Sunday, May 31, 2015

{2015 TBR Pile Challenge Review} SHADOW OF NIGHT by Deborah Harkness

Kathy's Review:
(Copied with her permission from her personal blog, Grown Up Book Reports)

You may have wondered if something happened to me. Nope, just getting through this dog of a book!

This was a disappointment, compared to A Discovery of Witches, which I enjoyed enough to want to read on. I don’t know that I feel that way after this book. I slogged through this one, sometimes only able to read 1-2 pages at a time before growing bored. I almost gave up on this book several times, but my stubbornness prevailed. That, and I had hope that I’d begin to settle in to the book and find things about it that I enjoyed.

This turned into a historical fiction piece quickly. And I’m not a big fan of that genre. Diana and Matthew time travel to the 1500’s, in England, and land among famous figures such as Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Harriot. And some guy called Will Shakespeare. Turns out some of these guys are daemons! Who knew?

There are a lot of vampires, witches and daemons in Elizabethan London. And they all are intrigued by Diana. The part where she learns how to make her spells is kind of cool. There are pockets of interesting stuff that happens. But other than that, I was bored to tears by all the side plots happening with these historical figures.

I don’t know if I'm up for reading book three. This took me three weeks to get through. I have way too many other books in line to worry about finishing this series. Someone tell me how it ends!

*This was one of my alternate choices for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.



Saturday, May 30, 2015

{Review} SLANTED by Diane Paley

ISBN #: 978-1910530368
Page Count: 194
Copyright: February 12, 2015
Publisher: Mirador Publishing


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

SLANTED is a tapestry of satire and drama, love and romance, crime and redemption, and unexpected success. It will make readers laugh out loud, and at times wipe tears from their eyes-tears not of sadness, but of joy. The story is woven around the humorous dialogue and slanted antics of Aunt Hattie, who is as hilarious as she can be verbally brutal-due to candor not malice. The voice of the novel is Aunt Hattie's niece, Sam.

Among a variety of events that take place in the novel, such as a brutal crime and a small business that balloons into a large corporation, it is partially a poignant tale of Hattie's return to sanity thanks to the nurturing love from a man who is patient enough to bring her back to normalcy. Sam weaves her personal story around the influence Aunt Hattie had on her life as she grows out of her teenage years into adulthood and encounters her own challenges and successes.


Shelley's Review:

This book was a pleasure to read!  Aunt Hattie goes from being your typical widowed "crazy Aunt" to being something of a hero.  Her interaction with her niece is charming as Hattie comes out of her shell and back to being her former self.  The sub-plot of her niece Sam going through her transition from a girl to a young woman certainly attracts the attention of younger readers as well.  All in all, this book was hard to put down!

Kudos Diane you've done it again!


*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange from an honest review.

Friday, May 29, 2015

{2015 TBR Pile Challenge Review} SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE by Lauren Graham

Kathy's Review:
(Copied with her permission from her personal blog, Grown Up Book Reports)

You probably know Lauren Graham from her roles on television in shows like Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. However, she is also a writer – and a funny one at that!

I chose this for one of my 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge books because, as a huge fan of Parenthood, I was interested in what Graham had to say as a writer. I was not disappointed.

This book reads like a rom-com from start to finish. Our heroine, Franny, is trying to make it as an actress in New York. She’s goofy and clumsy and completely lacking in self-esteem. However, she has real acting talent and is starting to get noticed. James, for instance, an actor in her class, notices her. The two start to date – and by date, I mean they go hook up at his place. And then there’s Dan, her roommate, who has a girlfriend, but seems to wish he could be with her. She’s pretty much got him friendzoned.

As Franny’s career starts to take off, she sees the ugly side to show business and looks for support from James. An actor himself, he makes her an offer that shocks her. It’s obvious Dan is who she should be with. Dan and Franny even go see a romantic comedy in the theater and Dan draws a comparison to Franny’s life, which she refuses to even indulge.

The ending is sort of ambiguous, but it looks like she is going down the right path. She’s an endearing character, with her calendar pages that have her doodles and notes from her weeks that took place during the story. We want her to do well but we also are amused by her missteps. She’s like the one friend you have that something crazy is always happening to. We like to have those kinds of friends because of the stories we get from them.

Good stuff from Ms. Graham. It’s funny, light and smart. I wonder how much of this is drawn from her own life and struggle to make it? I’m sure she has seen similar situations to what she has described in the book – the auditions, the agencies that won’t call you back for weeks… it all seems very accurate and well described. Bravo.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

{Review} TRIGGER WARNING: SHORT FICTIONS AND DISTURBANCES by Neil Gaiman

ISBN #: 978-0062330260
Page Count: 352
Copyright: February 3, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story—a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year—stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe. Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale The Case of Death and Honey. And Click-Clack the Rattlebag explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness.

A sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, Gaiman entrances with his literary alchemy, transporting us deep into the realm of imagination, where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday incandescent. Full of wonder and terror, surprises and amusements, Trigger Warning is a treasury of delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul from one of the most unique and popular literary artists of our day.


Mandy's Review:

Confession: I've never read a Neil Gaiman book before.

I've seen all the fandom comments about his works, but I've never jumped on the bandwagon. When I was offered a chance to review his latest, TRIGGER WARNING, I figured now was my opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. And, if I didn't like it, at least I didn't pay for the book. So, it was with great anticipation that I read ...

If you don't know what the phrase "trigger warning" means, it is a caution to people. It mentally prepares them that something they encounter (i.e. images, ideas, a book, a program) could upset them and trigger flashbacks or anxiety or terror. In his Introduction, Neil Gaiman wondered if someone would one day put a trigger warning on his fiction ... so he decided to do it first.

The book is a hodgepodge of ideas and genres. The same theme does not run throughout and I like that. It gave me the perfect sampling of Gaiman's literary creativeness that helped me to decide whether or not he's worth another read. I'll cover a few of TRIGGER WARNING's stories in this review but you'll have to read the book for yourself if you want an opinion on all of them.

The Thing About Cassandra was the first story that intrigued me and made me want to know more. You begin reading about Stuart and then finish up with Cassandra. It's a constant tug-o-war wondering who's real and who isn't until you get to the end, then you're just left wondering what the heck happened and how. What abilities does the last person standing have and how did they get them? Are they cursed? Are they good or evil? Are they lonely or do they prefer to live this way?

It was good to visit my old friend Holmes in The Case of Death and Honey. It was a classic, seemingly unsolvable whodunit, with just a slight twist of difference and originality. Holmes, of course, shined bright and solved the case - and is now on a mission to find Watson before it's too late.

I've never thought about what it'd be like to visit a holy city. Will the overwhelming religious vibrations affect how you think and act? Will the past come crashing down on you changing the very person you are? In Jerusalem, Gaiman explores what changes visiting a holy city might make on a person's psyche and, in turn, their behavior.

Finally, my favorite of the bunch, Feminine Endings. It begins as a love letter. The writer's adoration of his love is apparent. The sweetness of the letter turns questionable partway through. Does the recipient even know the writer? Have the two ever interacted? Towards the end, the writer seems a bit stalkerish and unstable. It's quite disturbing how, throughout the course of one letter, a person can appear innocent and sane only to end up scary and avoidable. I loved it.

I didn't care for all of the stories in this anthology, but I think that's the beauty of something like this. You don't have to like all of selections. It did give me enough insight into who Neil Gaiman is as a writer to know that I would love to give another of his darker novels a chance. I'm not quite on the bandwagon but my foot is on the step. =)


*A hardcopy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

{Review} BACKING AWAY FORWARD: LOVE, HATE, AND FORGIVENESS by Diane Paley

ISBN #: 978-1621832546
Page Count: 222
Copyright: January 14, 2015
Publisher: Brighton Publishing LLC


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

Sara's early life is one of abject poverty, as she survives her mother's physical and verbal abuse, her father's indifference, and the dreadful feelings of loneliness and being unloved. Her exposure to broken dreams starts young, when her beloved white dog mysteriously disappears, and her mother abruptly douses the one bright spot in her life: her music lessons.

The product of an unhappy, broken marriage, Sara yearns for her parents' love but can't ever seem to earn it. If not for the happy influence of her grandmother, she might never have known love as a child. The loss of her grandmother leaves Sara hopeless and alone at age sixteen, with little chance of ever escaping her mother and her dismal situation. Then, upon her graduation from high school, she receives a letter and a gift from beyond the grave that brings a new hope into her life. Suddenly things that never seemed possible may become a reality for her.

Over the following years, Sara discovers what it's like to find love, both real and imagined, and to reach for success in college and her budding career as an accountant. True friends and passionate lovers come and go. A move to Hawaii seems like the start of a new life-but complications arise from her choice of men, and a shocking marriage proposal tempts her.

Throughout her life, Sara remembers the grandmother who taught her that life can be grand and love is a happy possibility-even for someone who starts life as a poverty-stricken, abused, and rejected young woman like Sara. Sara has learned about love and hate-and eventually, she learns the most important thing of all... ...forgiving the unforgivable.


Shelley's Review:

The story of Sara, filled with all the angst of a tough life, is both spellbinding and emotional.  Beginning with her birth, the very people that should be nurturing and loving her treat her as an accident and inconvenience. With the help of a loving grandma, she begins to blossom and rise above all that she has endured. You begin to cheer her on in her victories, and feel yourself tearing up during her losses and disappointments. In the end, she has become a formidable presence in the corporate world, and has achieved victory over her meager beginnings.

Diane Paley has captured the heart of the reader in this amazing story. Danielle Steel, watch out! A wonderful read.


*A physical copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{Review} WINTER by Reece Ran

ASIN #: B009N7OJTE
File Size: 1535 KB
Page Count: 282
Copyright: October 7, 2012
Publisher: Reece Ran; 2nd Edition


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

Ex-marine, Zimmery Mac returns to his loving family in Pennsylvania, just in time before the season of winter. He reunites with his wife, his two sons and his little daughter Lane. But things go horribly wrong when Lane turns up missing. Zimmery embarks on a journey to save her. The only drawback is, every winter, the snow comes to life and devours all who disturb it. Zimmery must find a way to watch his step and watch his back in this exciting but bone chilling novel.


Lupe's Review:

Ok. This review is much harder for me to give than most others. This book was just NOT my cup of tea. I think it had potential. There is just so much going on in this book, however, that I could not concentrate on just one plot point. That being said, one plot point in particular, made my blood boil, if only because NO WHERE in the synopsis of the book does it say ANYTHING about Neo-Nazi's being there. At. ALL. There was overt and covert racism that took the book from mediocre to poor in just a few words. Now, I'm all for literary racism when needed; let's say, if the book is set in the 1800's or the 1960's or something like that. But this is set in 2049-2050. And no where does the book give ANY indication that it was going to go in that direction until it goes there, and goes there hard. I almost put the book down, unfinished. I only finished this book because I had finally figured out how to get it to download on my Kindle and wanted to see it through.

The other thing that really made me angry was the lack of a conclusion. I even read the story within a story after and STILL couldn't figure out what the heck was meant to have happened at the end.

It was just an unfinished end to an poorly structured novel. Too many plots, too many unexpected "twists" that made no logistical sense and the racism. I just couldn't handle it.


*An ebook was provided by the author for an honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

{Review} THE FLING by Elle J. Lawson

ISBN #: 978-0692390788
Page Count: 358
Copyright: April 3, 2015
Publisher: Elle J. Lawson


Description:
(Taken from back cover)

Study-abroad student Amy Presgraves is full of excitement when she leaves for Greece, ready to start a new chapter in her academic life. A scenic romp to Athens is just what the doctor ordered, but she learns more than medicine from her professor, Dr. Dimitri Speros--a married man with the physique of a Greek god. Amy wants to deny her attraction to him, but, bizarrely encouraged by Lydia, Dimitri's wife, she finally finds herself unable to resist the staggering passion that she feels. But what starts out as a breezy summer fling becomes a struggle for happily ever after when Amy and Dimitri are faced with the ultimate betrayal. Together, they must learn to trust in order for their love to survive.


Charlene's Review:

Amy Pesgraves feels smothered by her parents and destined to be stuck working in the local hospital in the same boring town she was raised in. All the while, she dreams of traveling. When an opportunity to travel to Greece presents itself, she begins corresponding with the professor in charge of the study-abroad program. When the day finally arrives, and she meets Professor Speros, there is an instant attraction, in spite of his wife. Just as her program is about to end, Dr Speros wife suggests that Amy follow her feelings and have a "fling" with her husband to spice up their devoted, but stagnant marriage. As Amy and Dr Speros come together, neither has any idea of what is to come.

First off, I must emphasize the "erotic" content as being rather spicy and explicit. However, it is not the focus of the story. This is a perfect "beach read" and I devoured it in one setting. It flows quickly and is written rather simply but packs a surprising punch that I never saw coming. Some parts predictable, some far-fetched, somewhat dark and twisty, but entertaining. I would love to see more from Ms. Lawson as her romance/fiction writing grows, but as a first novel, this was a delight.


*A physical copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

{Book Excerpt w/ Spoilers! and Giveaway} BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness

THE BOOK OF LIFE and the ALL SOULS
TRILOGY
paperback boxed set goes on sale
Tuesday, May 26th!


YES! This book excerpt contains spoilers so if you don't want to know what happens DO NOT READ THIS POST! You've been warned.





Chapter 1 Excerpt:

Ghosts didn’t have much substance. All they were composed of was memories and heart. Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread.

Does it ever get easier? Her voice, like the rest of her, was almost imperceptible. The watching? The waiting? The knowing?

Not  that I’ve  noticed,  Philippe de Clermont replied shortly. He was perched nearby, studying  his own transparent  fingers. Of all the things Philippe disliked about being dead—the inability to touch his wife, Ysabeau; his lack of smell or taste; the fact that he had no muscles for a good sparring match—invisibility topped the list. It was a constant reminder of how inconsequential he had become.

Emily’s face fell, and Philippe silently cursed himself. Since she’d died, the witch had been his constant companion, cutting his loneliness in two. What was he thinking, barking at her as if she were a servant?

Perhaps it will be easier when they don’t need us anymore, Philippe said in a gentler tone. He might be the more experienced ghost, but it was Emily who understood the metaphysics of their situation. What the witch had told him went against everything Philippe believed about the afterworld. He thought the living saw the dead because they needed something from them: assistance, forgiveness, retribution. Emily insisted these were nothing more than human myths, and it was only when the living moved on and let go that the dead could appear to them.

This information made Ysabeau’s failure to notice him somewhat easier to bear, but not much.

“I can’t wait to see Em’s reaction. She’s going to be so surprised.” Diana’s warm alto floated up to the battlements.

Diana and Matthew, Emily and Philippe said in unison, peering down to the cobbled courtyard that surrounded the ch√Ęteau.

 There, Philippe said, pointing at the drive. Even dead, he had vampire sight that was sharper than any human’s. He was also still handsomer than any man had a right to be, with his broad shoulders and devilish grin. He turned the latter on Emily, who couldn’t help grinning back. They are a fine couple, are they not? Look how much my son has changed.

Vampires weren’t supposed to be altered by the passing of time, and therefore Emily expected to see the same black hair, so dark it glinted blue; the same mutable gray-green eyes, cool and remote as a winter sea; the same pale skin and wide mouth. There were a few subtle differences, though, as Philippe suggested. Matthew’s hair was shorter, and he had a beard that made him look even more dangerous, like a pirate. She gasped.

Is Matthew . . . bigger?

He is. I fattened him up when he and Diana were here in 1590. Books were making him soft. Matthew needed to fight more and read less. Philippe had always contended there was such a thing as too much education. Matthew was living proof of it.

Diana looks different, too. More like her mother, with that long, coppery hair, Em said, acknowledging the most obvious change in her niece.

Diana stumbled on a cobblestone, and Matthew’s hand shot out to steady her. Once, Emily had seen Matthew’s incessant hovering as a sign of vampire overprotectiveness. Now, with the perspicacity of a ghost, she realized that this tendency stemmed from his preternatural awareness of every change in Diana’s expression, every shift of mood, every sign of fatigue or hunger. Today, however, Matthew’s concern seemed even more focused and acute.

It’s not just Diana’s hair that has changed. Philippe’s face had a look of wonder. Diana is with child—Matthew’s child.

Emily examined her niece more carefully, using the enhanced grasp of truth that death afforded. Philippe was right—in part. You mean “with children.” Diana is having twins.

Twins, Philippe said in an awed voice. He looked away, distracted by the appearance of his wife. Look, here are Ysabeau and Sarah with Sophie and Margaret.

What will happen now, Philippe? Emily asked, her heart growing heavier with anticipation.

Endings. Beginnings, Philippe said with deliberate vagueness. Change.

Diana has never liked change, Emily said.

That is because Diana is afraid of what she must become, Philippe replied.

Marcus Whitmore had faced horrors aplenty since the night in 1781 when Matthew de Clermont made him a vampire. None had prepared him for today’s ordeal: telling Diana Bishop that her beloved aunt, Emily Mather, was dead.

Marcus had received the phone call from Ysabeau while he and Nathaniel Wilson were watching  the television news in the family library. Sophie, Na- thaniel’s wife, and their baby, Margaret, were dozing on a nearby sofa.

“The temple,” Ysabeau had said breathlessly, her tone frantic.  “Come. At once.”

Marcus had obeyed his grandmother without question, only taking time to shout for his cousin, Gallowglass, and his Aunt Verin on his way out the door.

The summer half-light of evening had lightened further as he approached the clearing at the top of the mountain, brightened by the otherworldly power that Marcus glimpsed through the trees. His hair stood at attention at the magic in the air.

Then he scented the presence of a vampire, Gerbert of Aurillac. And someone else—a witch.

A light, purposeful step sounded down the stone corridor, drawing Marcus out of the past and back into the present. The heavy door opened, creaking as it always did.


From The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, published on May 26, 2015 by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright by Deborah Harkness, 2015.


Giveaway:


Penguin has created a gorgeous, limited-edition All Souls Trilogy board game and they’ll be giving 10 board games total away via their Twitter (@PenguinPbks) over the course of the next two weeks (among other great All Souls prizes). 

These will be random giveaways taking place on Tuesday 5/26 and Thursday 6/4

To enter, check the Penguin Twitter during the mornings (ET) on those days and be sure to retweet the giveaway post by 4:30 p.m. ET —we’ll be randomly selecting winners around 5 p.m. ET from among the people who retweet.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

{2015 TBR Pile Challenge Review} LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING by J. R. R. Tolkien



Lupe's Review:

Yes. This was exactly what I wanted it to be and more. I cannot even give a good enough review for how much I loved this. The magic, the wonder, the scenery, the songs and the adventure. I can't wait to continue with Frodo and Sam, Aragon, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir. This was just. Yes.



Saturday, May 16, 2015

{Review} ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes

ISBN #: 978-0143127505
Page Count: 416
Copyright: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books


Description:
(Taken from back cover)

Single mother and eternal optimist Jess Thomas has always tried to Do the Right Thing, but life doesn’t make it easy - especially after her math-whiz daughter gets a life-changing opportunity they can’t afford. Ed Nicholls is a brilliant tech millionaire whose life is falling apart when he happens upon Jess and her family stranded on the side of the road.

In perhaps his first unselfish act ever, Ed agrees to drive them, plus their pungent dog, Norman, to the Maths Olympiad - and to a prize that could change their lives forever - in this hilarious, heart-warming story of family dysfunction, devotion, and love found in the unlikeliest of places.


Charlene's Review:

Jess Thomas is a single mom, trying to make ends meet by cleaning homes. When her daughter, Tanzie, gets a chance to attend a private school, the only way they can afford it is to take Tanzie to the Maths Olympiad, in hopes of winning the cash prize. Unfortunately, they find themselves stranded on the side of the road, 3 lost souls and a dog, without ever leaving home. Enter Ed, a wealthy business man currently running from his own problems. Reluctantly, he offers them all a ride, and the road trip slowly begins to transform the occupants of the car in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, someone has a secret, and it could ruin everything.

Told from the perspective of the 4 main characters, One Plus One covers everything from insider trading to bullying, economic status, to unlikely heroes. I found the dysfunction within Jess’ family to be endearing. A coming-of-age story for Nicky, the bullied and misunderstood teen being raised by a stepmom; the geeky little girl, Tanzie, that their entire future rests upon; and Jess, optimist suddenly brought to her knees by the constant pressures to survive. Then there is the supposed "hero" of the story, Ed, who is facing financial ruin and is a recurring failure to his own family, that is originally presumed to rescue Jess’ family, but finds himself just as transformed by them.

Written with humor and romance, One Plus One is the perfect summer read. It is a very quick read that restores your faith in the world, and in dogs. I was truly touched by the characters and their struggles to fit in and overcome their station in life. I would say the ending is fairly predictable but the journey to the end is very much worth the time. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Moyes writing style and intend to read more from her in the future.


*A physical copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 15, 2015

{Review} DUSK: THE HOLLOW TRILOGY, Book 1 by Brent Kruscke

ISBN #: 978-0692360224
Page Count: 370
Copyright: 2015
Publisher: The CineMen; 1st Edition


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

In 1976 a string of grizzly murders plagues the small town of Pointe's Hollow. 16 year old Nicholas Wake is pulled into the investigation by a deadly event which nearly costs his life. Dusk, a mysterious gunman, begins to piece together the facts of the case with Nicholas's help. As the pieces fall into place, Nicholas's eyes are opened to the evil that has been brewing in Pointe's Hollow for more years than anyone can count.

This is the first installment of a much larger story entitled The Hollow Trilogy. In Book One, Brent Kruscke spins a wildly fun, yet dark tale with colorful characters and twisted circumstances. Follow Nicholas and Dusk as they fight for survival and unravel the mysteries of Pointe's Hollow.


Lupe's Review:

Ok in full disclosure, I actually KNOW the author. Like he is dating a lifelong family friend of mine. That being said, this was seriously worthy of all 5 stars I just gave on Goodreads.  From the very beginning, I had chills.

We start with Nicholas, a pretty average 16 year old who lives in a small town in Michigan. He has all the regular problems: homework, family and girls. Until one night in the woods when all that changes. Nicholas is on his way home from helping the town librarian when he sees something straight out of a horror flick. And then his adventure begins...

We meet Dusk, Nicholas's savior in the night. A troubled man with a dark and sad past, he is a vigilante but not of human injustices, but those things that go bump in the night.

Together, Nicholas and Dusk fight the battles that no one in Pointe's Hollow could even imagine. There is more to this world than meets the eye.

I was weary at first because horror novels sometimes seem to me to all be the same. It was one of the reasons I stopped reading a series recently. It just didn't capture me. This one, though?? I am so disappointed that I now have to hound Brent RELENTLESSLY to hurry up and get the second book done. Like, yesterday. He needed it done yesterday. This was fun, engaging, thrilling and scary all at once. It was magnificent. The pace was great, and it kept you guessing to the very end. I sincerely cannot wait until the next installment.


*A physical copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

{Book Launch: Q&A and Spotify Playlist} ALL SOULS TRILOGY by Deborah Harkness



To help Penguin celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of Deborah Harkness' THE BOOK OF LIFE, we're bringing you a Q&A with Ms. Harkness and the Spotify playlist that inspired Deborah as she wrote the final chapter in this trilogy.

We hope you enjoy!




A Conversation with Deborah Harkness

Q: In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research.  What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!


A. There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here?

Q: Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues?


A. Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.

Q: From the moment Matthew and a pregnant Diana arrive back at Sept-Tours and reinstate themselves back into a sprawling family of witches and vampires, it becomes clear that the meaning of family will be an important idea for THE BOOK OF LIFE. How does this unify the whole series? Did you draw on your own life?


A. Since time immemorial the family has been an important way for people to organize themselves in the world. In the past, the “traditional” family was a sprawling and blended unit that embraced immediate relatives, in-laws and their immediate families, servants, orphaned children, the children your partner might bring into a family from a previous relationship, and other dependents. Marriage was an equally flexible and elastic concept in many places and times. Given how old my vampires are, and the fact that witches are the keepers of tradition, I wanted to explore from the very first page of the series the truly traditional basis of family:  unqualified love and mutual responsibility. That is certainly the meaning of family that my parents taught me.

Q: While there are entire genres devoted to stories of witches, vampires, and ghosts, the idea of a weaver – a witch who weaves original spells – feels very unique to THE BOOK OF LIFE. What resources helped you gain inspiration for Diana’s uniqueness?


A. Believe it or not, my inspiration for weaving came from a branch of mathematics called topology. I became intrigued by mathematical theories of mutability to go along with my alchemical theories of mutability and change. Topology is a mathematical study of shapes and spaces that theorizes how far something can be stretched or twisted without breaking. You could say it’s a mathematical theory of connectivity and continuity (two familiar themes to any reader of the All Souls Trilogy). I wondered if I could come up with a theory of magic that could be comfortably contained within mathematics, one in which magic could be seen to shape and twist reality without breaking it. I used fabric as a metaphor for this worldview with threads and colors shaping human perceptions. Weavers became the witches who were talented at seeing and manipulating the underlying fabric. In topology, mathematicians study knots—unbreakable knots with their ends fused together that can be twisted and shaped. Soon the mathematics and mechanics of Diana’s magic came into focus.

Q: A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story?


A. It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.

Q: Diana and Matthew, once again, move around to quite a number of locations in THE BOOK OF LIFE, including New Haven, New Orleans, and a few of our favorite old haunts like Oxford, Madison, and Sept-Tours. What inspired you to place your characters in these locations? Have you visited them yourself?  


A. As a writer, I really need to experience the places I write about in my books. I want to know what it smells like, how the air feels when it changes direction, the way the sunlight strikes the windowsill in the morning, the sound of birds and insects. Not every writer may require this, but I do. So I spent time not only in New Haven but undertaking research at the Beinecke Library so that I could understand the rhythms of Diana’s day there. I visited New Orleans several times to imagine my vampires into them. All of the locations I pick are steeped in history and stories about past inhabitants—perfect fuel for any writer’s creative fire.
Q: Did you know back when you wrote A Discovery of Witches how the story would conclude in THE BOOK OF LIFE? Did the direction change once you began the writing process?


A. I knew how the trilogy would end, but I didn’t know exactly how we would get there. The story was well thought out through the beginning of what became The Book of Life, but the chunk between that beginning and the ending (which is as I envisioned it) did change. In part that was because what I had sketched out was too ambitious and complicated—the perils of being not only a first-time trilogy writer but also a first time author. It was very important to me that I resolve and tie up all the threads already in the story so readers had a satisfying conclusion. Early in the writing of The Book of Life it became clear that this wasn’t going to give me much time to introduce new characters or plot twists. I now understand why so many trilogies have four, five, six—or more—books in them. Finishing the trilogy as a trilogy required a lot of determination and a very thick pair of blinders as I left behind characters and story lines that would take me too far from the central story of Diana, Matthew, and the Book of Life.

Q: A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the secrets contained in the manuscript are at long last revealed in THE BOOK OF LIFE. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation.  What was the story behind your discovery?  And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?


A. I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations, Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in Oxford between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.

Q: Are there other lost books like this in the world?


A. Absolutely! Entire books have been written about famous lost volumes—including works by Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare to name just a few. Libraries are full of such treasures, some of them unrecognized and others simply misfiled or mislabeled. And we find lost books outside of libraries, too. In January 2006, a completely unknown manuscript belonging to one of the 17th century’s most prominent scientists, Robert Hooke, was discovered when someone was having the contents of their house valued for auction. The manuscript included minutes of early Royal Society meetings that we presumed were lost forever.

Q: Shadow of Night and A Discovery of Witches have often been compared to young adult fantasy like Twilight, with the caveat that this series is for adults interested in history, science, and academics. Unlike Bella and Edward, Matthew and Diana are card-carrying members of academia who meet in the library of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Are these characters based on something you found missing in the fantasy genre?

A. There are a lot of adults reading young adult books, and for good reason. Authors who specialize in the young adult market are writing original, compelling stories that can make even the most cynical grownups believe in magic. In writing A Discovery of Witches, I wanted to give adult readers a world no less magical, no less surprising and delightful, but one that included grown-up concerns and activities. These are not your children’s vampires and witches.



Spotify Playlist:

"Ghost in the Town" by Joshua James
"The Spirit was Gone" by Antony & The Johnsons
"Le Labyrinthe" by Colleen
"White Blank Page" by Mumford & Sons
"Night Air" by Jamie Woon
"Time Stands Still" by Uh Huh Her
"C'est La Mort" by The Civil Wars
"Different Breed" by Carter's Chord
"Blood Sings" by Suzanne Vega
"Secret" by Seal
"Record Collector" by Lissie
"Sort of Revolution" by Fink
"House I Built" by Steve Reynolds
"Warning" by Great Northern
"The BurntOver District" by Hem
"Here Before" by Lissie
"In No Time" by Mutemath
"What the Water Gave Me" by Florence + The Machine
"Bell, Book and Candle" by Eddi Reader
"Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac
"Over My Head" by Fleetwood Mac
"You Make Loving Fun" by Fleetwood Mac
"Fire and Dynamite" by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
"I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles
"Dark Night of the Soul" by Philip Wesley
"Ship Song" by Lissie
"Flesh and Bone" by Braveyoung
"Diamond" by The Guggenheim Grotto
"The Mercy of the Fallen" by Dar Williams
"Scientist" by Martha Tilston
"Dust Bowl Dance" by Mumford & Sons
"This is Why We Fight" by The Decemberists
"Sinners" by Lauren Aquilina
"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
"Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac
"Anniversary" by Suzanne Vega
"Brave" by Sara Bareilles
"Proof" by Rachael Sage

If you're on Spotify, you can click here to go directly to this playlist.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

{Blog Tour} THE LAST WITNESS by Jerry Amernic

The Last Witness

by Jerry Amernic

on Tour May 2015




cover
The year is 2039, and Jack Fisher is the last living survivor of the Holocaust. Set in a world that is abysmally complacent about events of the last century, Jack is a 100-year-old man whose worst memories took place before he was 5. His story hearkens back to the Jewish ghetto of his birth and to Auschwitz where, as a little boy, he had to fend for himself to survive after losing his family. Jack becomes the central figure in a missing-person investigation when his granddaughter suddenly disappears. While assisting police, he finds himself in danger and must reach into the darkest corners of his memory to come out alive.


Book Details:


Genre: Historical Thriller
Published by: Story Merchant Books
Publication Date: October 29th 2014
Number of Pages: 334
ISBN: 9780990421658
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
New York City, 2035

He was a tough sort. Ninety-five years old with elastic skin stretched across his bones like taut canvas, he was supposed to be an easy mark. Fragile and weak. A pushover. Albert Freedman lived by himself in a flat on the upper East Side, and when they came for him they didn’t expect any trouble. Albert knew something wasn’t right when the second one walked in, but the voice was soft and reassuring.
“We’re here to change your palm reader,” he said through the door. We’re doing all the apartments on your floor today and you’re the first. It won’t take five minutes.”
“You’re here to change my what?”
“Your palm reader.”
“I donno what yer talkin’ about. Go away!”
“You don’t understand. There’s a problem with the sensor. You know, the thing that opens your door when you put your hand in front of it? The palm reader?”
“What?”
“It scans your hand. Your print. Then it lets you in.”
Nothing.
“Look,” the man said, more softly now. “Mr. Freedman? You are Albert Freedman, aren’t you?”
“Yes.”
“I realize you don’t want to be bothered but this is for your security. It’s like putting a new lock on the door.”
“A new lock?”
“That’s right. The sensor in your palm reader is ten years old.”
“It is?”
“The year’s inscribed on the side of the door. It says 2025. See for yourself.”
Albert looked, but he didn’t see anything. His eyes weren’t good. “Where does it say that?” he said.
“On the side of the door. It might be hard to read. The numbers are small.”
“Where are they?”
“Trust me. The thing is ten years old and it’s not working right. But we have new ones now that are much better. But it’s not only that. You see there was a break-in last week and they want everyone’s palm reader changed. That’s why we’re here. You’re the first one on our list, Mr. Freedman. We’ll be done in five minutes. Can we come in?”
“Five minutes you say?”
“That’s all it takes.”
He started jiggling the latch from the inside and then he stopped. “Wait a minute. Why am I the first one? This isn’t the first flat on the floor. You should be down at the end of the hall. Unless you’re doing it alphabetically and then you wouldn’t be starting with me. Why am I the first one?”
He was ninety-five years old. He wasn’t supposed to be asking questions like that. He was just supposed to open the door so they could kill him and make it look like a robbery.
There was an audible sigh from outside the door. “Look Mr. Freedman. It's like this. Doing all these sensors isn’t going to be much fun for us but the landlord said you’re a nice guy and we thought we’d start with you.”
At first nothing and then the jiggling from inside the door started again.
“All right. Come in. But make it fast.”
Albert released the latch that was linked to a sensor that had nothing wrong with it in a building where there had been no break-ins the past week, the past month or the past year. The first man through the door was short and slight, thirtyish with close-cropped hair and a soothing voice. He had a tattoo on his arm that looked like a snake, and if Albert had seen that he wouldn’t have opened the door. But then it was too late.
“Thank you,” the man said with a disarming smile.
The one behind him, younger and bigger with straggly hair and brown skin, burst through the door and pushed Albert out of the way. Old Albert fell against the wall and managed to brace himself with his hand, but the sudden impact jarred his wrist. The arthritis. Then the girl appeared, tall and skinny, dressed in black. Albert never got a good look at their faces, but it didn’t matter. He would be dead before they left.
“Where do you keep the money?” the girl screamed at him. “Tell us!
The small slim man with the snake on his arm turned, retreated into the hallway and closed the door behind him. In his hand was a little gadget with a screen on it. He touched the screen and a list of names came up. He ran his fingertip over the last name – Albert Freedman’s name – and it disappeared. Then he was gone.
The girl began riffling through Albert’s cupboards and drawers. Albert was confused. He didn’t get many visitors.
“Where do you keep the money?” the girl said again.
“What do you want?”
“Your money!”
The man who was now inside Albert’s flat didn’t waste any time. He came for him with his fists clenched. He hit him in the face and knocked him to the floor. Albert fell on his side, his hip, but was close enough to the door so he could reach behind it for his cane. The one with the heavy metal handle. He always kept it there.
Blood dripping from his nose, he scrambled to his knees, brought the cane back over his head, and with every ounce of strength he had walloped the intruder or thief or whatever he was across the ankles. There was a loud cry, but Albert wasn’t finished. He got to his feet, straightened up, and brought his cane back a second time. Now he turned on the girl and landed that metal handle square on the back of her shoulders.
“I’ll kill you both!” he said.
But Albert was old and the man was enraged now. He tore the cane from Albert’s hands and started hitting him with it. He hit him on the head. He hit him on the chest. He hit him on the arms. Albert tried to shield himself with his flailing hands, but the blows were relentless. They kept coming and coming and coming. The girl was going through his drawers, throwing everything she found on the floor. Albert always kept his place neat and he didn’t like that, but he could barely see through his eyes now.
“Here’s his wallet,” she said. “Get it over with.”
The beating took less than a minute. Albert, barely conscious, lay on the floor, bloodied and battered to a pulp, a near corpse of broken bones. He couldn’t move and the only thing to feel was pain. The man with the brown skin and straggly hair turned him over so he was face down and all there was to see was the cold dusty floor. It was the last thing Albert would see in his ninety-five years. He sniffed at the acrid air as a knee went deep into his back and the cane came up under his chin. Albert gurgled a few times, there was a crack, and his body went limp.


JUST RELEASED!

QUMRAN


amazon Goodreads
Jerry Amernic's next novel QUMRAN is a biblical-historical thriller about an archeologist who makes a dramatic discovery in the Holy Land. It’s something that could set the world on its edge. He is both an atheist and an expert on the Romans, but this find more than upsets his logical theory of the universe, leading to a struggle between science and religion. Indeed, this intersection where science meets religion is the theme of the novel.
In historical flashbacks, we see him as a young archeology student who helps discover the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, just off the Dead Sea, and it happens when the State of Israel is being created. Later, he gets involved with investigating the legends of the Holy Grail and Holy Shroud of Turin, and each time out another Arab-Israeli war is tearing the Middle East apart. Throw in his close friend who is a brilliant Egyptian pathologist, along with his Israeli research assistant and his wife who is an authority on ancient languages and you have a foursome standing against the world. But the new discovery must be studied in secret. Or all Hell will break loose.

 

Author Bio:

authorJerry Amernic is a Toronto writer who has been a newspaper reporter and correspondent, newspaper columnist, feature writer for magazines, teacher of journalism, and media consultant. His first book 'Victims: The Orphans of Justice' was a true story about a former police officer whose eldest daughter was murdered and who became a leading advocate for crime victims. This resulted in Jerry’s column about the justice system for The Toronto Sun. More recently Jerry co-authored 'Duty - The Life of a Cop' with Julian Fantino, the highest-profile police officer Canada has ever produced and now a member of the Canadian Cabinet. In fiction, Jerry’s first novel 'Gift of the Bambino' was praised by The Wall Street Journal in the U.S., The Globe and Mail in Canada, and others. His latest novel is the historical thriller 'The Last Witness'. Just released is the biblical-historical thriller 'Qumran'.

Catch Up:
Jerry Amernic's website Jerry Amernic's twitter Jerry Amernic's facebook


Tour Participants:



Giveaways:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jerry Amernic. There will be ONE U.S. or Canadian winner. The giveaway begins on May 1st, 2015 and runs through June 12th, 2015. a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

So what exactly was the Holocaust and D-Day?



 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


 

 

Friday, May 8, 2015

{Review} GOOD FAITH by Liz Crowe

ISBN #: 978-0989306980
Page Count: 522
Copyright: November 14, 2013
Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing


Description:
(Taken from back cover)

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and "coming of age."


Charlene's Review:

The seventh in the Stewart Realty Saga (of which I was unaware of but am know itching to read) this is a story of three intertwined families facing the demons of the past, and the struggles of the present. This book focuses mainly on the storyline of Brandis, young and wild, and addicted. As his life unravels, each family feels the shockwave and lives are possibly changed forever.

A formidable read at 507 pages, it took me longer to finish because of interruptions beyond my control. However, I found it deeply emotional and it pulled me to finish. Covering about every dysfunction you can imagine, Ms. Crowe probes deep into the human psyche and relates to her readers in a frank, humbling way. I was totally invested in these families triumphs and disappointments from the very beginning.

Ms. Crowe borrowed a lot of the background details from the loves of her own life, such as brewing, soccer, and real estate, which makes the details even more believable. I found nothing that didn’t seem "real" within this story. My only caveat would be that there is extensive sexual interactions throughout the story. If this is an issue, I would highly suggest you avoid this book. Otherwise, I cannot express enough how captivating the characters are and watching them grow and survive was an honor.

5 out of 5 stars!!


*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

{Book Spotlight} RE JANE by Patricia Park

ISBN #: 978-0525427407
Page Count: 352
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books


Book Description:

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Publishers Weekly says that “Park’s debut is a cheeky, clever homage to Jane Eyre, interwoven with touching meditations on Korean-American identity…. Park’s clever one-liners make the story memorable, and her riffs on cultural identity will resonate with any reader who’s felt out of place.”

Kirkus Reviews calls Patricia Park as “a fine writer with an eye for the effects of class and ethnic identity, a sense of humor, and a compassionate view of human weakness who nevertheless doesn't make the rookie error of letting her characters off easy.”


About the Author:
(Taken from author's Amazon page)


Patricia Park was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. She received her BA in English Literature from Swarthmore College and her MFA in Fiction from Boston University, where she studied with Ha Jin and Allegra Goodman. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Slice Magazine, and others.

In 2009 she received a Fulbright grant to South Korea to research RE JANE. She has also received writing fellowships with The Center for Fiction and The American Association of University Women. She has taught writing at Boston University, Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, and CUNY Queens College. RE JANE is her first book.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

{Review} WALKING BETWEEN WORLDS; BOOK I: DEMONS & ANGELS by J. K. Norry

ASIN #: B00PF1S1Z0
File Size: 399 KB
Page Count: 267
Copyright: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Sudden Insight Publishing


Book Description:
(Taken from Amazon)

Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love.

The first book in an exciting new series, Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels introduces us to a new way of looking at both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Join Paul Stone and Kris Reed as they walk between worlds in search of answers and themselves.


Mandy's Review:

One of my literary weaknesses are books depicting battles between angels and demons. The timeless battle of good versus evil is one of my favorite things to read. My own guilty pleasure, if you will. By agreeing to read and review Walking Between Worlds, I was excited to be adding to my collection. Too bad I was disappointed.

I've read the few reviews that are out there concerning this book. Those that have read it so far have seemed to enjoy it, especially the characters. I found the characters lacking. Granted, this is the first book of the series and a precursor to future events so there may be things developing in these characters that isn't evident in this book. The characters just seemed to be one-dimensional. I didn't relate to any of them. I wasn't interested in getting to know more about any of them. Apparently, all the main guys in this book have hot girlfriends who enjoy a little forcefulness in the sexual arena (i.e. hair pulling, biting). Not all females are the same and I got a little tired of the sex scenes in what is supposed to be a book about demons and angels.

Speaking of demons and angels ... there is definitely a different thought-process at work in this book. I commend the author for creating a series based on an age-old battle and giving it a philosophical twist. I'm sure there's an audience out there for this type of series, but it's not me. I feel as if the book took too long to get its point across and I became a little bored with it. What the author did make me realize, though, was that I'm a classical kind of girl.

Sorry, Mr. Norry, but I didn't care for your work.


*An ecopy of the novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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