Wednesday, September 2, 2015

THE FALL OF PRINCES by Robert Goolrick

As many have stated Goolrick is indeed a terrific writer - penning words so sharp that they stab almost like a knife and may very well leave a reader feeling slightly wounded.  His descriptions sear; his wit probes.  The Fall Of Princes is a story of loss and redemption taking place in the New York City of the 1980s.

We meet Rooney, a relatively young Wall Street trader, who has it all and even more.  The perks he receives working for an entity known as The Firm are seemingly endless - limos at his beck and call, more money than most of us ever see, drugs, beautiful women, and power.  He’s on a high roller coaster ride he doesn’t believe will ever end, but it does - quickly.  Suddenly Rooney is an outsider looking in - no more hundred dollar bottles of wine or nubile women and oceans of vodka at the Russian Tea Room.  He is now a clerk at a Barnes and Noble yet so longing for the life he once had that he orders expensive item, tries them on in his shabby apartment and returns them promptly.  The man simply does not know what to do.

As some will remember those years were also a time of AIDS, although fearful Rooney remembers his many sexual partners - both men and women.  He dreams of his past life but it is now, and he has to come to terms with who he was then and who he is now and what may lay ahead.

As disturbing as some parts of The Fall Of Princes were for this reader the book was impossible to put down as Goolrick vividly describes the intoxicating highs and painful lows of Rooney’s life.

- Gail Cooke

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BROKEN GRACE by E.C. Diskin Audio Edition

    This is my introduction to the work of E. C . Diskin and I eagerly look forward to more as she has a real gift for penning a noir thriller - Broken Grace has everything - intrigue, suspense, murder, unknown villains, infidelity - you name it - everything none of us would want.  The drama is enhanced by two superior readers - Emily-Sutton Smith and Scott Merriman.  Sutton-Smith for this listener takes the lead with her narration of a woman suffering from amnesia and more.

    Said woman, Grace Abbott, has been involved in a traffic accident and remembers nothing upon awakening eight days later in a hospital.  She suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury, and her medic believes her memory will eventually return with rest and quiet.  Such is not to be the case.

    Grace’s older sister, Lisa, takes her to their family home for the needed r and r.  Yet she scarcely has time to put her head on a pillow when two detectives arrive to question Grace about her former boyfriend, Michael Cahill, who has just been found murdered..  But she remembers nothing.  Bishop, the senior officer is of the opinion that the person closest to a victim is the murderer - ie. Grace.

    As the officers investigate they find Michael was not the man Grace believed him to be - he used drugs, gambled and two-timed Grace.  There were quite a few who wanted him dead.  Now was Grace the killer or is she the next victim?

    Broken Grace surely keeps you listening!

    - Gail Cooke

Monday, August 31, 2015







Thursday, August 27, 2015


When someone mentions droopy locks, fine limp hair, I think, aha, they must have just seen me.  I’ve been through the whole routine trying to add a bit of volume to my deprived strands - permanents, coloring (as suggested by my once hairdresser), spraying quickly before the curl I’ve just formed with a curling iron lays down.  All of this to no avail, and I’d decided forlorn follicles were just something I’d have to live with.  Delighted to say no more!

Klorane’s Shampoo with Flax Fiber has noticeably added volume to my hair.  Evidently flax is one of the first plants cultivated by man and is known for its natural strengthening properties.  Grown in accordance with organic farming techniques in Southwestern France it is a natural way to give hair added volumnizing and texturizing.  No more teasing!!!!

Tests on hair strands treated with Flax Fiber extract evidenced a 38.2% increase in volume compared to untreated hair.  Obviously, I can’t quantify my hair’s increase in volume but I can surely see it, feel it, and enjoy it.

The shampoo comes in a generous 13.5 fluid ounce bottle, has a subtle refreshing scent and lathers beautifully.  Find it at, then tell me how pleased you are!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

SILVER LININGS by Debbie Macomber Audio Edition

    For this reader/listener enjoyment is enhanced when a new story appears filled with familiar characters and places.  And, that pleasure is even greater when said characters are real, likable people to whom we can relate.  Such is certainly the case with Debbie Macomber’s Silver Linings.  I looked forward to it with happy anticipation, and was not at all disappointed.

    What a pleasure it is to return to the community of Cedar Cove and the delightfully homey Rose Harbor Inn, especially as narrated by the ever capable Lorelei King and Debbie Macomber.  It is a welcome story for all of us - to be reminded that every cloud usually has a silver lining even though at first that silver may appear a bit tarnished.

    Since opening Rose Harbor innkeeper Jo Marie Rose has grown close to her somewhat unknowable handyman, Mark Taylor.  He has told her absolutely nothing about his past, and she is disappointed as well as confused when he says that he is moving out of town.  And while Jo Marie is dealing with her own disappointment two visitors arrive who are also seeking solace and answers

    Kellie Crenshaw and Katie Gilroy are best friends who have returned to Cedar Cove for their ten-year high school reunion.  For them this reunion is not just about seeing old friends - Kellie wants to face a boy who once spurned her breaking her heart, Katie wants to reconnect with a former boyfriend, James, the man she still loves.

    Now, remember the title of the story is Silver Linings so listen and see how things work out.

    - Gail Cooke


    Being able to follow a character over a period of time and through different experiences enriches reading for me.  That has certainly been the case with Bess Crawford, a nurse with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service.  She is the creation of the estimable mother/son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd.  They have beautifully evoked life during World War I and the people who lived through it while creating sophisticated and sometimes fun mysteries.

    A Pattern Of Lies is the seventh adventure for Bess, and it is a scorcher - both literally and figuratively.  It is the autumn of 1918 when Bess manages to secure leave to visit her parents in London.  She finds herself stuck in Canterbury waiting to board a train, but it is there that she accidentally sees a former patient, Major Mark Ashton.  When it becomes obvious that she won’t be able to find space on a train that day or satisfactory lodging he is kind enough to invite her to stay with his family at their ancestral home in Cranbourne.  She gratefully accepts only to discover that she has walked into a terrible situation.

    The Ashton family has been the object of a non-stop whispering campaign leaving them quite alone, deserted by former friends and colleagues.  It seems that some two years earlier a gunpowder factory owned and operated by the senior Ashton, Philip, exploded resulting in the deaths of some 100 men who lived in the village.  An official investigation determined the explosion was not due to any German sabotage, but then rumors began that Philip was responsible.  He is soon arrested, but even that does not stop the persecution of the Ashton family - there is everything from eggs thrown, to a fire started to burn Mrs. Ashton’s favorite chair to accusing the family dog of killing chickens - even Bess is ostracized as she strolls through Cranbourne when it is learned that she is staying at the Ashton home.

    She is stunned by the vitriol hurled at the family and determines to find out who is responsible for starting it and why.  This, of course, must be accomplished along with her duties at the front in France.  As she questions seeking answers even her life is at risk as an attempt to smother her is made at the hospital.

    The eventual solution is a tangled one and the journey there can sometime be a tad confusing but following Bess is reward enough.


    - Gail Cooke

Monday, August 24, 2015


"Old King Cole was a merry old soul
In a state of perpetual glee,
When questions were brought up about
The pipe he was never without
He invoked his sovereignty." - GC