Review of Michelle Hoover’s THE QUICKENING

In author Michelle Hoover’s debut novel, The Quickening, she explores “the polarization of the human soul in times of hardship and the instinctual drive for self-preservation by whatever means necessary.” 

The Quickening

Book Details
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: Other Press
Publication Date: June 2010
Number of Pages: 216 print pages

Purchase Link:  



Book Synopsis:  

“Enidina Current and Mary Morrow live on neighboring farms in the flat, hard country of the upper Midwest during the early 1900s. Despite having little in common, Eddie and Mary need one another for survival and companionship. But as the Great Depression threatens, the delicate balance of their reliance on one another tips, pitting neighbor against neighbor, exposing the dark secrets they hide from one another, and triggering a series of disquieting events that threaten to unravel not only their friendship but their families as well.” –Official Website of Michelle Hoover

My Review:

Lyrical prose, superb description, and dialogue that rings true thrust this novel into a must-read for any book club.  Generally, the story is akin to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, with its vivid characters and historical resonance.  Personal sacrifice, reliance, and the bonds of family are issues that are pulled taught like guitar strings. Its pace is slow at times, but its voice is pure, which helps pull the reader along to its resolution.

My only issue with this otherwise moving work is that it lacks a gratifying ending.  I felt that Hoover might have left off the last chapter, because the penultimate chapter is raw and edgy and deep, and the last is a poor attempt at a salve for a wound that won’t easily heal.

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2010 Indie Next List and the Winter 2011 Reading Group List, The Quickening is an excellent debut novel.  Michelle Hoover is an accomplished author and teacher, born in Ames, Iowa, the granddaughter of four longtime farming families.  Her experience and polish shine through in this novel.

I’d recommend this novel to readers of historical fiction looking for a gritty transport into the Great Depression, for book clubs seeking a thought-provoking look at the human condition, and for writers that are hungry for a superb lesson in crafting tight, effective prose.

My Rating:  3 out of 5 FAVA beans.


150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address



Click the above image to reach the Library of Congress website; read the full transcript (a mere 271 words) and discover loads of information about the Gettysburg Address delivered 150 years ago today on the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, PA by Abraham Lincoln.  The address, in a document permanently displayed at the Library Congress, is also inscribed on the side of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.



Click the above photo to learn more about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, and the famous orator who gave this speech, 150 years ago today.

THE RACE “Championship Reviewer” Contest

THE RACE “Championship Reviewer” Contest

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00020]

Well, racing season is in full swing, and I’m about halfway through my THE RACE book tour!  Readers and reviewers alike have been so kind and generous with their praise…and guess what?  I’d love to give something back.  

As my book tour continues, and while the racing season rolls on,

you’ll be happy to know that your positive feedback can lead to FREE STUFF!

Here’s the skinny:

1) After reading Gina Fava’s THE RACE: A HELL RANGER THRILLER, post a review on Amazon or Goodreads (preferably both) that’s at least 35 words long.

2) Contact me via email at with the subject heading REVVED UP. I’ll enter your name in the drawing for every place that you posted a review. (The more places you post, the better your chances.)

3) Winners will be drawn on the day of the US Formula One race (see below,) and winners will be contacted via email for the snail mail address to which a prize may be sent.

This contest is worldwide and rolls out on July 14, 2013 (Day of the Honda Indy Toronto Race 2) and runs until midnight on November 16, 2013. On November 17, 2013 (Day of the Formula One US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas,) 4 winners will be chosen to stand atop the Reviewer Winners Platform.

Reviewer Winners Platform:cropped-f1-race-car.jpg

1st Place: $75 gift certificate to

2d Place: $45 gift certificate to Barnes&

3d Place: $25 iTunes gift card

Constructor’s Cup: $25 Sunoco gift card

In addition, the winner of the Most Thoughtful Review will be chosen for the back cover of my next book.

And, the person who wins the Funniest Review will be a named character in a future book.

Plus, all of the winners will receive special mention on my website.

Good luck!


Celebrate Italian Heritage Month & Immerse in Italian Culture


RUSH to Buy Gina Fava’s THE RACE eBook at $5.99 This Weekend Only!

RUSH is a high-octane, biographical action film that hits theaters Friday, September 27.  All about the 1976 Formula One season and the rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, the film stars hot Aussie Chris Hemsworth (Avengers’ Thor) as Hunt.  Directed by acclaimed director, Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13), the film is sure to be an intense thrill-ride.  Just check out the movie trailer and you’l see what I mean.

I’m so excited for the opening of this real-life Formula 1 rivalry flick, that I’m slashing the eBook price of my novel, The Race: A HELL Ranger Thriller this weekend to celebrate the release of the film.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00020]

The Race is an intense, action-packed suspense novel about a Formula 1 racing champion who must rescue his young son and save Rome from annihilation, with the help of his HELL Ranger pit crew, from an elusive international terrorist from his past.  Just check out the book trailer and you’ll see what I mean.

The “can’t put it down, page-turner” is ON SALE for $5.99 for a limited time, Friday 9/27, Saturday 9/28, & Sunday 9/29, so haul your eBook reader over to Amazon, Nook, Kobo, or Smashwords for a download bash this weekend!


Join me at the New England Authors Expo!

NE Authors Expo

Official Release of Gina Fava’s THE RACE Rolls Out with 2013 F1 Gran Premio D’Italia

By Will Pittenger ( map, accessed 15 January 2009.) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Gina Fava releases her debut suspense novel,

The Race: A HELL Ranger Thriller

at Jamie’s Fine Wine & Spirits,

on September 7, 2013, 3-5 pm.

the same weekend as Italy’s Grand Prix Formula 1 Race.

Friday and Saturday:  Watch the prelims, live on SPEED Channel, and determine your favorite for the race that rolls on Sunday at 8am, at the fastest F1 track, Monza!

Saturday:  Come down to the open house event at Jamie’s Fine Wine, Carver, MA location, on September 7, 3-5pm, where Gina Fava will sign copies of her brand new novel, THE RACE, neck and neck with wine and microbrew tastings, plus nibbles, and giveaways, all under one roof!  The event is open to the public (wine & brew tasting is limited to those 21+.)  

Every signed copy of THE RACE you buy at Jamie’s Carver between 3-5 pm on September 7 gives you a chance to WIN  your choice of :

A bucket of brew


A basket of wine!

photo (8)

Sunday:  Enjoy THE RACE!!  Who’s YOUR favorite team to win the Italian F1 Grand Prix?

Visit for details.

Review of Nathan Farrugia’s The Chimera Vector

Australian thriller-writer Nathan Farrugia packs a punch with his techno-thriller novel The Chimera Vector, the first in a series featuring a rogue black op with a past that comes back to smack her down.

The Chimera Vector Chimera Vector

Book Details
Genre: Techno-Thriller
Published by: Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan)
Publication Date: May 2012
Number of Pages: 353 print pages
Purchase Links:  

Video Trailer: The Chimera Vector

Synopsis:  When an elite operative’s programming goes haywire, the truth behind her past spins her future course out of control.

My Review:

The novel crosses genres as a sci-fi/espionage/techno-thriller with a socio-political message.  So, be prepared to have your mind blown.  Mine was, and I loved every minute of it.

The story opens thick with action, so the reader is plunged right into the deep end.  The pace continues, with enough time to come up for air and learn some background on the main characters.  The protagonist, Sofia, a smart bad-ass with brains and brawn, ala Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and ala Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return, is well-written and rings true throughout the story.  Her fellow team of trained assassins, ala Bourne Identity, is sufficient.  The author dabbles in their pasts, but their development left me wanting to know more.  (Perhaps something to look forward to as the series continues?)

The antagonist, Sofia’s “creator” and employer, The Fifth Column, is an extremely powerful organization that rises above other terrorist villains–a villain without borders, that wreaks havoc and tension in the world for its own gains by manipulating other governments, terrorist organizations, and world leaders like pawns in a chess game of war and money.  The Fifth Column is led by an amped-up psychopath, ala Hitler or Bin Laden, but with grander vision and better engineered DNA.

The overarching premise is superb, but since the reader learns of it via twists and turns, I’d rather not state it outright.  Honestly, when the reader is confronted with the blunt realization of the Fifth Column’s true objective, as well as the conundrum in which Sofia and her rogue team find themselves in dealing with the objective, the whole book is taken to another level.  It moves beyond the Matt Reilly-esque action-thriller into a Crichton-esque world-view novel.  Or perhaps akin to Orwell’s 1984, where the puppet-strings future is NOW.

The author does a great job of showcasing his military background in the weaponry and tactics he employs, and the “warrior soldier” he describes is very Joe Finder-esque in its execution.  For me, however, about half-way through the book, some of the jargon becomes a bit tedious, especially when I really want to concentrate on what the character feels about the situation at hand, as opposed to how he or she reacts to it with another fight scene.

I enjoyed the varied twists and turns in the plot, but about three-quarters of the way through the book, I felt as if the story might teeter on the brink of losing some of its credibility with a few too many plot twists.  However, as the story left me feeling satisfied with the resolution, I got past it, because the thrill of the ride was worth it.  The climax was explosive and gratifying, and I finished the book with a strong urge to read more about these characters.  I’m thrilled to report that there is a sequel, entitled The Seraphim Sequence.  Also, the author is hard at work on the third in the series.

I’d recommend this novel to thriller readers looking for non-stop action sequences, involving hard-core operatives with heart and brains who oppose amped-up psychopaths with bad-ass agendas, and a novel rich with a premise that’s shocking and thought-provoking.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 FAVA beans.


Nathan FarrugiaNathan Farrugia served in the Australian Army in infantry and reconnaissance, and studied film, television and professional writing. He worked as a post-production video editor, colorist and copywriter, where he earned the nickname Fagoogoo because no one could pronounce Farrugia.

Nathan lives in Melbourne, Australia. In his spare time he discovers hidden places around the world with urban explorers, practices lock picking and escaping from plasticuffs and straitjackets (you never know when that will come in handy, right?) and studies Systema, a little-known martial art and closely guarded secret of Russian special forces. Nathan has trained under USMC, SEAL team and Spetsnaz instructors, the Chiricahua Apache scouts and Australian Aboriginals. He also drinks tea.

Nathan blogs at You can also find him at or at or at



THE RACE “Shuffle off to Buffalo” Hometown Book Launch

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00020]



Gina Fava releases her debut suspense novel,

The Race: A HELL Ranger Thriller,

in print edition, in her hometown, Buffalo, NY.

Fava will read an excerpt from THE RACE, followed by a Q&A and book signing Thursday evening.

The event, at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, is open to the public.

To reserve an advance copy, contact Talking Leaves at 716-837-8554.

For more info, visit

Hope to see you there!

Virtual eBook Launch Party for Gina Fava’s THE RACE



You’re Invited!

What:  The eBook release of my brand new suspense novel–

THE RACE:  A HELL Ranger Thriller 

When:  Sunday, July 14, 2013, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Where:  Virtual Party on Gina Fava’s Facebook Page

Rolling out the same day as the Sprint Cup NH 300 and the Honda Indy Toronto races, my first book in the new HELL Ranger series hits the virtual streets on launch day, available for purchase on Kindle, Nook, iPad, and more! 
(Stay tuned for the print version at indie booksellers and at to follow in a few weeks.)

From 9am to 6pm EST on July 14, US residents can register at my website by entering their name and email for a random drawing at
to win either:
1) a 4-pack of Regal Cinema Tix for Turbo, about an aspiring Indy racing snail, or
2) an Olive Garden gift certificate for Italian dining, or
3) a free signed copy of the print version.

There’ll be chances to win other spot prizes throughout the day, along with the announcement of a reviewer contest that will run through Nov 22 (US Formula One Race day) and a chance to win the championship prize.

Need more details? I’ll reveal more prelims on my website at
as the day draws near.

In the meantime, take a sneak peak at an excerpt from The Race to wet your whistle.

Then, JOIN ME on Facebook on THE RACE day for my virtual eBook launch party! Let’s roll…






Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.