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Archive for the category “General Fiction”

Watermelon Summer by Anna Hess

watermelonsummerMy Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I have been a big fan of Anna Hess and her almost “off the grid” lifestyle for a long time. I’ve followed her blog and chatted with her via email for at least a year or more, and I bought (and reviewed) her non-fiction book, The Weekend Homesteader. When I found out she was writing a Young Adult novel, Read more…

L. A. Sleepers, A Noir Novel In Installments by Dakota Donovan

Have I found a fun thing for you guys! Dakota Donovan, ghostwriter extraordinaire, is penning a noir novel about her many adventures as a Hollywood ghostwriter. Each day, there is a new bit added to the whole. It’s so much fun, and Dakota’s writing style is sharp and witty, with some great turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. Check it out!

To be reminded when each day’s installment is added, be sure to Follow the blog. Because each installment is only about a third of a chapter or so, it is quick and easy to keep up with Dakota’s trials and travails. To bring yourself up to date, start on the Home Page, at the bottom, and read the posts moving upward. Once you are caught up, you only need to read the new post, which appears at the top of the page. 

I’m really enjoying this book, and can’t wait to get farther into the mystery.  Hope some of you enjoy it as much as I do.

L. A. Sleepers, A Noir Novel In Installments 

Never Go Back by Lee Child

nevergoback

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Fair warning! I am a Jack Reacher fan. I have been a Jack Reacher fan from Lee Child’s very first Reacher novel. I have LOVED 17 out of 18 of these books, and felt differently about the one only because it just got too political for my taste. But overall, I wouldn’t miss a Jack Reacher book Read more…

The Second Time Around: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

In keeping with my plan to intersperse some older reviews of more “literary” works with my current reviews, which are often Urban Fantasy works, here is The Second Time Around #2. Enjoy!

Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain cover

My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Written in 1997, Cold Mountain remains one of my favorite books of all time.  A modern day classic set during the Civil War, it details the long journey home Read more…

Free Books From Silver Birch Press!

Silver Birch Press is offering two of their novels, and their Summer anthology as free Kindle downloads, through July 31. This is a great deal for you Kindle readers! Check ’em out!

debt_novel

Debt: A Novel

phoenix_memoir

Phoenix: A Memoir

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Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (Silver Birch Press Anthologies)

The Manicurist by Phyllis Schieber

manicurist

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

I really wanted to love this book. Really. Phyllis Schieber’s short story in The Firefly Dance touched me, and I immediately downloaded The Manicurist in order to enjoy more of her work. The sad part is, I didn’t actually enjoy the book at all. It is a very dark, Read more…

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose

summer_anthology_cover_medium2

New Release!

Finally! The third book in the Silver Birch Press Anthology series is out! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, and not just because I’m lucky enough to have three poems included in the collection. There’s so much more to it than that, believe me! 

Summer is filled to bursting with a collection of summer-themed poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, memoirs, essays, and prose poems from 74 authors around the world! There are examples of classics by William Blake, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edith Wharton, side by side with work from dozens of contemporary writers, and all with a hint of summer sunshine to illuminate them. 

The 220-page, 7″ x 10″ paperback is now available on amazon.com, and it will soon be out in Kindle format, as well. I simply can’t wait to get my copy! Hope you’ll check it out, too.

Summer: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (Silver Birch Press Anthologies) (Volume 3)

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit.  If you are enjoying  my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks

The Firefly Dance Anthology

firefly

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Finally managed to get a book read this past week, in between everything else that’s going on in my life right now. The Firefly Dance is an anthology, featuring four character-driven, coming-of-age novellas that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have seen some lackluster reviews of the book, and I think this could be a result of readers who are much more attuned to high-concept novels, filled with lots of action, and very little introspection. Nothing wrong with that, but I happen to be lucky enough to enjoy both. These poignant stories each had a vintage feel to them, both in style, and in some cases, the eras in which they were set. I loved that, where others might not find it their cup of tea.

Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite writers, so I was drawn to the book due to her story. However, I thought all of the entries were pretty strong, and I’m looking forward to reading  more written by the three other authors: Kathryn Magendie, Augusta Trobaugh, and Phyllis Schieber.  I was particularly drawn to Magendie’s story, “Petey,” because it was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are near and dear to my heart. The feeling this one evoked was perfect for the era, and for the beautifully described connection to the mountains.

If you like anthologies, especially with a gentle, old-fashioned feel to them, check this little book out. It’s worth it!

The Firefly Dance

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know! Thanks!

Just Thinkin’….

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I realized after reading a comment the other day that I haven’t reviewed a non-urban fantasy book in quite some time. Now this doesn’t bother me overly much, as I’m very fond of good urban fantasy and have been in that frame of mind for a couple of years. However, I certainly Read more…

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Flag and soldier, Veteran's Day

Today, we honor those who have served their country to protect our way of life.  Please don’t forget to thank a veteran today.  Many have sacrificed more than you can imagine, and we owe them everything we have.

God Bless America.

NOTE:  This post is in no way meant to be political, on any side of any issue.  I don’t discuss politics here, folks.  Just asking you to remember we can never thank our servicemen and women enough.  There’s no way to repay them for their dedication to duty. If you want to say your thank you in a more tangible manner, one good way would be through the Wounded Warrior Project.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Karen Russell's Swamplandia! Cover

Rating:  Unfinished

I thought I would be through with this book a week ago, and have it neatly reviewed and happily housed on one of my bookshelves.  Unfortunately, I have had some trouble reading this one, and have decided to take a break.  I am a native born Floridian.  No, really.  I am.  Just me and that guy up in the Panhandle.  🙂  And as a native-born Floridian, I have always been Read more…

Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs' Flash and Bones Cover

My Rating:  3 of 5 Stars

When Kathy Reichs’ first book, Deja Dead, was released in 1998, I was really interested in forensics in general, and found forensic anthropology especially fascinating.  It seemed quite remarkable that so much could be discovered by examining mere skeletal remains.  When those remains are very old, or are only partial remains, it is even more Read more…

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos

Marisa de los Santos' Falling Together Cover

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I didn’t think it was possible to love a book more than I loved Marisa de los Santos’ first book, Love Walked In,   but I was wrong.  Falling Together is the most profoundly beautiful love story I’ve read in years…maybe ever. The sheer poetry of the language, combined with the astonishingly beautiful portrayal Read more…

Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd

Edward Rutherfurd's Sarum Cover

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

While I’m thinking about historical fiction, I figured I might as well post about one of my favorite examples of the genre.  Where Cold Mountain was about one man’s experiences during a relatively brief period of American history, Sarum is a monumental recounting of the entire history of England.  We are talking Epic, here, in the most wide-sweeping sense.

The book begins in the Stone Age, and loosely follows Read more…

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain cover

My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Written in 1997, Cold Mountain remains one of my favorite books of all time.  A modern day classic set during the Civil War, it details the long journey home of a Confederate soldier who has recovered from serious injury, and knows Read more…

Quote # 18 – Fannie Flagg

“Remember, if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.”

     –Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

From Sea To Shining Sea by James Alexander Thom

James Alexander Thom's From Sea to Shining Sea Cover

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Another book in my library that probably warrants a re-read.   When this book was released in 1986, I was enjoying a lot of historical novels of the type that were good at making history come alive, and seem like the rip-roaring adventure it was when it actually happened.  This was one of my favorite books at that time.  It’s the story of the Read more…

Synopsis vs Review

Ever read a book “review” where the entire plot is retold in six paragraphs?  If so, then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that that is something I try to avoid when I’m discussing books I’ve read.  I figure if you want a synopsis of the story, you can read abridged books.  Reader’s Digest used to sell Read more…

Young Adult Books

You might wonder why I read and review Young Adult novels when I’m certainly well beyond the”young” part of that designation.  The reason is simple.  The only difference between a Young Adult novel and a novel for us not-so-young adults should be Read more…

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Cover

MY RATING (WAY BACK WHEN): 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve been looking around my library a lot lately, picking up books I read years and years ago, and thinking maybe I’m due to revisit some of them once again.  When this book came out in 1987, I thought Read more…

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

Marisa de los Santos' Love Walked In Cover

MY RATING:  5 of 5 Stars

There are readers out there more worldly and cynical than I,  perhaps, who manage to find fault with this book, but for me, it was one of the best surprises I’ve come across in years.  The title makes it sound like sappy, frothy Chick Lit.  It is anything but!  The story of Cornelia, who has gone through life looking Read more…

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Cover

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

My main comment upon completing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is that the book is…peculiar! In a good way, to my mind, though I know it’s not Read more…

Quote #11 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“I feel that there is reason lurking in you somewhere, so we will patiently grope round for it.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,  The Lost World

V Is For Vengeance – Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton's V Is For Vengence Cover

MY RATING:  4 of 5 Stars

I think of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series as being very like a bowl of oatmeal…nothing fancy, but it will stick to your ribs and make you feel as cozy as a pair of comfortable flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers.  As always, “V Is For Vengeance” is a satisfying Kinsey Milhone tale. I actually think this might be the best book in the series. Grafton’s writing, always solid and entertaining,  has Read more…

The Affair by Lee Child

Lee Child's The Affair Cover

MY RATING:  4 of 5 Stars

Let me say right up front that this review is really about Lee Child’s entire Jack Reacher series.  I have read all sixteen books, and with the exception of #12, “Nothing To Lose,” I have loved every single one.  (“Nothing to Lose” wasn’t bad, either, but got a bit too snipey about U. S. politics, and I don’t enjoy that when reading fiction.  Fiction, for me, is escape from the day to day, including whatever is coming out of Washington at any given time.  Therefore, I could only rate “Nothing To Lose” at 3 stars.)

I’m not usually drawn to male-oriented action books, but in the case of Jack Reacher,   Read more…

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