Spring in New England by @DianaLRubino #SpringFlingRomance

Spring Fling Romance

Why I Like Spring by Diana Rubino

I live in New England—need I say more? 

Spring in New England means only a few more freak snowstorms and that odd day when you can throw on a T-shirt and shorts and jump on your bike for that first delightful Dairy Queen. . But I heard a mourning dove the other day, which is a sure sign that spring is on the way.

In this area, we get a lot of spring days that are downright dreary, with overcast leaden skies, a fine mist falling, and that raw chill that goes right through you. But a day like that brings promise. It’s no longer the bitter cold with the arctic blasts. The wind carries a promising fragrance, and you can almost smell the grass struggling to peek through the patches of snow. Hearty New Englanders are out wearing shorts and T-shirts, even though it’s still in the high 40s or low 50s. We wear our Red Sox caps. All those signs point to that magical day when we can wear those T-shirts without shivering, sit in the ballpark munching peanuts, and inhale a lungful of lilac-scented breeze on a jog.

It takes a while to get here, but when it does, we appreciate it all the more.

End of Camelot coverDiana’s latest title, Book Three of her NYC Saga, THE END OF CAMELOT, is set around the assassination of President Kennedy. You can read about it on her blog, and join in the lively chat at the end of the post. Share your memories of that day, your conspiracy theories, and reminisce about the days before we ‘lost our innocence.’

Visit www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com. THE END OF CAMELOT had its worldwide release on April 10, published with The Wild Rose Press.

November 22, 1963: The assassination of a president devastates America. But a phone call brings even more tragic news to Vikki Ward — her TV reporter husband was found dead in his Dallas hotel room that morning.

Finding his notes, Vikki realizes her husband was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. When the Dallas police rule his death accidental, Vikki vows to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and her husband. With the help of her father and godfather, she sets out to uncover the truth.

Aldobrandi Po, the bodyguard hired to protect Vikki, falls in love with her almost as soon as he sets eyes on her. But he’s engaged to be married, and she’s still mourning her husband. Can they ever hope to find happiness in the wake of all this tragedy?


First Lines of Book:

Washington, D.C., September, 1959

Vikki McGlory aimed her Smith & Wesson .38 and fired at the metal target.

“Bull’s eye.” She kissed the gun’s warm barrel. A smudged red lip print bloomed against the steel gray metal.

Diana’s Favorite Passage:

Billy came down the stairs for a nightcap and glanced into the living room. He noticed the glow in the fireplace, Vikki’s eyeglasses and the anisette bottle on the table. The couch faced the other way, but nobody was sitting on it. “Where’d they go?” Then he realized they hadn’t gone anywhere—and they were on the couch, but not sitting. Before he got out of their way, he placed a long-playing record on the phonograph. Jackie Gleason’s “For Lovers Only.”

Thanks for visiting, Diana. Your book sounds fascinating.

Who else remembers the Kennedy assassination? I don’t want to admit how old I was at the time, but I do remember that dark day and the heart-wrenching sight of his state funeral a few days later.


The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry #review

Who was Christopher Columbus? Could he have been a converso, a convert who remained a secret Jew?

That’s the intriguing question posed by this thriller as different people search for Columbus’s lost gold mine on Jamaica. Or is something else buried there, something explosive that has been hidden from history for over 500 years?

Columbus Affair coverThe Columbus Affair
by Steve Berry
Suspense Thriller
Ballantyne, 2012

In Florida, Tom Sagan is a disgraced reporter who has spent the last eight years living in obscurity, ghost writing for other authors. Depressed and estranged from his only daughter, he has decided to end his own life. But before he he can blow his brains out, someone comes to the door and upends his world. The stranger, Zachariah Simon, informs Tom that he has kidnapped Tom’s daughter Alle and will kill her if Tom refuses to exhume his father’s body. Worried about Alle, Tom agrees and learns that his father, a devout Jew, was known as The Levite and took secrets to the grave with him. Simon is an Austrian millionaire and a fanatical supporter of Israel in search of buried treasure and he believes Tom’s father was the only one who knows where it is hidden. Treasure that will change the course of Middle Eastern history.

Meanwhile, in Jamaica we meet Bené Rowe, a crime boss with a sometimes active conscience who has been coerced by the US government into working with The Simon, as he thinks of Zachariah. Bené is a Maroon, a descendant of runaway slaves who fought the British. Through Bené’s POV, we learn a lot about Jamaican history, including Columbus’s connection to the island.

The action moves from Florida and Jamaica to Vienna and Prague before all three men meet for a final confrontation in Jamaica.

This is a really fun thriller. All the characters are flawed, but only Tom is truly sympathetic. Alle has major issues with her father that lead her to make some disastrously bad decisions. Bené is complex and fascinating, but not entirely likable. Zachariah Simon is also complex, but twisted and makes for a good villain.

July is Beach Reads month at my readers group, so what’s better than a thriller? I checked it out as a downloadable book from the local library. Your local library may offer free downloadable books, too. Check it out!

I recommend The Columbus Affair to readers who enjoy thoughtful thrillers with a basis in history. If you liked The Da Vinci Code, you might enjoy The Columbus Affair, too.

What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments and be entered for my monthly drawing for a $15 Starbucks e-gift card.