Friday, November 7, 2008

Time for books-Gail McCarthy Series by Laura Crum

It's getting into the winter months although you'd never know it by the way our weather has been around here. For the past week we've had a beautiful "Indian Summer" as it's often called. Warm sunny days in the 70's. If it hadn't been for the time change Sunday, I could swear we were still in late September. Ah, but there's a change coming this weekend and when the weather turns rainy, cold with those longer evenings, I start reading more again.

In order for me to read a book and enjoy it, I MUST like the main character. I must get a feel for him or her that keeps me reading. I suppose most people are like that. If I don't like the main character, I usually find myself disinterested quickly and I might make it to page 50 before I decide I don't want to waste anymore time. Oh, I will usually skip to the end and read the last chapter to see if I missed anything. Usually, for me, I was right to close down at page 50.

I enjoy Laura Crum's character, Gail McCarthy immensely. In these modern times you might say I have a girl crush on Gail in a sense that she's my imagination's image of how I would have liked to have been, had I been involved with horses all my life and become a veterinarian to boot. Gail is tough when she needs to be yet her warm side surfaces too, especially where her animals are concerned. She's common sense and no nonsense at the same time. She has her flaws and definitely isn't perfect. Gail is attractive, as I see her in my mind, but she's not a girly girl, yet she has her feminine side too.

I've only read two of the books so far and the stories occurred at completely different times in Gail's life. I actually read Chasing Cans first because it was Laura's most recent. I then purchased Slickrock because the premise of Gail's horseback pack trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I'm planning to eventually get the rest of the titles. If I'd known about Laura Crum's Gail McCarthy series when I was a librarian, you can be sure I would have put in for our libraries to purchase them, but that's the way it goes in rural Southern Ohio.

Chasing Cans has Gail, now a new mom, questioning things in her new life change after the birth of her son. Something, I believe, moms everywhere tend to do, but especially older moms. Well, I mean mom's not in their early 20's. I was in my early 20's when I had my two sons so life just moved forward. But I think when older moms turn the corner of motherhood for the first time, they do tend to question their lives more. Anyway, Gail is content with her life as a stay-at-home mom, for the time being. She is no longer a vet on a regular schedule, though I'm wondering if she'll get back into it because she does feel her purpose on that path and she must have been good at it. I have to read the other titles to get more of a feel for her in her vet career.

The term chasing cans refers to barrel racing, which makes sense, and I thought a really cool title because it can also be a metaphor for life. Well, unintentionally, Gail gets caught up in being a witness to a nasty accident involving a rather nasty horse trainer, who people didn't like anyway. She got results in her training, but her attitude needed adjusting. Gail then tries to put all the ducks in a row to figure out the who, what and why of the accident because things just didn't seem right to her. So, the story continues with more characters involved than you originally think will be involved. Funny, my farrier's name is Jake.

Slickrock was the next title I read although it is number five in the series. I loved this one for the details of the packing into the mountains, the scenery, the way Gail handled herself, which wasn't perfect all the time, and the way Blue entered the picture. I do like some romance, but I'm not much for gushy stuff. I liked the way Gail handled herself in the situations they ran into while..........well, I don't want to give too much away. Gail starts out planning to take a nice, quiet, refreshing pack trip with her horses Gunner and Plumber and her cattle dog, Roey. She ends up with more than she'd planned for.

I've never been much of a mystery person. I'm not sure why, I guess it depends on the mystery because I've been reading more of them lately. Opens up a new genre for me. Plus, finding equine fiction just blows me away! I'm so happy there are writers going in this direction though probably not as financially rewarding, but that's not the goal for writing now is it.

Laura Crum's Gail McCarthy Series in order 1-10:










Chasing Cans

Looking forward to reading what Laura has in store for Gail in number 11!


Linda Reznicek said...

I like what you said about the main character. I agree. It makes you wonder what does a good character look like?? It seems like I'm having a more difficult time relating nowadays--is it because there aren't many to relate to in my age and experience?? You gave me something to think about.

LJS82 said...

Yes, there does seem to be a lack of good women characters, in my opinion, in the over 40 age bracket. I'm hoping this is changing and it does seem to be in some areas. I think there's something to be said for a woman's experience when she gets older and wiser. I know I sure don't long to be 25 again, maybe 35??? haha but no, I'm happy where I'm at in age though mornings sure are hard these days! Thanks for checkin in Linda!

Laura Crum said...

Thanks so much for the nice reviews. I'm glad that you've enjoyed the books. I have been trying to limit how much I check the blogs (as I said in my post on equestriaink) because I am having a hard time finishing book #11 (I keep reading horse blogs instead). So I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner. But thanks again...I really appreciate your reading the books and reviewing them.