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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

June 2013

The Man in Black fled across the desert . . .

Under_The_DomeThe Stephen King novel “Under The Dome” is coming out as a television series.. CBS has given Under the Dome a 13 episode order, and Brian K. Vaughan is writing the series.

I was not a huge fan of “Under The Dome” (the book) myself. It just couldn’t hold my attention for some reason. However, I will be putting it in the DVR to see if the write by Brian K. Vaughan captures my attention. Who knows, I may go back and re-read the book after seeing an episode of two.

This is a good time, I think, to bring back a review I did some time ago on Audible.com This is one of my favorite of King’s works, and George Guidell does a killer job on the narration. I highly recommend it!

the gunslingerThe Dark Tower The Gunslinger

“The Man In Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed. The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions.”

Back in the 80’s, before “The Dark Tower” became the huge hit it is today, I lucked out, coming upon this jewel of modern American writing in a tiny little used book store in a tiny little town in Texas. King dreamed up the story from a reading of “Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning, and carries all of the angst, pain an despair which fills that poem.

The series centres around Roland Deschain, The Last Gunslinger, who may be a creature of myth and legend, or simply a man, as he tracks the Man In Black across a bleak and hopeless desert – a desert of reality and of the soul.

“My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. ” Robert Browning

The Gunslinger immediately gripped my attention and refused to release me. Poetry, mythology, pain and loss, a searching of the mind soul and body. As a Browning fan, the concept touched me deeply.

Over the years, I was thrilled every time a new Tower came out, and was never disappointed. This is King stretching himself, moving outside his “horror” boundaries, while still remaining true to his writing style in many ways. The world of the Tower is desolate, painful and digs deep into archetypes of the human soul.

Is this another world, somewhere lost among the tides and times of the Universe, old beyond measure and dying? Or is this our world, old itself beyond measure, stretched thin and worn, fading into the universe with a whimper, rather than a bang.

The story grows and develops over the subsequent editions, building and expanding on its mythos, its archetypes, its heart. A serialized novel of depth and power, of heartbreak and redemption, with characters unlike any others, The Tower is a blend of poetry, art and prose unlike any other. Read “The Gunslinger.” Then gift your soul with the rest of the series. And think – – – what is real? Are we? Is Roland? Is the world of Roland just on the other side of our own reality?

George Guidell does his normal, spectacular job as the voice of the Audible.com edition of the series. His voice, which has narrated over 900 audio books, and won two Audie Awards for Excellence in audio book narration, is perfect for the part and never deviates from its power and perfection.

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Read for Review: Casting Shadows Everywhere – L.T. Vargus

casting shadows
Click book cover to order book.

Casting Shadows Everywhere

L.T. Vargus
5 STAR Review

My best friend in college was a Dead Head. You know, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, tie-dye, cool music, and dope. Lots and lots of dope.

My friend was way into acid. Not me, I couldn’t give up control like that, and besides, someone had to drive, right? And grass just made me sick at my stomach, so no pain. However, my friend told me about her “trips.” It was “trippy” listening to her, to say the least.

“Why,” you ask, “are getting into this? Is this a book about the Grateful Dead and acid trips?”

Well, no. But this powerful, horrifying book took me to a place in my mind that must be very like those acid trips. Weird, lost, surreal . . . and deeply, deeply moved by the experience.

Through the journal of a 15-year-old, we take a weird journey through what it means to be 15, powerless and alone. How easy it is to be swayed, to be taught by a 24-year-old sociopath who happens to be your cousin, that “There ain’t no magic power that makes right and wrong have real meanin’ is all.” It is so easy, when you are a beta, to fall sway to the alpha, especially when the school bullies become involved. To stare down that dark path, the one that leads to “Isn’t that the natural urge here? To find a way to grind the sadistic kid’s head into the ground so he can see what it feels like?”

This book moved me, pained me, in so many ways. It brought up memories best forgotten, pain, heartbreak. But mostly, it opened me up with the wisdom and compassion shown by the author. Many issues were touched on. The aforementioned bullying, of course. But also expectations, loss, grief, and how easy is is to turn an inherently good person to the dark.

Looking back on my review, it seems that I didn’t like the book. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This book touched me, inspired me, and drew me in like nothing else I have read in a very long time. I highly recommend it for what it represented to me. A walk into the dark. And a view of the light at the end of the forest.

_____________________

This book was provided to me by the author in return for a realistic review. All opinions are my own and are not predicated on receipt of the book by the author.

 

The Thing About Shelties. . .

maggie on fern island bridgemaggie at attention

Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties as they  as they are better known, are fascinating little dogs. As the AKC puts it, the Sheltie  “. . . is essentially a working Collie in miniature. A rough-coated, longhaired working dog, he is alert, intensely loyal and highly trainable and is known as a devoted, docile dog with a keen sense of intelligence and understanding. Agile and sturdy, the Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds, but also excels in agility, herding and conformation. The coat can be black, blue merle or sable, marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.”

The thing about Shelties is . . . They got HAIR, baby! Lots and lots and LOTS of hair!

Can we all say - "Groomer's delight"
Can we all say – “Groomer’s delight”

And, of course, when said Shelties live with you and sleep in your bed, they are often the quite begrudging recipients of baths. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They are never ill-tempered about it. It is more (HUGE sigh) . .  Awwwww, Mooooommmmmm… do we Gotta?!?!?!

Maggie and I in Wisconsin.
Maggie and I in Wisconsin.

 

 

Maggie had her bath this morning. She is getting quite up there in years, and isn’t always as continent as we either would like. She always knows when she needs her bath, and is never grumpy about it, but she is, shall we say, rather resigned to the situation. As you can see from her face:

IMGP1638
Awww, man! Bath time again?!
Oh, OK, let’s get this done! But I get a cookie after!
This part really sucks. Anyone got a towel?
Can we please do this without getting soap in my eyes this time?!
Alright, I'm rinsed. Can I get out of here now??
Alright, I’m rinsed. Can I get out of here now??
I feel PRETTY!!!
Now for the best part! THE COOKIE!!!!
Now for the best part!
THE COOKIE!!!!

Beginning Read of Monsters by Peter Cawdron

monsters-jae-smaller
Click the picture for the Peter Cawdron website.

I have never red a book by Peter Cawdron before, however, the cover of his book, “Monsters” drew me in immediately. It came through on one of the many “bargain e-book e-mails” that I receive. I don’t remember which one. Maybe Bookgorilla or Book Shout?  Whatever the case, the cover was immediately eye-catching and encouraged me to click the link.

Once to Amazon I read the short blurb and thought “This sounds cool”. And for 99 cents, it could scratch my “dystopia without vampires” itch. I adore science based novels, especially if the author goes about it in the right way. I have read about 13% of it so far, and so far? Righteous!

Will let you know if the book keeps up with the expectations set in the first couple of chapters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monsters was dedicated to the National Year of Reading in Australia and is available as a paperback and an ebook

Thriller Thursday: Narcissist or Psychopath?

Narcissists and Psychopaths… the most “interesting” people!

Stacy Green, Psychological Suspense Author

Welcome back to our resident psychologist, mystery author Kassandra Lamb. She’s got a great post for us today. Please be sure to leave her some love:)

Five Differences Between Narcissists and Psychopaths

Thanks so much, Stacy, for inviting me to Thriller Thursday.

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Criminal Minds, but every now and then they tick me off. The other night, my husband and I were watching an episode (from Season Five) and the BAU team kept referring to the serial killer as a narcissist. Never once did they point out that he was also a psychopath.

What’s the big difference, you might be wondering. There are some pretty significant differences. In this particular Criminal Minds case, narcissism was the motive, but being a psychopath was what allowed the killer to ruthlessly murder random women to fulfill his narcissistic needs.

And no, this isn’t a semantic…

View original post 1,249 more words

Review: Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mysteries

shamanicAfter reading the first two books in the Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mysteries series I was really excited to read the third, The Shamanic Detective. Well, excited, but disappointed too. I have really loved this series, and apparently, it’s over!

Riga has two mysteries to solve in this edition, which comes immediately after the end of the Alchemical Detective. First, just at a truly special point at the end of Alchemical, Donovan is drug away by the FBI for a crime we all know he didn’t commit. What is Riga, unlicensed in the state of Nevada, to do now that her lover-boy has been taken away? How can she help clear his name?

Secondly, Ankou, a Fae whose job it is to collect the souls of the dead, had decided that his servant on Earth is in trouble and he requires Riga to protect her. Of course, who else could it be but her old buddy, the Fae Shaman Sal, who has come to Nevada from San Francisco to have a very dangerous family reunion? Riga is torn in two as she tries to meet the expectations of the Fae Ankou in order to save lives and her deep need to help Donovan to overcome the charges against him. Weiss does an exceptional job of handling the guilt and remorse of Riga having to split her attention when all she wants to do is help Donovan. We meet a couple of new characters, learn more about Donovan’s family and the relationship between Riga and Sal that has been a teaser through the first two books.

Night Time
(Riga Hayworth #1) Click photos for the book!
alchemical
(Riga Hayworth #2)
Click photo to purchase book!

Weiss does her normal, wonderful job of blending layers of myth, shamanism and modern life into a story which keeps you interested, keeps you guessing and is a great way to spend a few hours of cherished reading time. As always, she does a great job of research of myths and legends and puts them to good use. We get a bit more of the romance in this third edition, as Riga and Donovan move forward in their relationship, handled with a deft and sophisticated hand.

Throughout this story Riga is called to face her fears, both as they relate to her life and her magic and as it relates to the Fae. For some reason, Riga is terrified/horrified by the Fae, but we still don’t get any information on WHY she is so upset by them. Does this mean we just will never know, or is Weiss planning more Riga books? I wrote to ask her – I am just terribly interested in Riga and her past as Weiss sees it!

There are a few important matters that are tied up in this book, one of which is deeply important to Donovan and helped him find closure of a deeply personal kind. There is a tense moment towards the end where one of the minor characters I had really come to like nearly destroys his own life through the machinations of another and the “bad guy” at the end is not who I thought it was through most of the book.

infernal detective
(Riga Hayworth #4)
Click the Photo!

All in all, another beautifully written installment in the Riga series. AND THE NEW ONE IS OUT!

Oh, and I would REALLY like to add an Ovcharka to my family! South-Russian-Ovcharka-Alex-Snow-RoseCuddling up to a 150 lb. bear-like dog on a cold winter’s night would be a true treat! bear-like dog on a cold winter’s night would be a true treat!

Review: Knitwear Design Workshop – Shirley Paden

knitwear
Click photo to purchase book!

First, this is NOT just a pattern book. Think of it more as an upper level course in The Math of Knitting. OH! NO! I said the “M” word!!!!

Like a lot of people, I grew up being told that “Girls Don’t Do Math”. Yes, it is stupid, unconscionable and deadly to the female psyche, but growing up where I did, it is just the way it was. Of course, later, I got a math degree just to prove “Them” wrong. 🙂

“Knitwear Design Workshop” should be used as a math class in school. Ms. Paden takes the math of designing knitting patterns and makes it easy. This is, literally, a step-by-step guide to planning your own knitting design. From researching your idea, Ms. Paden leads you through all levels of design, from selecting yarns to selecting your silhouette. Bodies, shoulders, armholes, necklines (my personal bug-a-boo) and finishing techniques are all covered in simple steps with clear and concise formulas. This is, literally, a step-by-step guild to the perfect knitting project!

Review: Reckless Rescue by Rinelle Grey

Reckless Rescue
Click logo to go to Rinellegrey.com

I am one of those “sometimes” romantic readers. In this case, this is a SciFi story with a romantic turn which is much, much deeper than that. This book touches on many of the important issues of today. Pollution, overcrowding, diminishing resources, political crimes, the list goes on and on.

Rinelle does a wonderful job of character development and world building. This is a backward world, lost in a corner of the galaxy, left to its own devices and dying slowly from the effects of anysogen gas – a gas that the rest of the galaxy would, literally, kill to gain.

The story is both interesting and well-developed. There is a great deal of creativity that I haven’t found recently in the genre. That, in itself, was a great pleasure. That, and the fact that the book doesn’t take itself seriously. The characters suffer, but at the same time there is a lightness to the story that kept it from bogging down in angst.

Finally, as a proofreader/editor I was quite pleased to find that the book was very well edited. I see too many self-published books where the author seems to have no care at all for the quality of their writing. It is distressing. In this case, kudos to Rinelle for an excellently proofed work!

Overall, I will be looking forward to the next in the series.

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I was asked by the author to review this book.This in no way effects my review of this or any other book in the series. Opinions are my own.

Review: The Projectionist by Jerry Hatchett

Projectionist-Cover-BasePorter Hamlin is that saddest of widowers – his beloved wife, Alice, the love of his life, is gone. Since high school, his love for Alice never wavered. They lived together, worked together and loved together for more than forty-two years. Now, Alice is gone. And nothing will ever be the same.

Now, everything is falling apart for Porter. His beloved movie theater is being sold, and a strange woman has walked into his life, claiming to be someone never existed.

This is a touching story, a ghost story? As The Projectionist is one of those things I swore I would never get wrapped up in, the “Serial Novel” it is only at Chapter 14 so far. And yes, I am totally wrapped up in the story and will stay that way.

Write faster, Jerry! jerryhatchett

 

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