an end to their snooping with his ever ready punjab lasso... he finds, instead, a limp bundle that turns out to be an unconscious, bloodied and beaten young woman. He is taken aback. Erik rescues her and nurses this mystery woman in his lair and as she slowly comes round, between doses of morphine, she claims not to know her name or who she is. What she is, to Erik, is a stunning beauty who has been terribly mistreated. How and why, he might never learn. But one thing was for certain, she was keeping him interested and giving him a new reason to live...
If you love Phantom fiction and are looking for an intriguing new take on the classic, then be sure to find your way to a copy of Ms. Conway's "Redemption of Shadows"! You will be very glad you did!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Things We Do For Love: "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, is one of those books that grabs your attention from the first sentence. In other words, my kind of book! Ms. Jacobs is an exceptional writer. Her style is engaging and conversational, her characters are people you'd want to know, at least Tsara, the star of this story is someone you'd want for your BFF! Tsara is a lovely, smart, 40ish wife and Mom who, one day, receives an engraved invitation for a charity event from her long estranged uncle, Castle Thornlocke. With her husband's encouragement she decides to go and makes the trip to her uncle's estate in the wilds of  Northern NH.
Uncle Cass welcomes her with open arms and a fancy suite of a guest room. It is in this guest room that Tsara's weekend getaway is about to be radically disrupted. After the dinner and dancing, she retreats to her room to slip off her fancy dress and relax, and while checking her new haircut in the mirror notices something odd in the reflection... two men.
The two men tie her up and abduct her (OK, she did use some fancy defense moves and take one of them out, almost). It seems she was in her Uncle's associate's room. They were actually there to abduct Cass's buddy, Hans Friehoffer. She was going to be taken hostage, instead, hostage in exchange for the son of one of her abductors. His six year old son. He claims Hans, with Uncle Cass's knowledge, kidnapped his son and his friends from the friend's house. The parents of those friends owed Uncle Cass some money, with interest, and how better to get them to pay, than by holding their kids ransom. Mike's (the taller (and ruggedly good looking) abductor) son was collateral damage.
Intriguing? Yes! This is an up all night adventure you won't want to put down until you know how Tsara  survives this ordeal not to mention what happened to those missing children? And Mike, is he a bad guy? Or a hero? You'll have to score a copy of Wrong Place, Wrong Time and see for yourself!