Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Men Who Wish to Drown by: Elizabeth Fama

Title: Men Who Wish to Drown
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: E-book
Pages: 32

 From the Falmouth Historical Society Collection

 Cited as the only extant firsthand record of a mermaid encounter in New England waters, this deathbed letter from a great-grandfather to his great-grandson is more likely an instructive fiction--a parable of regret. Supposedly corroborating the mermaid story, a ship's log (in the collections of the Provincetown Historical Museum) of the schooner Hannah, which plucked Mr. Stanton from South Weepecket in 1788, indicates that the crew saw two figures on the island prior to his rescue, but failed to locate a second victim. However, regarding accuracy and reliability, this is the same crew, under Captain John Merriweather, that reported sightings of a ghost ship and not one, but two sea monsters. ~~James S. Rucker, Archivist, Family Collections, Falmouth Historical Society, 1924 Companion story to Monstrous Beauty.

 My Thoughts:

 I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love short stories. Believe it or not, it's much harder to tell a compelling story in fewer words, and Men Who Wish to Drown is one of the most beautiful, most haunting stories I've ever read.

 First of all, is it possible to pass up a story that has mermaids in it? For me, no. The story is actually a letter, written by a man to his grandson in 1872, telling him about his encounters with a mermaid in New England. I'm not going to go into details since it's already a short story, but I guarantee you will be going "so, what else happened?" after you read it. And the best part is, you can read it right now online here.

 I also have great news for those of you who'll want more after reading the story. Author Elizabeth Fama has a book called Monstrous Beauty that explores the very same topic! I definitely want to read it as soon as I can, and I have a feeling it'll be just as magical as Men Who Wish to Drown.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Bad Kitty Meets the Baby by: Nick Bruel

Title: Bad Kitty Meets the Baby
Author: Nick Bruel
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 144
Series: Bad Kitty
Format: paperback


 Kitty's owners are home with a big surprise for Kitty. But what is it? Kitty, reeling in horror, thinks it’s a . . . dog. The neighbor cats are convinced it’s a cat. But we all know that it’s really a BABY! With Nick Bruel’s trademark mix of antic humor (this time involving a Kitty game show and the Kitty Olympics—which the baby wins hands down), riotous illustrations, total mayhem, and Uncle Murray Fun Facts, this may be the funniest Kitty book yet, and the one that hits closest to home.

 Natalie's Review:

 Bad Kitty at the beginning was just a baby, and she had a good life and was alone for a long time. Bad Kitty is a very funny book, and Bad Kitty thought Puppy was an evil beast. Then Uncle Murray stays with Bad Kitty and Puppy while her owners went on vacation. He kept having to call Fire Department and Plant Nursery when Bad Kitty and Puppy were fighting. I liked the end when the baby came and she needed a bath and bad kitty freaked out over the bath time. I think other kids will like this series. I would give it an A+

 Caitlyn's Review:

 What I really liked was Bad Kitty, the baby and the dog. I liked the baby getting the bath at the end. The game show Bad Kitty has in her brain was really funny! All kids would like this book. I would give it a A+
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The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God by: Etgar Keret

Title: The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories Author: Etgar Keret
Publisher: Toby Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 130


Israel's hippest bestselling young writer today, Etgar Keret is part court jester, part literary crown prince, part national conscience. The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God gathers his daring and provocative short stories for the first time in English. Brief, intense, painfully funny, and shockingly honest, Keret's stories are snapshots that illuminate with intelligence and wit the hidden truths of life. As with the best comic authors, hilarity and anguish are the twin pillars of his work. Keret covers a remarkable emotional and narrative terrain-from a father's first lesson to his boy to a standoff between soldiers caught in the Middle East conflict to a slice of life where nothing much happens. Bus Driver includes stories from Keret's bestselling collections in Israel, Pipelines and Missing Kissinger, as well as Keret's major new novella, "Kneller's Happy Campers," a bitingly satirical yet wistful road trip set in the afterlife for suicides. 

 My Thoughts:

My sister is the one who's introduced me to Etgar Keret a short while ago. I've always loved short stories, and Keret's are among the funniest, striking and weird tales I've ever read. This book also contains Keret's short stories, including the one that inspired the movie Wristcutters: "Kneller's Happy Campers." Among my favorite stories were the one that gave its name to the book, "The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God," "Breaking the Pig," and "Jetlag." They all have different characters and stories, and although they're similar in ways, they're also very different. If you like witty, weird stories and like details that are all around us yet nobody notices, I think you should give Etgar Keret a try.
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Spare Change by: Bette Lee Crosby Review

Title: Spare Change
Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Pages: 277
Source: Author Request Review
Format: Paperback


 A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…

 A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…

A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.

 Olivia Westerly knows what she knows—opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson. 

Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman. 

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him. 

 My Thoughts:

This book was great read it is the story of Ethan Allen and Olivia Doyle.  Olivia is the a strong woman in a time when most women get married and have babies, Olivia decides this isn't the life she wants.  Ultimately she ends up marrying the charming Charlie Doyle, who like Olivia doesn't want kids.  He has one kid he's estranged from and a grandson Ethan Allen that he hasn't seen at all.  Olivia has a short marriage while honeymooning with Charlie he winds up dead and Olivia is devastated wondering how she will go on without him, when a surprise lands in her lap Ethan Allen orphaned when his parents are dead and Ethan won't tell what happened.

Ethan has had a hard childhood having a mother who is hell bent on going to NYC and a father who wants his wife to be a wife and be home.  They have many battles which result in broken furniture, dishes and misc. other things.  Ethan knows what happened that fateful night when his parents died but he's not talking trying to protect his grandmother and himself from the person responsible finding him.

With the help of Detective Jack Mahoney Olivia and Ethan share the story with him and allow the detective to investigate what happened.  This story was moving and made you appreciate family, even when they aren't blood related. I really enjoyed this story and am thankful to Better Lee Crosby for sending it to me!
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Cold Kiss by: Amy Gravey Review

Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Gravey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 292
Format: ebook
Source: Kindle Purchase
Series: Cold Kiss #1


 It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants--what she "must" do--is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her--and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought--even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

My Thoughts:

 When this book starts Wren is so deep into things she doesn't completely understand, her boyfriend Danny is dead and she is so unnerved by this that she brings him back from the dead literally. Unfortunately what she brought back isn't totally the Danny she knows. He's cold, and empty looking. 

People around Wren her friends and family know she is hurting by her boyfriend's death, they try in their own way to help her, and connect with her but she keeps pushing them away. From her mother who keeps their magical abilities a big bad secret to her friends who are clueless as to everything Wren is going through.

 Wren meets Gabriel a new kid at school who knows what she has done and what she can do. He tries to help her see that she can't go on visiting her zombieish boyfriend. That the late nights visiting this version of Danny are going to explode and she can't contain him in a neighbors attic forever. Soon Danny escapes and everything starts falling apart,

Wren finds herself fighting with her mother, her friends are angry at her for ditching them on the night of a sleepover and Danny has figured out what is going on. In the end it is up to Wren to fix what she has created and finally put Danny to rest, but can she sacrifice her own wants over what Danny needs? Talk about an incredible story I loved it, the reader gets thrown right into

Wren's mess early on and get to watch and see how she deals with everything being so messed up!
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Farsighted by: Emlyn Chand

Title: Farsighted
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 226
Series: Farsighted #1
Source: Kindle


Advanced Chem? Easy. Psychic powers? Gotcha. Save the girl? Uh...

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all. 

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on his journey to change the future.

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed this story.  Alex has had a hard life being born blind and having to use his other senses to get through life.  He goes to public school which I commend an author who has a blind main character go through as much of a normal life as possible.  There he meets Simmi and Shapri.   Two girls who enjoy his company.  He also finds out he has gifts that are surprising even to him.  He ends up meeting Shapri's mom Ms. Teak who has a magical shop and shows him and Simmi how to channel their gifts, Alex's gifts show that Simmi is in danger of her life and it is up to Alex and his dad to save her.  

I got this as a free book on Amazon's site and it was well worth the download I loved every moment of entering Alex's world, meeting great characters I can't wait to see what happens next!

The Next Book is:

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Coffee Clutch by: Marshall Thorton Review

Title: Coffee Clutch
Author: Marshall Thorton
Publisher: Kindle
Series: Jan Birch Mystery
Format: kindle


In the first Jan Birch mystery, a sixties homemaker maintains a tight circle of friends in her Upstate New York suburban neighborhood. When the divorcée down the street is murdered, the women attribute her death to a hobo they’d seen months before. Quickly, though, Jan begins to suspect that the hobo had left the neighborhood long before and the murderer may be one of her dear friends.

My Review:

While I enjoy mystery books, this one fell flat.  There wasn't alot of development with the characters, you knew basic things about each woman and the murder was predictable the only thing that wasn't was that the murderer wasn't prosecuted.  While I know this was a novella, but I think it could have been stronger in a few areas.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BROKEN by: A.E. Rought

Author: A. E. Rought
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: Kindle
Source: NetGalley
Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Pages: 302


Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.

And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

My thoughts:

A.E. Rought's BROKEN, which will be published on January 8, 2013, is marketed as a "retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." And that really is what it is.

I must admit that when I saw the description on NetGalley, I jumped on this book because Frankenstein is one of my favorite novels. Sometimes I got bored of the "I love him so much I'm gonna die" parts, but it wasn't a book I wanted to give up and throw away. I was curious to find out what was going to happen next. When I finished it, my reaction was, "mehhh," and I didn't even feel like writing about it. But then I got mad.

One of the books I read this year is Paige Harbison's "New Girl," which is a retelling of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. I wasn't crazy about that one either. The magic and the feel of Rebecca was gone; it was a wayyy simplified version. I thought about this as I was reading BROKEN... After I was done, I checked out the comments on GoodReads and got really, really mad.

According to the comments I've read, most readers who read BROKEN haven't read Frankenstein. And I would like to know why that is. Why settle for a retelling when the original is so damn good? Aren't kids supposed to read it in school anymore? First, I thought maybe they choose to retell stories to get kids more interested in them. Well, though s**t! I really think they should try reading something that isn't too easy for a change. It's not BROKEN's fault, really. It's a good book. But it happened to catch me at my boiling point. 

When main character Emma's boyfriend Daniel dies, she gets very depressed. She walks around in cemeteries and remembers Daniel and how much they loved each other. Until she meets Alex Frans, that is. And I'm sure you guessed Alex is Frankenstein before I even say it.

Like I've said, it's a good book. But please read the original first and compare for yourself.
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Secrets, Lies & Family Ties Book Tour and Giveaway

Title: Secrets, Lies & family Ties
Author: Sylvia Hubbard
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Suspense, Interracial,
Publisher: HubBooks
Pages: 212

Book Description:

Ezekiel Chambers knew he would never find a woman that would allow him to marry and though he longed for a happy family life since his business life was so successful, his father was never going to give one inch to grant him that opportunity. 

Reluctantly, he is convinced to go to his high school reunion, but upon meeting the mysterious woman, Ezekiel forgets what he wants and focuses on what he desires.

Too bad he won't be able to keep her.

When Grae is given the opportunity to sleep with the man of her dreams without him knowing her identity, this shy reclusive young woman steps outside of her shell and transforms herself into the woman of his dreams.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bookplate Special by: Lorna Barrett

Title: Bookplate Special
Author: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 310
Format: ebook
Series: A Booktown Mystery #3


Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t a Clue mystery bookstore, is still settling into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name—and where everyone’s quick to lend a hand, even when murder is afoot . . .

The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up—and put up with—her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy, has stolen $100, among other things. But the day she’s kicked out, Pammy’s found dead in a dumpster, leaving loads of questions unanswered. Like what was she foraging for? Did her killer want it too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in head-first.…

My Thoughts: 

Tricia has had it up to her eyes with her college roomate who's crashed with her for over two weeks.  After finding her friend Pammy wrote a check of Tricia's and cashed Tricia has decided enough is enough.  But Pammy isn't going quietly into the night, she creates quite a wake before winding up dead.

Tricia is up to her detective work trying to find out what happened to Pammy who winds up stuffed in one of Angelica's trash cans outside dead.  Was it due to black mail or something more sinister?  Everything leads to Tricia knowing less about her college roomate then she thought she did.  

What a great cozy mystery full of adventure and mystery and a big who did it.  I really enjoy this series and going back to NH with these books.  Keep up the good work Ms. Barrett!

Next book in this series is:

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Bookmarked For Death by: Lorna Barrett

Title: Bookmarked For Death
Author: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 297
Format: ebook
Series: A Booktown Mystery #2


What do a stone book and a stabbed cake have to do with Zoë Carter's death?

Once a struggling town, Stoneham, New Hampshire is now enjoying a renaissance--thanks to booksellers like Tricia Miles, proprietor of Haven’t Got a Clue. It’s a great place to find a good mystery to read--or to solve ….

To celebrate her bookstore’s anniversary, Tricia Miles hosts a book signing for bestselling author Zoë Carter. But the event takes a terrible turn when the author is found dead in the washroom. Before long, both police and reporters are demanding the real story. So far, the author’s obnoxious assistant/niece is the only suspect. And with a sheriff who provides more obstacles than answers, Tricia will have to take matters into her own hands--and read between the lines to solve this mystery….

My Thoughts:

Tricia store Haven't Got A Clue is celebrating it's anniversary and what better way then with a book signing by best seller  Zoë Carter.  People are having a good time minus her grumpy assistant also her niece.  When  Zoë winds up dead in the bathroom and Tricia is out of an apartment and store as it is now a crime scene which has her living with her sister Angelica.

Tricia's co-workers are working temporarily for Angelica until Tricia can open her doors, but in order to do that Tricia has to avoid the press and solve a crime to get her store back.  Neighbors paint  Zoë as anything but a best selling author.  And a hidden secret  Zoë had that is resurfacing, plus the hint of blackmailing, will Tricia recover her store or is it doomed to remain a crime scene?

I loved this book the adventure, the mystery of uncovering all parts of  Zoë who she was, how she came to be a writer and did she write her books or did someone else?, plus the hidden secret from long ago it was great to really spend time with the people of Booktown.  Reminds me of visiting with friends you haven't seen in a while.

Next book is:

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One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by: N.K. Jemisin

Title: One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, Turkish Translation
Source: Dex Kitap

Pages: 427
Series: The Inheritance Trilogy #1


Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.

With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably together.

My thoughts:

I'd like to start by mentioning that I read the Turkish translation of this book, therefore my English wording may not be 100 % accurate.

When I first got a hold of the book, I wasn't excited. I do love fantasy, but when I read the premise, I thought it would be overdone, and I'd give up half way through it. Boy, was I WRONG!

To start with, I really thought the main character would be male, and I don't even know why. But she turned out to be a girl who hasn't yet turned 20. A strong, warrior girl. Our narrator orphan Yeine gets invited by her grandfather, King Dekarta to his kingdom to fight for the throne and her whole life changes. On one hand, she has to fight her cousins in order to stay alive. In addition, she wants to find out who murdered her mother and take revenge, and she's trying to figure out why the three gods are fighting each other. Oh, and have I mentioned they are enslaved at High North and Yeine gets to hang out with them?

The world Jemisin created is as scary as it is magical. I really liked how there are more than one important characters in the book, and she does a very good job of having us get to know all of them. The parts about the past were also scattered very nicely, without making the reader scream, "ok, but what's happening NOW?!" I also very much enjoyed Yeine's language. She goes off telling us about something, changes to a different subject, and tries to come back to the previous one saying, "wait, that's not what I was talking about." It might seem sloppy, but for me it made her more real because, after all, she's "telling" the story and not writing it down. 

It's a pleasure to follow Yeine around as she discovers where she comes from, where she is and how her world functions. I don't know how and why she found the Dark God Naradoth so very attractive, but one shouldn't look for logic when it comes to falling in love, right? I'm very much curious about what's going to happen next in the series, and I hope it doesn't take too long before they're translated to Turkish.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Savage by: Willow Rose & Giveaway

Title: Savage
Author: Willow Rose
Publisher: DMC
Pages: 444
Format: ebook
Source: Full Moon Bites Book Tour
Series: Daughters of the Jaguar Bk #1


The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a paranormal romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up.

My Thoughts: 

This was a great book with an interesting story about Christian who is studying in Florida to be a Doctor after leaving Denmark he comes to the Kirk household where he meets Heather and her parents and is quickly brought into Heather's life with her friends.  He ends up being attacked by alligators and a jaguar saves him from dying.

He meets strange neighbors that are mysterious and people around town make up stories about them, and the more he learns about them the more he finds himself connecting with them.  Definitely a great book with adventure, mystery, romance, revenge and so much more!


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House of Leaves by: Mark Z. Danielewski

Title: House of Leaves
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
Publisher: Pantheon
Format: Paperback, remastered full-color edition
Pages: 736


Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

My thoughts:

Ever since college, there've been quite a few people who suggested I read this book. Their marketing pitches included sentences such as "It will blow your mind" and "There's nothing like it."

So, I guess you won't be surprised when I mention I had high expectations from this book. In fact, I made sure I read it on vacation so I wouldn't be distracted by anything else. All in all, it wasn't at all what I expected, but I didn't hate it either. I've been trying to put into words how I really felt about this book, yet I'm not sure I can do a good job of that. Let's give it a shot...

There are at least two (some say more than that) stories in this book. One is Zampano's book, who wrote about a long-lost movie called The Navidson Record. The other one is Johnny Truant's, the guy who found Zampano's notes after his death and decided to put them together into a book. Zampano's language was academic, and have millions of footnotes-- okay, millions is an exaggeration, but there really is A LOT of them. Johnny has footnotes too, which are kinda like editor notes, but in them he goes on and on about his life.

I liked Zampano's book a lot. He wrote about the movie from different points of view, all supposedly based on comprehensive research. What's interesting about The Navidson Record is that it's a documentary film exploring a house that's bigger on the inside than it is outside. Kinda like the house in American Horror Story, really. When Navidson figures this out, he wants to explore. Even when his wife goes bananas asking him to stop, he doesn't listen to her and brings in a professional team to explore with him. And, of course, all of a sudden everything turns into a horror movie. 

However, as we're reading this horrifying story, we're also reading whom Mr. Johnny was with and a whole lot about his sex life. There were times when I wanted to scream, "Shut up, stupid; just tell me who's scraping their nails against the walls of the house!" What I want to say is that Johnny's story wasn't interesting for me. And the horror concept of the other one I did appreciate, but it was no Clive Barker story that literally gave me nightmares. 

The book is physically very interesting. You can tell Danielewski worked hard on it, and it's an interactive book. You don't just turn the pages while you read. Sometimes you need to go to the appendix, sometimes you need to turn the book upside down, and sometimes you need to hold it crookedly so you can read certain parts. While some pages are filled with text and footnotes, some only have a few words, and one sentence stretches out to a couple of pages.

I think it's a book every bookworm should read, but I also think you shouldn't get your hopes up.
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Murder is Binding by: Lorna Barrett Review

Title: Murder is Binding
Author: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 281
Series: A Booktown Mystery #1
Format: ebook


The streets of Stoneham, New Hampsire are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder. 

Stoneham, New Hampshire, was a dying town until community leaders invited booksellers to open shop. Now, its streets are lined with bookstores--and paved with murder…

When she moved to Stoneham, city-slicker Tricia Miles was met with friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met with friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased--and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries--and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book…

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed this book where we meet Tricia Miles who has a small town bookstore specializing in mysteries.  Early on Tricia's sister Angelica comes to visit, and a mystery is discovered by Tricia.  Doris Gleason the shop next to Tricia's offering cookbooks is found dead.  

In this book we meet some colorful characters, who offer so much in this story from a local newspaper man, a retired grocery store owner newly employed at Tricia's store.  They offer so much that is true to New Hampshire and New England states.  While Tricia and Angelica are considered outsiders to the state having not been born there they are quickly welcomed in by most of the people.

Also Tricia is trying to solve a mystery of her own who keeps leaving nudist leaflets in her books.  After hiring her clerk Ginny and Mr. Everett they are able to find out what is going on with the nudist leaflets.  Definitely a great new cozy mystery I have come across I love these cozy whodunits!

Next in the series is:

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Derailed by: Alyssa Rose Ivy and Giveaway

Title: Derailed
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Pages: 152
Format: ebook
Source: Full Moon Bites


When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.

My Thoughts: 

Wow this book was so emotional on so many levels.  Molly decides to leave Boston and go home to Clayton Falls after dealing with the death of her fiancé Adam.  While there she connects with old friends and lost loves.  She also comes to terms with heartache and death with some intervention from her sister Shayna and Ben.  Ben shows her that sometimes you have to realize you did nothing wrong and her sister just wants to make sure Molly isn't laying on the floor a mess.  This story was amazing on so many levels getting to see a girl who threw it all away get it back in her own way!   

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Requiem Cover Reveal

This is the cover of the last book in the trilogy of Delirium along with a description.  I can't wait for this book big time!


Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

What do you think of this series?  Have you enjoyed it so far?

Guest Post by: Joyce Morgan & Conrad Walters

Journeys on the Silk Road
By Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters,
Co-authors of Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World's Oldest Printed Book

Under cover of darkness, a figure quietly crept from the caves to Stein's tent beneath the fruit trees later that night. It was Chiang, and he was carrying a bundle of manuscripts. Wang, he whispered gleefully to Stein, had just paid him a secret visit. Hidden under the priest's flowing black robe had been the first of the promised scrolls. What they were, Chiang wasn't sure. But Stein could see that the paper they were made of was old, at least as old as the roll the helpful young monk had shown him on his first visit to the caves weeks earlier. The writing was Chinese and Chiang thought the documents might be Buddhist scriptures, but he needed time to study them. He returned to his quarters at the feet of the big Buddha and spent the night poring over them.
At daybreak, he was back at Stein's tent, barely able to contain his excitement. Colophons, or inscriptions, on the rolls showed they were Chinese versions of Buddhist texts brought from India. Moreover, they were copies from translations by the great Xuanzang himself. It was an astonishing coincidence. Even the usually skeptical Chiang suggested that this was a most auspicious omen. Auspicious and convenient. Chiang hastened to Wang to plant the seeds of this "quasi-divine" event. Had not the spirit of Xuanzang revealed the manuscript hoard to Wang ahead of the arrival from distant India of the pilgrim's devoted "disciple" -- Stein? The untutored Wang could not possibly have known the connection these manuscripts had with Xuanzang when he selected them from among the thousands of scrolls and delivered them to Chiang the previous night. Surely this was proof that opening the cave would have Xuanzang's blessing.
All morning, Stein kept away from Wang and the Library Cave, busying himself with photographing elsewhere. But when Chiang returned a few hours later with news that Wang had unbricked the cave's door, Stein could wait no longer. No one was about on that hot cloudless day. Even the soldiers who had tailed him all morning had disappeared for an opium-induced siesta as Stein made his way to the cave. There he found a nervous Wang. With Stein beside him, Wang opened the rough door that lay behind the dismantled wall. Stein looked on in wonder: "The sight of the small room disclosed was one to make my eyes open wide. Heaped up in layers, but without any order, there appeared in the dim light of the priest's little lamp a solid mass of manuscript bundles rising to a height of nearly ten feet."
He was looking at one of the great archaeological finds of all time.

There was barely room for two people to stand in the tiny room, about nine feet by nine feet, and certainly no space to unroll or examine the stacked bundles. Much as Stein wanted to remove every scroll from the cramped niche to a large painted temple where he could readily study them, he knew Wang would not agree. Wang feared the consequences if a foreigner was spied examining the contents of the cave he had been ordered to keep sealed. He could lose his position and patrons if rumors spread around the oasis. He was not going to jeopardize all he had worked for. Even in the quietest times, pilgrims occasionally visited the caves to light incense, ring a bell, and pay homage before the Buddha. But the abbot did agree to remove one or two bundles at a time and allow Stein a quick look. He also agreed to let Stein use a small restored cave chapel nearby that had been fitted with a door and paper windows. Screened from prying eyes, Stein set up what he called his "reading room."
As Wang busied himself inside the Library Cave, Stein looked for any hint of when it had been sealed and a clue therefore to the age of the manuscripts hidden within. Two features drew his attention: a slab of black marble and a mural of bodhisattvas. The three-foot-wide block was originally inside the cave, but Wang had moved it to the passageway outside. It was inscribed to the memory of a monk named Hong Bian with a date corresponding to the middle of the ninth century. This suggested the cave could not have been sealed before then. On the passageway wall were the remains of the mural -- a row of saintly bodhisattvas carrying offerings of divine food -- that helped conceal the entrance to the Library Cave. Fortunately Wang's restorations had not extended to these figures. To Stein, hungry for clues, they provided more earthly nourishment. Their style suggested they were painted no later than the thirteenth century. So somewhere between the ninth century and the thirteenth, the cave had been filled, then sealed. If his deduction was right, whatever was inside the cave would be very old indeed.

Stein at first believed the cave had been filled in great confusion, and from this he formed a theory about why it was concealed. "There can be little doubt that the fear of some destructive invasion had prompted the act," he wrote. But he also found evidence for a conflicting theory: that the cave was no more than a storehouse for sacred material. He noted bags carefully packed with fragments of sacred writings and paintings. "Such insignificant relics would certainly not have been collected and sewn up systematically in the commotion of a sudden emergency."
Scholars agree the cave was plastered shut around the beginning of the eleventh century, but the reasons why remain unclear. The cave's guardians may have feared Islamic invaders from the west. The sword of Islam had already conquered Dunhuang's ally, Khotan, in 1006. Invaders did come from the north, but these were Tanguts who, as Buddhists themselves, seem an unlikely threat to Buddhist scriptures.

But there is also support for Stein's other thesis, that the cave was a storeroom or tomb for material no longer needed by local monasteries. The printed Diamond Sutra, for example, showed signs of damage and repeated repair and may simply have been judged to have reached the end of its useful life. Buddhists did not simply throw away sacred material. They buried it reverentially. Even today Buddhism has rites surrounding the disposal of spiritual writings.
The cave does not appear to have been sealed ahead of an unrecorded exodus from the sacred complex. Nearby Dunhuang was still a bustling oasis when the cave was hidden. The area had a population of about 20,000, including about 1,000 monks and nuns in more than a dozen monasteries. The caves too were thriving, with some of their most beautiful chapels still to be created. Indeed the caves continued to thrive after the arrival of Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century. Although the Mongol chief ransacked Dunhuang, he not only left the caves undamaged, his rule saw new ones commissioned. The caves were still flourishing 300 years after the Library Cave was sealed. The last cave is believed to have been painted in 1357, just before the start of the Ming dynasty. Soon after, the Silk Road was abandoned, and the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas sank into a long decline.
Whatever the reason for its sealing, the Library Cave -- or Cave 17 as it is prosaically known today -- wasn't always used to house manuscripts. It was initially a memorial chapel for the monk whose name was on the marble slab, Hong Bian, who died around the time the Diamond Sutra was being printed. He was an important monk -- so important he had the right to wear the highly prestigious color purple. A statue of him, seated in meditation posture, was initially installed in the cave. It was placed against a wall behind which was painted a decorative scene including two attendants -- one holding a staff, the other holding a fan -- and a pair of trees from which hang his pilgrim's bag and water bottle. The statue was removed when the cave was filled with scrolls and has since been found to contain traces of purple silk. When and why the cave changed from being a memorial chapel to housing the scrolls remains a mystery.

The above is an excerpt from the book Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World's Oldest Printed Book by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Reprinted with permission from Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World's Oldest Printed Book, by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters, published by Lyons Press 2012.

Authors Bios

Joyce Morgan, co-author of Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World's Oldest Printed Book, work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Guardian and the Bangkok Post. A senior arts writer at The Sydney Morning Herald, she is a former arts editor of the paper and has also worked as a producer with ABC Radio. Born in Liverpool, England, she has traveled extensively in Asia, including India, Pakistan, China and Tibet.

Conrad Walters, co-author of Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World's Oldest Printed Book, is a feature writer and book reviewer at The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. Born in Boston and educated in Europe and the Middle East, he has lived in seven countries and traveled widely through North America, Europe and Asia. They live in Sydney, Australia.
For more information please visit http://www.journeysonthesilkroad.com, and follow the author on Twitter

Monday, October 1, 2012

Binding Arbitration by: Elizabeth Marx

Title: Binding Arbitration
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 484
Format: ebook
Source: Full Moon Bites Book Tour


Through the corridors of the Windy City’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to take her fight all the way to the majors.

Circumstances force Libby to plead her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping Libby and living up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.

If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. When he learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.

All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Aidan has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage and a hippy priestess step onto the field, there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan than heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.

My Thoughts:

This book was sent to me via Holly from Full Moon Bites.  It follows the story of Aidan Palowski a baseball player, who let the one great thing in life slide by him.  Libby Tucker who had a one night stand with the baseball player and wound up pregnant with his son, Cass.  Cass is battling cancer and it's up to Libby to save him.  Libby a hard nosed lawyer is using to being able to solve anything that comes her way but with Cass this is one thing she needs Aidan's help for.  She contacts him and tells him she needs his DNA.  After being angry and upset he decides he's not going to let Libby get away a second time.

This was a great story about the dedication parents have for their kids to protect them, and how to move on from situations that pop up.  Aidan felt like a real character you were walking next to or reading his mind.  Libby is definitely a character I'm sure alot of single mom's can relate too.  Busting her butt to give Cass everything he needed in life.  Cass strikes me as an old soul.  Wise beyond his years.  This book tugged at so many emotions betrayal, romance, happiness, sadness, etc.  It was great to be able to be a part of this book tour.


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