Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The House of Kane by Barbara Casey : A Review


BOOK TITLE: The House of Kane

AUTHOR: Barbara Casey

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1595072597 / B0039LMNNY

GENRE: Mystery / Suspense

NUMBER OF PAGES: 224

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura of iRead Book Tours for this review copy.

SUMMARY:

Aislinn Marchánt, a writer and editorial consultant, is hired by the major New York publishing company, Kane Publishing House, to help determine why several submissions sent to them have mysteriously disappeared only to be published later by another publisher. Are the editors at Kane simply not being diligent enough with the in-coming material, or is there something more sinister going on? Working from her West Palm Beach home, Aislinn quickly becomes involved with the House of Kane as well as with Caldwell Kane, the man who hired her.

As Aislinn works toward uncovering the various layers of truth of her former husband, her elderly neighbor, and Kane Publishing House, she continues to research her own novel, the story of a love between two people that becomes fractured because of the misunderstandings created by two different cultures. Her research takes her to a botanica where a Santerian priest reveals the truth in her own life and a destiny that is joined to that of Caldwell Kane.

FIRST IMPRESSION:

I had already read a work from Barbara Casey, and loved her writing style very much. That, added to the intriguing summary of The House Of Kane, I was only too eager to begin reading. I barely noticed the beautiful cover as I delved into the book, eager to start reading the story which showed much promise.

REVIEW:

Sometimes in life, a single word, letter or phone call has the potential to change one's life completely, unraveling a lot of things and uncovering truths about hitherto hidden lives. Aislinn Marchant receives a call from Kane Publishing House, offering a job in house and something more than that. Her help is required to find the mystery behind how manuscripts that keep missing from the Kane house end up being published by rivals. When she could not deny the request from the charismatic Caldwell Kane, she decides to investigate and ends up uncovering a lot about her ex husband, with whom she shares a good relationship and some more people. Further reasearch leads her to finally find out her true connection with Kane. Aislinn gets more than she is prepared for.

Page after page, the story draws the reader in, casually luring them into the book with the exemplary story telling and amazing twists and turns. Starting from the prologue to the last line, the book is a pleasure to read, with not a single slackening chapter. The language is great and the story is written with a depth that makes it much more memorable than normal books of this genre. The author weaves a story so carefully, with various characters, each having their own level of importance, and all their individual stories woven by different threads into one big picture. The level of thought that has gone behind developing the plot makes this book an interesting read.

The author's experience in the publishing world has clearly reflected on the detailing in the story, something that could be given only by someone who knows their way around the place. Though the content of the story is probably wholly fiction, the theme, setting and scenarios are amazingly scripted, with attention to every little detail. The story itself related with me because I have seen, to some extent, the other side of the publishing industry and I could understand some of the underlying plots and messages form in the story much before they were revealed. Despite having some inside information, most of the things were new to me, and my interest in the story never waned. The romance angle is only a bit of the story, not taking the focus away from the intrigue and mystery of the main plot, but still adding substance to the story. Overall, I take back a lot from this book, both from the story and from the writing.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The quotes at the beginning of each chapter - a rare collection of gems unto themselves.
  • The insights into the other side of publishing houses was personally helpful to me.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:

  • Certain stories seem tangents and additions that do not further the plot
  • One or two loose ends and abrupt discontinuation of a character line
VERDICT:

Go for this - for the amazing story and to know how one of the largest entertainment industries works.

RATING: 4.5/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation.” The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. Her novel for adults, The Gospel According to Prissy, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. In 2016, Ms. Casey’s biography/true crime Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released as well as The Wish Rider, the sequel to her young adult book The Cadence of Gypsies.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle

PRICE $25.99 for Hardcover, $14.95 for Paperback, $5.92 for Kindle

BOOK LINKS: Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful review and kind comments. Nothing pleases me more than to know that what I have written is understood by the reader - that the reader "gets it." I sincerely appreciate your time and wish you and your bloggers all the best.

    Barbara

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