Oct 162016
 

My hubby picked up a horror book for me! I only wish it was colder so I could curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot tea while reading. But since it’s supposed to be in the 90’s for the next couple of days, I guess I’ll have to settle for sitting under the cool breeze from the fan and drinking iced tea with the hope that autumn will be in full swing before I’m done with the book. 

Now to find out what’s magic about this cottage…

“We thought we’d found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Charming, maybe a little run down, but so peaceful. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge’s painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our love for each other – well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.”

“What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats – oh God, the bats! Even now those terrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened…”

Summary from Amazon.com

Oct 092016
 

I’ve seen this book compared to Buffy, so it looks like I’m in for more vampire slayer fun. While I usually read horror books throughout October, I’m officially out of horror books to read. I never thought I’d be able to say that.

Dhampir is fantasy, or so I’ve read, but I’m hoping since it has vampires, it will do for my horror fix.

I’m enjoying it so far.

She hunts the realm’s most dangerous game.
Her fees are exorbitant.

She’s worth every coin she receives.

Or is she?

Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain—grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last—for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity—and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

Summary from Amazon.com

Sep 252016
 

I’m always finding a new Dragonlance book that I haven’t read. I’m actually finding them on my own bookshelf, which is just weird. I’d wonder if the books were busy making new books behind my back, now I’m trying not to picture it, if they were my books. I think my husband sneaks a new one into the collection from time to time just to mess with me.

If you’re just starting to read the Dragonlance books or are wanting to start reading them, Dragonlance Nexus has a suggested reading order that I agree with. The suggested order is;

The Chronicles Trilogy,
The Legends Trilogy,
The Lost Chronicles Trilogy,
then The Second Generation,
Dragons of Summer Flame,
Dragons of a New Age trilogy
and The Dhamon Saga trilogy.

Dragonlance Nexus goes on from there and explains why you should read the books in that order.

The War of the Lance is long over. The seasons come and go as the pendulum of the world swings. Now it is summer, a hot parched summer such as no one on Krynn has ever known. And an uneasy balance light and dark begins to shift.
 
Distraught by a grievous loss, the young mage Palin Majere seeks to enter the Abyss in search of his lost uncle, the infamous archmage Raistlin.
 
Elsewhere, the Dark Queen has found new champions. Devoted followers, loyal to the death, the Knights of Takhisis follow her vision to victory. And a dark paladin, Steel Brightblade, rides to attack the High Clerist’s Tower, the fortress his father died defending.
 
And on a small Island, the mysterious Irda capture an ancient artifact and use it to ensure their own safety. Usha, the child of the Irda, arrives in Palanthas claiming that she is Raistlin’s daughter.
 
The summer will be deadly. But for whom, only the swing of the pendulum will tell.

Summary from Amazon.com

Sep 112016
 

I wish all books that are part of a series at least had a series number on the cover or spine or something. I’m enjoying the book, but I feel like I’ve missed a lot not reading the other books first. It’s like stepping in on season five of a TV show. Yeah, they might recap some things but you still feel a behind and maybe even a little lost. Most of all, if you’re really enjoying it, you feel like you missed out. I feel like I missed out.

I’m getting a very Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel from this book sans the “Buffy” style humor. I think it’s not so much the story itself that reminds me of Buffy, but the terminology and mythos. The story feels like it’s set in a similar world to the Buffyverse.

So, if you liked Buffy, you’ll probably enjoy this series.

Jack McShane: lover, killer, seducer, family man, and vampire. In the shadows of Savannah, with its hip nightspots and moss-draped oak trees, Jack is trying to save humankind from a threat it doesn’t know it faces: an explosion of the otherworldly, the weird, the wanton, and the wicked.

Tourists are heading to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day–and Jack is racing through tunnels below the city to the edge of Hell itself to hold off a plot posed by the double-dead and demented. But Jack must also hold off his own desire for Connie Jones, the beautiful cop he turned into a vampire slayer. Connie, her blood running hotter than she can handle, can’t imagine the games that Jack is playing with her body and her mind, or that the other monster she’s falling in love with is all part of his devious plan.

Welcome to the world of Jack McShane, a blue-eyed vampire who knows how crazy things can get–once you get a little taste for blood.

Summary from Amazon.com

Sep 042016
 

When a charter plane carrying Cork O’Connor’s wife, Jo, goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies, Cork must accept the terrible truth that his wife is gone forever. But is she? In Heaven’s Keep, celebrated author William Kent Krueger puts his intrepid hero through the most harrowing mission of his life.

Months after the tragedy, two women show up on Cork’s doorstep with evidence that the pilot of Jo’s plane was not the man he claimed to be. It may not be definitive proof, but it’s a ray of light in the darkness surrounding Cork’s loss. Agreeing to investigate, he travels to Wyoming, where he battles the interference of local law enforcement who may be on the take, the open hostility of the Northern Arapaho, who have much to lose if the truth is known, and the continuing attempts on his life by assassins who shadow his every move.

At the center of all the danger and deception lies the possibility that Jo’s disappearance was not the end of her, that somewhere along the labyrinthine path of his search, maybe even in the broad shadow of Heaven’s Keep itself, Cork will find her alive and waiting for him.

Summary from Amazon.com

Aug 222016
 

I think all the characters in this book either began to channel their teenage selves, are constantly black-out drunk or have lost their minds. I’m enjoying the story, especially the villain, but the interactions between characters are head-scratchingly bizarre. Everyone is moody, angry and stomping around like fit throwing teenagers. 

Strange that I’m still enjoying the story and I already want to read the next one in the series. I just hope the characters calm down some in the next book.

I’m reading them out of order so maybe there’s something in the book before this one that explains the actions of the characters in Black notice

Patricia Cornwell delivers a high-stakes Kay Scarpetta novel with an intrigue that will take Kay an ocean’s length from home. The nightmare begins when a cargo ship arriving from Belgium at Richmond’s Deep Water Terminal is discovered to be transporting a locked, sealed container holding the decomposed remains of a stowaway.

The autopsy performed by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta initially reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. But the victim’s personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that leads to Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France, where she receives critical instructions: Go to the Paris morgue to receive secret evidence and then return to Virginia to carry out a mission. It is a mission that could ruin her career.

In a story that careens across international borders, Black notice puts Dr. Kay Scarpetta directly in harm’s way and places her and those she holds dear at mortal risk.

Summary from Amazon.com

Aug 152016
 

I don’t usually read romance novels. I enjoy them from time to time, but I have a habit of sticking to the genres I enjoy most. I’m trying to change that habit and read a little bit of everything these days, which means more romance, too.

I’ve read Karen Robards before and enjoy her writing. In Paradise County, I’m enjoying the slow build, but she seems to describe the physical characteristics of the main characters in the same way multiple times. It feels like the author is afraid I’m going to forget what her characters look like or doesn’t want me to form my own picture in my head. I did anyway, but I won’t tell you who the male lead looked like to me. If you read it and want to see if we came up with the same person, contact me and we’ll compare.

I’m enjoying Paradise County and I love the setting. I know I need to read a larger variety of authors, but Karen Robards delivers a story that draws me in with some steam on the side. I’ll be looking for more of her novels when I need another romance fix.

Oh and Simpsonville, Shelbyville and a character named Homer? I think she’s a fan.

The rolling fields of Shelby County are home to some of the finest horseflesh and bluest blood in Kentucky. With its rural beauty and tranquil lifestyle, it is easy to see why the locals call it Paradise County. But beneath the serene exterior lies a dark underside, and an evil that threatens everyone who touches it.

Alexandra Haywood and her younger sister, Neely, have always loved Whistledown, the family’s magnificent Shelby County horse farm. After their billionaire father’s sudden and tragic death, the devastated Alex returns to Whistledown to try to make peace with her memories — and to oversee the selling of their gorgeous home. For the family fortune is now a shambles and, like almost everything else the Haywoods own, Whistledown has to go. But Joe Welch, the sexy, handsome farm manager, refuses to cooperate. When Alex fires him, he tells her he has an unbreakable contract and can’t be let go.

For years Joe has worked to make Whistledown’s stables flourish while he struggled to keep his own dreams alive, and no rich rhymes-with-witch is going to threaten his livelihood — or his family life. Ever since his wife betrayed him years ago, Joe has raised his three kids alone and did it damn well. Now, his always dependable sixteen-year-old son Eli has become hopelessly infatuated with teenage wild child Neely. Joe refuses to let his boy get caught up with Neely — a nose stud and penchant for illegal substances among her less desirable traits — and he tells Alex in no uncertain terms.

Sparks of rage give way to a fiery attraction when Joe and Alex meet head-on. But just as a volatile passion begins flaring between them, the discovery of a shocking murder with ties to the past rocks the county — and cuts frighteningly close to home when Neely and Eli disappear.
Alex and Joe have only each other to rely on as they search frantically for their loved ones. What they don’t know is that they are racing against time, too. Because the evil that lurks beneath the bucolic surface of Paradise County has once again raised its gruesome head — and now Alex is targeted as the next victim.

Summary from Amazon.com

Aug 082016
 

A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.

Like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.

Summary from Amazon.com

There are several things about Atwood’s writing style that I don’t care for. For instance, when she’s writing about the past and people are speaking, she doesn’t put quotes around the speech. This makes it less clear what is spoken and what isn’t. While a quick reread clears things up, it pulls me out of the narrative.

There are also several instances when she changes from present to past in the same paragraph. The instance that most stands out, a person in the present lights a cigarette, then in the next sentence she says “we climbed into the car” (not exact wording). It wasn’t until a few sentences later that I realized she was talking about herself and people from her past climbing into the car. I don’t understand why the person in the present lighting a cigarette was tied to that paragraph. Maybe the short-lived confusion was part of the point, but I was always under the impression that anything that pulled the reader out of the story was baaaaaaad.

It would have been easy to make a story with this subject matter more of a horror story or an “all men are evil” story with terrible and fantastical things happening around and to the main character, but the author went with a more realistic approach which made it chilling in a different way. It was easy to step into the main character’s shoes and see how something like this could really happen. I could feel the paranoia, dread and the overall sense that while things were bad, they could be worse, so let’s just follow along.

I heard recently that they’re going to be making The Handmaid’s Tale into a movie. There’s so much happening inside the main character’s head that I wonder how they’re going to explore everything, but that’s a pretty common problem with turning a book into a movie. It’s also why some movies based on books are just flat awful. I’m anxious to see it. I’m always curious to see how they tackle these types of issues and it’s part of the reason I like to read the book before watching the movie.

Aug 012016
 

My husband saw the cover of this book and decided that I had to have it. I don’t know if he read the back cover or not before deciding that I must own it, but I understand why he would buy it based on the cover alone. I love big cats, leopards especially, and a leopard with a typewriter head? Nice!

I’m finding the book charming so far and I’m enjoying Jansma’s writing style. My hubby did well even if he picked the book for the cover alone. I don’t read a lot of literary fiction. I’m learning that I need to pick up a few more. I should read more than genre fiction.

Truth and lies. I wonder how it’s all going to end…

Back to reading!

“F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson” (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globe

From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.

From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian’s enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.

As much a story about a young man and his friends trying to make their way in the world as a profoundly affecting exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards will appeal to readers of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with its elegantly constructed exploration of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.

Summary from Amazon.com


Jul 122016
 

I started listening to Scott Sigler’s podcast back in 2005 when he was podcasting his novel Earth Core. At the time, I was working nights doing tedious, boring data entry and Scott, along with several other podcasting authors and personalities, saved my sanity.

I enjoyed both the tales Sigler spun and the personality behind the mic. He was a blast to listen to but caused me to disrupt others on occasion. Sometimes, I couldn’t stifle my reactions and would audibly laugh or gasp. Glares from those around me burned holes in the back of my head in the otherwise silent room. Silent save the click-clacking of keys on ancient keyboards.

I listened to the first two books in the series via his podcast and I enjoyed them so much I bought them. Infected and Contagious hold an honored place on my bookshelf.

Scott Sigler’s Infected shocked readers with a visceral, up-close account of physical metamorphosis and one man’s desperate fight for sanity and survival, as “Scary” Perry Dawsey suffered the impact of an alien pathogen’s early attempts at mass extinction. In the sequel Contagious, Sigler pulled back the camera and let the reader experience the frantic national response to this growing cataclysm.

And now in Pandemic, the entire human race balances on the razor’s edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares.

To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero—a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she’s a monster—a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil.

All Margaret knows is that she’s broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands. Guilt and nightmares have turned her into a shut-in, too mired in self-hatred even to salvage her marriage, let alone be the warrior she once was.

But she is about to be called into action again. Because before the murderous intelligence was destroyed, it launched one last payload — a soda can–sized container filled with deadly microorganisms that make humans feed upon their own kind.

That harmless-looking container has languished a thousand feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.

Part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale, Pandemic completes the Infected trilogy and sets a new high-water mark in the world of horror fiction.

Summary from Amazon.com

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