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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: A FICKLE WIND by ELIZABETH BOURNE



Review: A FICKLE WIND by ELIZABETH BOURNE

A finely-wrought, incredibly detailed, memoir of a life lived in three nations, two continents, by a woman whose consistent determination is to stand strong through the storms and adversities of circumstances and to persevere throughout. Ms. Bourne was a small child during the tribulations of World War II, in a constrained environment which affirmed the value of the famous "British stiff upper lip," so that early on she learned to minimize tears and conceal suffering. I think this "training" as well as her determination to focus on the positive carried her through decades of a frequently "topsy-turvy" existence, and planted her on a shore of emotional security and self-possession.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: WICKEDPEDIA by Chris Van Etten





Review: WICKEDPEDIA by Chris Van Etten

Another "Wow!!" One-session read: fans of twisted convolutions and unexpected chills will flock to this story, which has all a mystery lover could want. Even after decades of intense mystery reading, I was still kept on tenterhooks by the rocketing thrills of WICKEDPEDIA. I'm afraid to boot up.a computer!

I'm not sure whether the moral of this story is:

"Be cautious what you say/think/write" or "Trust no one." Think I'll go with the latter.

THE UNDEAD: PLAYING FOR KEEPS by ELSIE ELMORE


 

The Undead: Playing for Keeps, by Elsie Elmore

 

Genre: young-adult, paranormal

 

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

 

Date of Publication: September 3rd, 2014

 

Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson (http://gothicfate.com/)

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22131059-the-undead?from_search=true

 

Description:

 

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

 

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny mightbe altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

 

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.

--

 


 

About The Author:

Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

With a science education degree from NCSU, she never imagined she would someday write stories that challenge the laws of nature. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Elsie is a member of several writing organizations: RWA, SCBWI, and WSW.  The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel.

Find Elsie Elmore Online:

Website (http://elsieelmore.com/Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/elsieelmorewriterTwitter (https://twitter.com/ElsieWriter) |Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8213277.Elsie_Elmore)


CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT:


Lyla

 

My stomach drops when I see the dead woman lying on the table. Convinced the dim light is playing tricks on my eyes, I reach over and flip the switch. The overhead fluorescents flicker on and light cascades down onto the body. Dread replaces the doubt. I move closer for a better look. She’s not peaceful like the others. This is bad, really bad. Mom will go ballistic when she sees this.

“Lyla, what are you doing back here?” Ben whispers and gives me a playful shove.

I flinch, almost coming out of my skin. Ben’s always been better at the scaring game we started a long time ago. While I both love and hate our game, I also suck at it.

I turn and squint at him. “Asshole. This room should be off limits.”

“Language,” he chides and clicks his tongue. After glancing at the body, he steps up beside me and snickers. “You’re in so much trouble,” he says, drawing out each word as if it were a paragraph.

“No, I’m not.”

“Where’s Kate?”

“She’s gone, I guess.”

Kate Huntington, the eccentric beautician with tacky green highlights is gone, and only her handiwork remains. Glittery blue eye shadow and sapphire eyeliner cover the dead woman’s lids. Black mascara coats her lashes so thickly that her eye sockets resemble piles of tangled spider legs. She looks like a showgirl, an old, dead showgirl. I don’t even want to acknowledge the dark foundation, the cherry red lipstick, or the words “I quit” scrawled in eyeliner across her forehead.

“Mom and Dad are going to freak when they find out she left this. Mrs. Weller’s visitation is tonight.”

“Wait.” Ben’s interest shifts and he takes a closer look at the still body. “This is Mrs. Weller?”

“Yeah.”

“Leave her. Nobody will come see her anyway.” His nose wrinkles at the lifeless form. “Everybody hated her.”

“You hated her. I don’t think everyone else did.”

“She was horrible.”

“You’re still holding a grudge? You were in seventh grade when she busted you for taking off during the Chamber of Commerce field trip. Let it go.”

I lean closer to Mrs. Weller’s face. She looks like a sweet old lady, if you ignore what Kate did, but Ben always hated her. Then again, Ben dislikes most of his teachers. They all want him to work harder to meet his potential. Ben has other plans for his potential.

“Whatever. You wouldn’t know. Your nose stays stuck so far up their—”

I elbow him in the ribs. “Grab me a wet washrag. I’ve got to fix this.”

“No. I’m not touching anything in here, her included.”

“I didn’t ask you to touch her. I just asked you to get a washrag. You scared?”

“Disgusted is more like it.”

I huff, walking over to the sink. The room reeks of disinfectant, but it’s better than the embalming room smell that clings to everything like cobwebs.

“Are you worried Dad will mistake your help for interest? You know, this place isn’t the enemy.”

“Easy for you to say. He’s not trying to steal your future.” He crosses his arms. Ben’s senior year has been a struggle about his future. He and Dad both want control.

Grimm Funeral Home is now run by the fifth generation of Grimms. Dad worked here part-time as a teenager and returned after college just as his father before him had and so on and so on.

“What are you doing here anyway?” he asks. “Mom and Dad will be pissed if they catch you back here.”

“I came to ask Mom about spending the night at Cassie’s.”

“But Mom’s not in here.”

“I know. But I couldn’t walk by the door without peeking. And this is what I found.”

The water from the faucet splashes around the big white ceramic basin. Every room down the back hallway has too much white: white walls, white counters, and white cabinets. Everything feels sterile, worse than a doctor’s office.

“You’re really going to touch her?” Ben asks, now standing farther away from the table.

“Yep. I am.” I haven’t thought about it enough to freak myself out, unlike Ben. “It’s just a body without a soul, like a table. No big deal. Well, except for the horrendous makeup.”

“I wouldn’t. Mom and Dad are going to rail on you if you screw this up, which you’re going to do.” He sweeps his dark hair off his forehead while he inches backwards. “You don’t wear makeup. How are you going to know how to put it on?”

“I’ll rely on my artistic ability.” I dab Mrs. Weller’s face with the warm rag. “Besides, I do wear makeup.”

“Lyla, stop.” He points at the table. “Aren’t you supposed to be licensed or vaccinated to do this? What if she was sick or something?”

Is that genuine concern in his voice? “I’ll be fine. Besides, it has to get done. Mom’s got too much going on today and Dad doesn’t know the first thing about makeup.”

“Touching her is a bad idea,” he snaps.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: CALLER 107 by MATTHEW COX





 

Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

 

Genre: young-adult, contemporary paranormal

 

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

 

Date of Publication: July 22nd, 2014

 

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn (http://www.polinas-portfolio.com/)

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359976-caller-107?from_search=true

Description:

 

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

 

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

 

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

 

Before her parents ruined that too.

 

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

 

--

 


Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/100918-caller-107


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6afc1827/


Review:

Review: CALLER 107 by MATTHEW COX

Poor Natalie: What a miserable life...and Death. Once a capable, smart, pre-teen with a straight shot at advanced classes and early university.admission, her parents' unexpected divorce and subsequent inability to mature has resulted in Natalie' s extreme behavior: shoplifting, spiraling grades, running with a batch of gang wannabes, breaking-and-entering...and eventually, the worst occurs, an attempted rape, then murder. Very dystopian, very despairing. Yet Natalie, who has exhausted all her options, is unexpectedly granted one-more-chance..to make it right.



Review: GIFTED




Review: GIFTED

A wise maxim purports: "When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear." ( capitalization my own ) As I read through.Daphne Michaels book "GIFTED: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams," I intuited that this book might become that teacher for many individuals. Ms. Michaels states that she has a calling to.show others how to live a life of love, rather than the too-often lived life of despair. In this book, she identifies and explicates the nine gifts of:

Awareness, Potential, and Stillness; Disharmony and Harmony; Ease and Clarity; Freedom and Engagement. I think.many readers will be drawn to the material in this book.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22372735-the-gifted



http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Live-Life-Your-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00KKSFFCU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405974519&sr=1-1&keywords=daphne+michaels

Review: PHOBIC (FORBIDDEN DOORS #1) by CORTNEY PEARSON



Review: PHOBIC by Cortney Pearson

Oh this book, this special, stunning, unstoppable, incredibly imagined, book! Can you tell how much I.loved it? I read it nonstop, truly. The characters are so.well wrought, and deal with amazingly realistic issues. Piper is a heroine of fine cattle, a girl stronger because of her turmoil.

And the horrors!!! I would categorize this as upper YA, definitely, for graphic descriptions ( and some implications). Ah, I'm ready to go read it again.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22465896-phobic


Review: THE BOOK OF BAD THINGS by Dan POBLOCKI





Review:  THE BOOK OF BAD THINGS by Dan Poblocki

I discovered the work of Dan Poblocki several years ago, and became an immediate, enraptured fan. Although his newest has characters who are in the category of upper middle/lower YA ( three of the main protagonists are 12 headed for 13), this story is relevant for older YA and also.adults (which I think is true of his earlier writings as well). His writing is engrossing, with a special way of interweaving several backstories (in some cases, parallel narrative). I can't highly enough recommend this book and thus author.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20578972-the-book-of-bad-things

Review: EERIE ELEMENTARY #2 THE LOCKER ATE LUCY by JACK CHABERT



Review: EERIE ELEMENTARY #2: THE LOCKER ATE LUCY by Jack Chabert

I couldn't wait to read this installment because EERIE ELEMENTARY #1 was so exciting and so much fun--and so is this new story. If you've read one, you know that the Town of Eerie' s elementary school is not just haunted--but alive---and in this installment we'll learn how, and why, and just how "hhhhoorrrifying" that is!

Despite the "spooky" nature of this series, these stories are perfectly suitable for readers in.upper elementary, middle grades, and older. One aspect I think is important about these is that, like the young kids' books of R. L Stine, the stories help children to think through their unexpressed fears about monsters and "bad things" and give them vicarious opportunities to play hero, through the characters, kids like themselves.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/994887730



Review: THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by JAMES ROLLINS




Review: THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by JAMES ROLLINS

A riproaring adventure thriller with unstoppable chills, terror, and fatality (not to.mention fatalism), THE SIXTH EXTINCTION presents a very near future of unimaginable horror. I am fond of praising the concept of Implacability in horror, but I think.the premise here beats it all out. One need only view headlines and do some research to comprehend that the consequences in this novel are far beyond Probable.

James Rollins' trademark excellent carries this graphic and horrifying story, which I predict will find a wide audience--and maybe inspire more of us to consider the ultimate fate of this planet.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/997032105


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: BLIND CURVES by Linda Crill





Review: BLIND CURVES by Linda Crill

I was amazed at how meaningful I found this memoir. It's not "flibbertygibbety" "chick-lit," and the author is not some vain ego-pusher. Instead, she is forthright about her values and flaws, and although she faces fears and is not completely unafraid, the point is, she acknowledges, then learns how to cope with, those fears. Additionally, she leaves her reader with wise philosophy and the sense of time well-spent with this narrative.



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/593142039

http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Curves-Unusual-Journey-Reinvent-ebook/dp/B00B4JR8HO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1405801630&sr=1-1&keywords=blind+curves

Review: TALES OF THE HIDDEN WORKD by Simon R. Green



Review:  Review: TALES FROM THE HIDDEN WORLD by Simon R. Green

Welcome to an exploratory tour of the imaginative universe of Simon R. Green, where Science and Magic are equally real, equally important, equally usable. In seventeen intriguing stories, reader will discover much to.the universe they didn't quite realise existed (or hoped they had only imagined): monsters and menaces galore; and those who for aeons labor to preserve humanity--the Droids.


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