General Fiction

Review: The Trees by Stan Weisleder

** This review is done in conjunction with SayWhatSavannahMae. Check out her website for promotional packages, tours and other amazing publicity **


The Trees

Stan Weisleder

General Fiction


The Trees is an epic novel told in Godfather fashion about a handful of childhood friends who make it out of the slums of Brooklyn and reunite as young adults during the years of mob-controlled Las Vegas. Lawrence “Mongoose” Cohen starts running numbers for local bosses while in high school, and eventually manages the gambling activities at the Desert Winds Hotel and Casino in Vegas. There he reunites with EuniceÑa teenage heartthrobÑwho’s now a showgirl known as “Venus.” She initially ignores him but softens after he’s almost killed in a car bombing. Haunted by Venus’s former involvement with underboss Tommy Di Meglio, Mongoose deals with Tommy, “makes his bones” against his would-be assassin, and becomes a “made man” as Las Vegas transforms into a legitimate entertainment mecca ready to do business with Macao in the new millennium.


Grade: A

The Trees is one of those books you just need to read to experience. Try as I might, I just can’t do it justice is a review. But I highly recommend it.

Each character is detailed and realistic, and it makes you wonder how much of this novel is based in fact (luckily you don’t have to wonder too hard, he gives us some info in the back). The characters are so likeable, that despite what happens in the scenes you really come to love these characters. The late 40s when the characters were growing up was such an interesting time. The mafia, the dialogue, the character of people was so different and so alive. The book is described to be told in “Godfather” style and they are so right. You can feel that same tone here, but even more so. The book allows us so much more than a movie or a TV show ever could.

The language in the book was shocking, but not in a bad way, but in a way reminding us how different the world was, how many things were tolerated and commonplace. This book chronicles a changing society through the eyes of a changing group of Friends. Mo, Mongoose, Scumbag, Potcheese, Ringo and Eunice are such vibrant character, all searching, growing, and taking a stand. The brash impatience of youth to their later life, their careers, and all the while we watch these friendships grow and progress and strain to remain together despite the choices they make as individuals. This book is perfectly crafted, giving us the perfect sense of New York in the late 40s, and the development of the society as well as this group of friends.

The choices they make are so strong, and reflect so strongly in the the way the writer crafted each character. His build up to the dramatic points makes each one hurt a little bit more. We care for these friends, we care about the choices they make, and when they are all caught up in the mafia in one way or another we worry for them. The author takes us on an emotion, dramatic journey in this book, not without the humor and wit, and we love it. It’s an amazing read and the only thing better then the read?  The “To Be Continued” at the end of the book! We are going to be able to see more of this story. Thank goodness!

** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own **

Review: Why She Left Us by David Dennis


Why She Left US

General Fiction

Author: David Dennis


It was the summer of 1985, and she was young and inexperienced, but longing to love and to be loved in return, when he entered her life.

At the same time, while she was desperately seeking the love and approval of a mother who never wanted her in the first place, events totally beyond her control claimed her as their victim, leaving those she left behind unable to cope with the enormity of her absence.

“WHY SHE LEFT US” is written as a series of diary entries, the events seen through the eyes of several different people.
But at its center is a love story chronicling a romance that transforms the lives of two people who, for too brief a period of time, experienced the greatest happiness they had ever known.



“Why She Left Us” is a general fiction novel, mixed with a lovely tale of romance. The writing was quite well done, details were stunning and well organized. The five different points of view can be a bit overwhelming but it all plays well throughout the book. This isn’t a book for one of those people who like to have things laid out for them up front, the stories give you pieces of the story, one at a time, and you have to lay them out and piece the story together. It kept me reading. The only reason this has a B+ instead of an A, is because I think it takes a little too long to get the important pieces all figured out. I think that’s the only thing that really holds this book back.

Each perspective is unique, interesting and stands out. This book deals beautifully with self worth issues, and the struggle and desire the people have to be loved. The 3 sisters has this muddled love life, and the two men are who really drive the storyline. This story deals a lot with grief and anger, each character dealing in their own way, and trying to come to terms with their life and the personal battles. The story is beautifully written, has a well thought out plot, and clever uses of humor and suspense.  The author had solid ideas, mixed with interesting stories, and it makes for a wonderful read for lovers of general fiction with a romantic undertone. You won’t regret picking up this book, and once you start reading it, I assure you, you’ll be drawn into the wonderful world David Dennis creates here.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own **





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About the Author:


David Dennis was born, raised, and educated in Providence, Rhode Island, and chose a career in teaching English in a neighboring city. Ever since he was in fifth grade, he’s enjoyed writing stories of one sort or another, and while attending college, he became immersed in the writing of a gigantic fictional family saga. Much later, he basically extracted one of the sub-plots of that family saga and expanded it into the present novel “Why She Left Us.”

In so doing, he also experimented with the timeline and utilized five different narrators, so that the story itself starts out rather hazily and gradually comes into focus, with the reader learning which narrators’ perceptions are to be trusted and which ones ought to be regarded with some skepticism. At the same time, while there are dramatic, and even tragic elements involved, the novel also contains a certain amount of humor, as well as some of the most lyrical and romantic writing David Dennis has ever produced.