Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review - Pick Up "Calamity Jayne"

Hello dear readers!  I've missed our time together and hope you'll find today's post of interest.

After finishing a novel's first draft, I always try to take a month or so away from writing to let the story simmer and rest - get my brain out of it, as you will.  That way I can readjust from the writer's hat to the editor's hat and wield the scalpel more effectively when tackling the next draft stage.

During the resting phase, I'll usually tackle alot of housework chores I let slide during my writing push.  Then I'll try and find some reading material to enjoy, since I don't do much pleasure reading while writing.  Well I found something during my hiatus I'd like to share with you.  I enjoyed it so much, I just thought you might too.  Best of all, the first book in the series is a freebie.

Tressa Jayne Turner has spent her entire twenty-two years living up to everyone's expectations - and she has the blonde hair and blonde jokes down pat to prove it.  That's no thanks to her older brother's best friend, Rick Townsend, who together since Tressa's early childhood have tormented and teased her unmercifully, and bestowed upon her the nickname by which Grandville, Iowa knows her best - Calamity Jayne. 

But Tressa wants to change their perceptions, to break free of the ditzy and clumsy blonde moniker.  However, Calamity Jayne is known so well that when she literally stumbles upon a dead body - and said dead body subsequently disappears - the police and all of her family automatically disregard her find as the result of an overactive imagination.

Everyone, that is, except her equally bumbling and outspoken grandma who surprisingly understands her.  Soon Tressa discovers why and learns her smart-mouthed, fertility god statue collector of a grandmother had her own nickname growing up, and it fits her perfectly - Hellion Hannah.

Throughout Tressa's subsequent quest to prove she's not the idiot all believe her to be, she uses her self-deprecating humor to cover fear when her life is threatened, manages to hold the hunky Rick at bay (she's not about to become another notch on HIS bedpost and risk continued humiliation when he notices her chocolate-induced love handles), and finds herself using the services of one geriatric, gun-toting, Green Hornet wanna-be against her will.  Plus it wouldn't hurt if it all culminates in earning back a coveted job as an investigative reporter for the Grandville Gazette.

That's all I'm gonna tell you, folks, except to say that from the first pages of "Calamity Jayne", I was rolling with laughter.  Each time I laughed out loud, my son wanted me to read the passage to him - and that was quite often at times.  From some of the comments and reviews posted on Amazon, this was referenced as similar to the Stephanie Plum character series by Janet Evanovich (which I have yet to read).

I understand that this series was originally published in print several years ago and it appears the electronic versions were published directly by the author, Kathleen Bacus.  My only real criticism would be that throughout the entire series of the electronic version of all six books, there were alot of grammatical and formatting errors that grabbed my attention and could have used another set of eyes for edits.  However, they didn't bother me enough to make me cease reading.  Even though I also knew from the very beginning in each story who the likely bad character was, it was great light-hearted reading fare and kept me entertained.

And isn't entertainment a good reason to read?

So if you've a mind for a little back-to-school reading, pick up the free electronic copy of the first book "Calamity Jayne" by Kathleen Bacus.  You can also pick up the six pack of the entire series in electronic form for a real bargain at $9.99.

Stay tuned for a ramp up back into interview mode soon.  Happy reading! 

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