THE DIARY OF FLUFFY

CATS RULE and always will. Sally Connors’ The Diary of Fluffy proves this point.

Funny, whimsical and sounds like cats I have owned. They are possessive and demanding. Loved the human’s name “Two Legs.” Fluffy’s disposition at the lack of food and the new arrival is too cute. His decision to allow petting is hilarious. I wonder do all cats think this way about their human “friends.” Can’t call them owners because tall, furless, animals never, ever own cats as this story shows.

The idea of Two Legs bringing home Whippersnapper, how could she. Fluffy is the king and needs no upstarts to mess with his reign. Love this section, “You may have hypnotized Two Legs but not me. Two Legs are hard to understand. Small equals cute. The smaller you are, the cuter they perceive you. Does that make any sense to you? Me either.”

The artwork is comical, cute and endearing. Just look at Fluffy’s thoughts about wrestling. “He fights dirty,” Fluffy says he must investigate this.

This is a funny story and will make anyone who has had a cat (notice I didn’t say own) will find funny and true. Is that how they think of us to be tolerated? Probably. Who else will give food, water and clean their litter box?

This is the story of the proud majestic and magnificent Fluffy teaching Whippersnapper how to navigate the world of Two Legs. Read it and laugh but never forget CATS RULE.

NO ONE BUT YOU

What makes one read a story repeatedly? I have not figured that out however, Catherine Maorisi’s new novel No One But You is such a book. I have read it three times and will read it again since I have suggested it to the Bronx SAGE reading group. One could call it lesbian-themed yet the seduction, marriage, and birth of Jess could be anyone’s story. There are places one laughs until crying. Robin DiLuca’s eyebrow wiggling runs through the story and it’s funny because you hear Lily Alexander saying, “Geez, Robin, I hope you don’t think that wiggling-eyebrow thing is seductive.” It’s a trait of Robin’s. Another funny part of the scene is the beginning the banter is scintillating as are many conversation between Lily and Robin.

Maorisi’s description of Robin DiLuca is brilliant: almost six-feet, “short black hair swept back from her face like that of a gothic hero, the startling green eyes combined with the creamy olive skin and the sexy smile.” Long lean and dressed in a tuxedo draped with a white silk scarf. The picture is one that floods the mind’s eye.

It is a love story: girl gets girl; girl marries girl; and girl leaves girl. New York is the primary backdrop of this wonderful, engaging and at sometimes painful story. They walk up Central Park West; dine at the River Café; have lunch and both Poe’s and Fred’s. Can Robin breakdown Lily’s need for commitment? Can Lily defeat the find, feel them f**k them and forget them attitude Robin has? I’ll tell you yes and this is not a spoiler. However, the birth of their daughter Jess throws the relationship into turmoil. The reason behind the chaos is something no parent wants to face. One of them has something no one can describe: dream, fantasy, nightmare or memory. Who knows.

Most of the book is lighthearted and funny: commitment phobic Robin is trying to bed Lily; while Lily wants that commitment. They talk at cross purposes: with Lily, it’s about making love and Robin’s about having sex. As mentioned their daughter’s birth creates searing pain for both women. In the last third of the book Maorisi takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

It is a great read. You’ll laugh, cry and scream however, you won’t put it down when you get near the end.

 All of Maorisi's books can be found on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

GOLD IS GENUINE

April 7, 2017

Genuine Gold

Ann Aptaker published by Bold Strokes Books

Once again, we’re thrown into the tumultuous life of Cantor Gold. It’s 1952 New York and a time when her lifestyle could lead to her death. Not only because she’s an art thief but the dapper dyke around town. Murder, mayhem, a mysterious woman, memories and passion people this outstanding third Gold book. Aptaker really gives a feel to the grittiness of Coney Island before its transformation into glitz and glamour. Like the Times Square area Brooklyn by the sea was a hotbed of corruption and rule by thugs. Of course, some wore suits and others wore police uniforms.

Genuine Gold is a tightrope walk for Cantor as she travels through the world of the rich to the seamier sides of Coney Island. Although not the definitive picture of the manipulation thugs had on all police and politicians it’s a slice of the life. Gold is an art thief who takes her job seriously. She promises and delivers not only the goods to the selected party but also the story of one who lives outside the law, knows it and enjoys what it gives her like her 1952 Buick. Constantly running from cops and thugs she’s tough when needed but has soft side.

1952 a time when women not to be arrested on morals charges must be wearing at least two to three pieces of female clothing. A time when bars were raided just for the fun of it. It was a time when lesbians weren’t safe living the lives they chose. Cantor knows all of this and manages not to be thrown in jail.

It’s a great read from a great writer and a wonderful addition to anyone’s library. I read it in almost one sitting and worried numerous times whether Gold would be able to extract herself from the threats bearing down on her.

can be found on boldstrokesbooks.com and amazon.com

THE CURIOUS CASE OF PRINCE CHARMING

Charlene Mattson

No Cinderella or Snow White in this tale of kidnapping, investigating and sorcery. The first line begins the journey. In a kingdom known as Altria princess Leticia has been kidnapped again. How could this happen with all the safeguards put in place?

King Silas the wise and his wife, Queen Thalia hire Wiliam Tenys, a private investigator to answer that question and to end the kidnappings. Tenys learns Kalen, a sorcerer has taken the princess hostage. Since, Kalen asks for no ransom then why?

Tenys’ appearance agitates Prince Erik, the third son of a distant king. Once more, he vows to rescue the beautiful princess to whom he’s betrothed. Erik plans to storm Kalen’s castle to effect a rescue. He needs no help, so he says, to defeat the magician.  Prince Erik should be called Erik the Arrogant.

While trying to find a way to rescue the Princess Leticia Tenys discovers two ritual murders: the death of one of Leticia’s maids, and a prostitute. Why are these two women killed? Are these crimes related? The ritual killing leads Tenys to believe so. He needs to track down the killer to ascertain their significance.

The arrogant prince and Tenys set out for the sorcerer’s castle. How to get in since Erik has done so in the past? Teny’s devises a scheme and sets out to gain entrance. Arriving, he is shocked at the lack of visual security.

In the style of Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher darkness THE CURIOUS CASE OF PRINCE CHARMING is a dark fantasy with a cornucopia of surprising twist, turns and setbacks. Can the prince be trusted? Who is Kalen really? Who is Princess Leticia? Why do these kidnappings happen so regularly and how are they being effected with all the Silas’ wizard’s blocking tricks?

Is Prince Erik arrogant, frightened or just a boor?

The heaviness of description created my only distraction. Looking at the world in which the royal family lived the author placed too much attention on describing rooms; scenes and people. And yet despite this I loved the story and would recommend it highly to those who like mystery, kidnappings, murder and sorcerer mayhem.

Mattson created a magical world where most things are not as they seem. Will this turn out to be the prince riding in on a white horse to save Princess Leticia? Is Kalen the monster portrayed to be?

Not your ordinary fairy tale, however the road to the end titillates, teases and keeps one questioning who the real villain is. If you like fantasy with a touch of darkness then The Curious Case of Prince Charming is for you. Read and enjoy.