Monthly Archives: August 2013

KM-Gingerbread Man – Maggie Shayne

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Title: Gingerbread Man

Author: Maggie Shayne

Series: No

Category: Drama / Mystery / Horror / Suspense

Length:  340 pages

My Rating: 9/10

Detective Vince O’Mally from the Syracuse Police Department is investigating the murder of two local children. At the scene, where the bodies are found, he finds a copy of The Gingerbread Man that had last been checked out of a library almost 20 years prior to this incident.

Holly Newman and her mother, Doris, relocated to the small town of Dilmun, New York to allow themselves the time and space to heal from a horrific tragedy.

Follow Detective O’Mally as he unravels the mystery surrounding Holly’s past horrors, and his fight against falling for the “damaged goods”.

Can everyone work together and stop being suspicious of one another in time to prevent other innocent children from being hurt?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was one I couldn’t put down. The entire time I was reading, I felt truly involved with the story line and characters. The twist at the end was completely unpredictable, which is uncommon for me. I’m not often caught off guard by a plot turn!

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KM-Misery’s Curse – J. Belinda Yandell

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Title: Misery’s Curse

Author: J. Belinda Yandell

Series: Yes (#3 of the Cadian Chronicles)

Category: Drama / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Fantasy

Length:  261 pages

My Rating: 8/10

Misery’s Curse continues on with Lillitha and King Scearce’s daughter and her adventures after her father’s kingdom falls to the forces of the Shallan and Chancellor Paglia. She falls in to the care of an unlikely candidate, and he does the best he can to protect her. They seek shelter in any way they can, and find that even the ones they thought could be counted on, can’t be, when faced with Tey Myssirati.

Through side streets, gypsie camps, etc., straight in to the arms of Cadia-dedre Osane, Leah must find and forge her own path. She finds more allies in unexpected places, and moves amongst those that she felt the most gilted by, the Cadia. She enters as a novice, and must hide her true identity.

Chancellor Paglia, however, may finally be coming undone. Leah realizes she has inherited her mother’s gift of tadomani and has visions she can’t quite understand yet, but with the help of Cadia-dedre Osane, she will learn to hone her skills in each field, and to work her gifts to her advantage.

This series has continued to be quite enthralling. My main complaint is that the next one is not out yet. However, I’m noticing more and more typos and grammar inconsistencies as the series progresses, almost as though the author is in such a hurry to get it finished that she is overlooking the basics. With common sense though, the missing words and errors can easily be overlooked.

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KM-Misery’s Flight – J. Barbara Yandell

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Title: Misery’s Flight

Author: J. Belinda Yandell

Series: Yes (#2 of the Cadian Chronicles)

Category: Drama / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Fantasy

Length:  301 pages

My Rating: 8.5/10

***********WARNING: This review may spoil the ending of the first book if you have not read it yet***************

Misery’s Flight picks up where Misery’s Child left off. Prince Scearce and Lillitha successfully make their way away from Oman Teret back to Jeptalla, not knowing what death and damage their elopement left in their wake. Once they arrive in the seat of Jeptalla, they are immediately married, and the province rejoices at having the beautiful new princess in their midst.

Soon, however, Lord General Bastrop, godfather of Prince Scearce, and good friend to both Rowle and King Tullus brings news to the Jeptallan seat and informs them of the demise of both of their fathers. Princess (now Queen) Lillitha screams so loudly and sorrowfully that it can be heard throughout the kingdom.

Slowly, Lillitha seems to lose her mind. They keep all sharp objects from her to keep herself from killing or harming herself. She is pregnant, and quite sick in the mind. Chancellor Paglia, still reeling from the loss of Lillitha as shallana breda, coerces the Shallan Varden to abolish the house of Kirrisian, turning the vidor-ship of the province over to Danaus, as well as put a bounty on King Scearce’s head. Worst of all, he convinces the Shallan to curse Lillitha and her child. The curse states that the child will be Tey Mysseratti (the cursed one), and that Lillitha shall labor for 7 days and 7 nights, one for each of the summers that she denied from the Shallan. Lillitha died during the 6th night of labor.

A group of citizens of Jeptalla conspire to break in and kill King Searce and tey Myseratti, believing that the child (an Abomination) is the reason the rains have stopped for so many seasons. They are unsuccessful due to one of them realizing, with a little heart, that the child is just that… a child.

Follow the adventure of a young girl barely 12 years old that must hide where ever she goes, and rely on only one man to protect her through the most difficult times of her life. For if she thought she was treated unfairly in the palace, she knows nothing of what awaits her on the outside.

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KM-The Showing – Will Macmillan Jones

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Title: The Showing

Author: Will Macmillan Jones

Series: No

Category: Drama / Fiction / Mystery/ Supernatural

Length:  196 pages

My Rating: 7/10

Mr. Jones realizes that his grandfather’s old home is for sale. He arranges for a look inside with the real estate agent in charge of it. While inside, he begins to feel an old evil stirring that he remembered from his childhood, so he leaves the agent, Mrs. Hollis, inside to do her “security check” and leaves. The next thing he knows, he’s being tracked down by the police, saying that he was the last to see her, and she never left the house. The police agents are even creeped out by the house. 

However, when Police Constable Ian Evans finds himself on a date with the new estate agent in charge of the house, he has strong feelings for her. After their dinner, he recieves a text saying that she is going to check out this “haunted house” again. He panics, and she is unreachable. Another agent lost within the house.

The two contact a medium, who is too afraid to help, but does refer them to a friend of hers, Eric, who vows to help them understand the house which Evie, the medium, states is not haunted, but is in fact possessed. Mr. Jones remembers a sentence muttered to him once in childhood by his mother, “it can’t hurt you because you have your grandfather’s blood in your veins.” So the quest begins to find out what is possessing the house, what secrets lie within Mr. Jones’s family, and whether they can be stopped in time to save the woman Ian loves, as well as countless others that have gone missing in the house over the decades.

This was a nice, quick read. Decent story line, character development was pretty good. The strange turn toward the end was quite unexpected for me. 

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Filed under Fiction, Ghost Stories, Mystery, Supernatural

KM-Misery’s Child – J. Belinda Yandell

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Title: Misery’s Child

Author: J. Belinda Yandell

Series: Yes (#1 of the Cadian Chronicles)

Category: Drama / Historical Fiction / Mystery

Length:  198 pages

My Rating: 8/10

The novel follows the almost Medieval sounding adventures of a group of territories, most notably, the house of the vidor (ruler) of the land of Kirrisian . Every noble family is supposed to prepare one daughter to be consecrated to offer to the Shallan for choice. When the Shallan chooses a wife, he keeps her for six summers, and requires a male child to be born. Whether the woman births a male child or not, she becomes a cadia, and is taken care of for the rest of her life, as well as her family is given honor; however, she may choose to return to her home after her 6 summers are up.
The vidor, Rowle, or Kirrisian, has a daughter named Lillitha that is being prepared for consecration. She is to be given one tenth of all that the family has (as a tithe to Oman), and is only allowed out of her tower if she is covered head to toe in veils and skirts. Her life consists of rituals required by Yannamarie, who dilligently teaches her how to be refined and completely consecrated.
The younger sister, Marta, is jealous of Lillitha’s special treatment, although she knows she is allowed to do things that Lillitha can never even dream of being able to do. The oldest born, a male named Jonil, has perished from his rogue-ish ways. Also, Lillitha has a childhood crush, Prince Scearce, whom she has not seen in ages, and stopped writing to her suddenly, and inexplicably.
The time comes for the families and citizens to make the pilgrimage to Oman Teret, the home of the cadia and the Shallan. Will Lillitha be chosen? She is both excited and nervous, frightened, and doubtful by the time she actually makes it there. Between rogues, murder, riots, and many other harmful things for her family… In the end, what will it all come to?

In my opinion, the book was pretty great. I’m not usually in to historical fiction, but the Cadia and the customs of this fictitious land were quite engaging to the mind. I could almost feel Lillitha’s anguish, fear, loss, dreams, and hopes. I am definitely looking forward to the sequels!

Link to Amazon book: http://www.amazon.com/Miserys-Child-Cadian-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00CGP37RA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377372103&sr=8-1&keywords=misery%27s+child

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Filed under Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Religion, Romance, Series

KM-Miles to go Before You Sleep – Dennis James Browne

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Title: Miles to go Before You Sleep

Author: Dennis James Browne

Series: No

Category: Drama / Fiction / Myster

Length:  206 pages

My Rating: 8/10

The thing that made me purchase this book is that it was described as a modernized Wuthering Heights with an evil Holden Caulfield.

I was not disappointed. The story begins with a young Miles Spaulding and Clare, his cousin, who live with his father and her mother. Clare’s father and Miles’s mother were killed in a boating accident when they were very young. Georgianne, Clare’s mother, seems to have a lot of hostility toward Miles and his father, Robert.

Miles narrates the majority of the story in first person, and it’s quite reminiscent of the narrations of Holden Caulfield. A sick, demented boy who constantly thinks he is better than every one else, and occasional takes to calling his audience beneath him.

Fast foward twenty years. Clare is married to a business man and they have a twenty year old daughter, Angela. She is strikingly beautiful, and seems to be able to entrance almost any man. However, all of her life, she’s known Clare’s husband to be her father. Is he? Or is the young, Greek lover she had around the time of conception? Or is it someone else entirely?

Someone is trying to stop DNA testing that Angela insists on. Leading to an almost-successful attempt on the Greek, James Andreos’s life, as well as framing Clare’s husband and father-in-law for the hit taken out on Andreos.

Who’s really behind it all?

This novel was quite a surprise for me. I was almost white-knuckle gripping my Kindle the entire time. It was such a tour in to the darker side of the human mind, and the end of the book left me reeling, wondering, “How much of a father’s blood can affect his offspring?” Very action packed, with lots of twisted incidents, devious thoughts, and surprises around every corner. Definitely worth a shot, especially if you enjoyed the narration style of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye.

Amazon Link : http://www.amazon.com/Miles-Before-You-Sleep-ebook/dp/B004JN0X1K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377206739&sr=8-1&keywords=miles+to+go+before+you+sleep

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KM-The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

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Title: The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger

Series: No

Category: Drama / Fiction / Literary Classic

Length:  224 pages

My Rating: 10/10

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.”

Follow the adventures of young Holden Caulfield after he is expelled from a prep school, and decides to run away. He seeks out the right and wrong in life, and constantly rants of the phoniness of others. He describes his upbringing, his surroundings, his family, friends, and just life in general. From overlooking football games, to his mistakes, to the birds on a pond and why they migrate. It seems the only person he truly looks up to is his older brother, although he does adore his younger sister. He trusts no one, thinks every is full of it, and thinks of everyone as liars.  Full of rants and raves of a 16 year old boy lost in the world, it ends in quite the twist.

 

Personally, this is one of my all time favorites. Well written, attention-grabbing, and overall outstanding. But what else could be expected from Salinger, one of the world’s most mysterious writers? This is one I can read over and over and never get tired of.

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KM-Read No Evil – Steven W. White

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Title: Read No Evil

Author: Steven W. White

Series: No

Category: Drama / Fiction / Action / Mystical / Technology

Length:  245 pages

My Rating: 8/10

This novel follows the main character, Jan Fitzgerald, who is an English teacher at a regular high school. She starts to notice people in the community are acting… different. Some are essentially zombie like before they go missing, there is graffiti everywhere asking, “Where is the Philosopher?” One of her students runs his truck in to a local store and then kills himself. Murder, suicide, and overall aggression become much more predominant in the small, quiet town she inhabits.

Another of her students, Aaron, approaches her. He lives with his sister, and she has suddenly gone missing, leaving behind nothing but a note that says, “Going to see the Philosopher, going north!”. He has a theory that a popular ebook is the root of the problem, but is unsure as to how it is influencing people. So he enlists Ms. Fitzgerald to help him solve the mystery. She is unsure about the theory, not knowing how a book could influence someone to do something against their nature.

Soon, Ms. Fitzgerald is entangled in more than she ever thought was possible. Will she be able to figure out what is going on and stop it, or will she completely lose herself in the process?

This novel was fairly reminiscent of Cell by Stephen King. Enjoyable, but almost makes you a bit fearful of technology, and if you allow yourself to ponder, you can truly start to wonder about the power of a book and what it can do to you. It’s sort of two books in one, because The Scroll of the Dark, the book that is the “craze” in this novel, is also featured. You end up reading a fairly good bit of the book while keeping up with the outside activities. Definitely worth a read!

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KM-Affliction – David Jester

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Title: Affliction (A Forever After Story)

Author: David Jester

Series: Yes (#2 – Follow up to Forever After)

Category: Drama / Fiction / Supernatural

Length:  97 pages

My Rating: 2/10

I was not very impressed with the first of this series, Forever After, which was previously reviewed. However, I chose to give the sequel a chance in the hopes that the writing was better. It was not a good choice.

The story picks up where Michael, a grim reaper, is visiting his therapist and talking about how he and Chip, his roommate/ tooth fairy are trying to track down a sadistic serial killer who brutally butchers women and leaves them in obvious places to be found, sometimes even in broad daylight. All Michael is able to get from one of the souls he collects is that she smelled a hot menthol smell before she died. None of them can identify their killer. Meanwhile, at a bar one night, Michael meets a charismatic woman who enraptures him, and the frontman of a band that’s playing in the new establishment. The singer seems overly friendly and Michael is a bit put off by his overly eager antics. Meanwhile, the killer is leaving clues for only Michael to find, and even goes as far as to leave a package on his front door step. Will Michael and Chip be able to find out who the killer is and stop him before he gets to more women in Michael’s area?

Again, I was highly unimpressed by Jester’s writing. It lacks fluidity and decent transition. I still think he had a great idea for all of it, just lacks the skill to deliver it correctly. It’s less than 100 pages, and only $.99, but if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have even paid that for it. Definitely not worth the read.

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KMThe Doll Collection – Joanna Stephen-Ward

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Title: The Doll Collection

Author: Joanna Stephen-Ward

Series: No

Category: Drama / Fiction / Psychological Thriller

Length:  253 pages

My Rating: 5.5/10

The Doll Collection is the story of a woman named Gloria, who is the embodiment of evil. Strange things happen to people who cross Gloria. A best friend who steals her boyfriend ends up dying from a peanut allergy. A landlord who talks badly about her falls down the stairs to the basement and dies.

Gloria has a doll collection, and each doll bears a resemblance to the ones around her that have died. Now, she is subletting from a young man named Maurice. She comes in to his house and cleans and changes everything, insisting they become engaged, and he reluctantly just goes along with her. He finds her peculiar, but doesn’t think of her as too much of a threat. At least, not at first. He has enough of his own drama going on in life to worry much about her. He’s struggling to make ends meet as his landlords desperately try to evict him.

The landlords open new flats next door to Maurice and Gloria. A beautiful, young, newlywed couple in the ground flat, and a young, gorgeous, freshly single freelance writer moves in to the upper flat. At first, Gloria tries to be nice and friendly, but quickly begins to resent them, for no real reason at all. The neighbors are off put by her and her prying, and poor Maurice is subjected to constant streams of chatter and gossip from Gloria. During her rants, he starts to realize she may be a bit off balance, and he begins to fear her.

The neighbors are overheard talking negatively about Gloria, and she tells her dolls that very soon, they may have three new friends…..

I found this to be an interesting novel, but the ending was quite anti-climatic for the build up it was given. And it’s hard to differentiate in who was the main character, whether it was Maurice or Gloria. Either way, it was a nice, quick read, and sometimes hard to put down because you never knew what Gloria would do next. I gave it a fairly low rating because of how disappointing the ending was.

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Filed under Action, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller