Bookin' It

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Archive for the tag “Reviews”

Lovely Review of That Darkest Place from Judith Barrow

This was a great week for reviews for me, on private blogs and on Goodreads. I wanted to share this one from Judith Barrow, of my latest Riverbend Book, That Darkest Place. It was another one that just made my morning! Go HERE to see what Judith has to say.  Hope you’ll enjoy the review, and pass it along. Thanks!

And go HERE to find That Darkest Place on Amazon.com.

 

Staci Troilo’s Wonderful Review of Swamp Ghosts

I’m so excited to be receiving some stellar reviews of my Riverbend books. I’ll be posting a few of them over the next week or two, and hope you’ll check them out and share far and wide. THANKS!

Go HERE to read what Staci has to say about Riverbend Book 1, Swamp Ghosts.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard #TuesdayBookBlog

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My Rating: 4-1/2 of 5 Stars

Because I have so little time to read right now, I’m digging back through books I’ve read over the last year or so, and haven’t yet reviewed. This one popped up in my Unreviewed Books folder, and I decided it would be a quick, easy one for today. It’s good. Read it.

What, you want more? Okay, you asked for it.

Blurb

A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice. 
 
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire, to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.

My Thoughts

Fiendishly funny, yes. Gothic, sort of. Charming? Not so much. Disturbing? Check. Weird? Check. Relentless? Double checks, with stars beside them. But Charming? Nope. Didn’t see that at all. Instead, I would describe Cabal as entertaining and thought-provoking, and frighteningly capable of pursuing his unknown goal with a  vengeance.

There are many things in this book to make you laugh. Deliciously clever one-liners, coupled with Cabal’s falling apart (Literally, believe me!) companions, make for laugh out loud moments galore. But make no mistake. This book is dark. There’s an undercurrent of horror running through it, and you are never quite sure where the tale is headed. If this type of thing intrigues you as much as it does me, you probably should give Johannes Cabal a go. Getting to the end and finding out what’s really driving his actions is like being on one of the truly terrifying rides in his traveling carnival. My only serious complaint with the book is the loss of a character that really touched me, and I doubt Johannes Cabal will be able to bring him back from the dead, no matter how skilled he is at necromancy. That’s the reason I dropped half a star. I always hate losing characters I like.

If you are looking for something very, VERY different, I highly recommend you check this one out. If you enjoy it, there are several more books in the series, always a good thing to know.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

A Reason to Live (A Marty Singer Mystery) by Matthew Iden

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

BLURB:

In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man. Twelve years later, the victim’s daughter comes to Marty begging for help: the killer is stalking her now. There’s just one problem: Marty’s retired…and he’s retired because he’s battling cancer. But with a second shot at the killer—and a first chance at redemption—Marty’s just found A Reason to Live.

~~~

I don’t often read “straight-up” mysteries, but something about this blurb appealed to me, so I gave it a try, and was happily surprised. I found Marty Singer to be a very likable guy, and I was engaged with the plot all the way.

It’s often difficult to make a character suffering from something like colon cancer sympathetic to the reader in just the right amount. Too much, and it’s uncomfortable. Too little, and it’s not realistic. I felt Matthew Iden hit the perfect balance. I believed Marty had cancer, and was floundering as he tried to figure out what to do with whatever was left of his life, but I never felt it overwhelmed the story, or became maudlin or depressing.

The murder mystery was well done and believable, too, if not earth-shattering at the conclusion. And most important of all when you are writing a series, A Reason to Live made me want to read the next book.

If you are a fan of mysteries with a bit more grit to them than most cozy ones, but without the heavy-handed violence and gratuitous sex of so many on the other end of the spectrum, I recommend you give this one a go. You just might find yourself a whole new series.

A Reason to Live

A Good Idea

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So, So Important!

Saw this on Twitter yesterday with a request to share, so…I’m sharin’! Lots of people honestly don’t know how important some of these things can be to an author, especially an independent one, who depends on word of mouth so completely. Hope you’ll pass it along, too. Let’s get the word out (in the nicest way possible, of course.) Folks…if you read it, and you love it, please let the world know. Thanks!

Thank You, Anna Celeste Burke!

Summer Magic_

This is why I love writers so much! They support and sustain each other, learn from each other, offer advice to each other, and sometimes, when you are very lucky, write reviews that sound like this one, which Celeste posted on amazon for my little chapbook, Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love. How wonderful to read this and imagine my words inspiring such a response. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Celeste. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your posting this. I’m ridiculously happy, and I’m going to share your the entire review so my followers can see why:

“Summer is magic! If you want another way to experience a bit of that magic I invite you to read Marcia Meara’s recently released book of poetry, Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love. It’s a perfect read for a languid summer’s day or a long weekend like this one. Taking a breather from grilling and eating, reading the book is like dangling your toes in a cool, rippling brook. It’s not just her poems that reflect the childhood joy of plunging into cool green waters from a “Rope Swing,” or the ‘drip-drip’ of “Showers” on a rainy day that will give you that creekside, summer experience. “Summer Magic” the first poem, and the one that gives the book its title, is awash in words that conjure summer. My favorite lines from the poem:

There! A thin curve of molten red!
A far away sliver of fiery light
Breaks the horizon.

Part One of the book, “Mac at 10,” contains poems celebrating summer from the vantage point of MacKenzie Cole, lead character in Marcia Meara’s wonderful book, Wake-Robin Ridge. As you can imagine, from the glimpse of her poetry provided here, setting matters. In both Wake-Robin Ridge and her new book, Swamp Ghosts, she brings her poetic bent to bear on her story telling.

My favorite of the poems in this part of the book is “Star-Gazing.” Even though I’m still a little annoyed that my late-night effort to catch a meteor-shower this week was such a bust! The “Giraffes” meteor shower was slated to rival Perseid, the meteor shower featured in Marcia’s poem that occurs each August. Perseid has no rival, trust me. Still, star-gazing was a favorite teenage pastime and this poem evoked fond memories of times in my life when I was privileged to witness sky-borne wonders.

Part two of Summer Magic, “Poems of Life and Love,” presents more adult-themed visions of summer. Especially poignant are images of summer waning, as we are dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming into fall, and other seasons of our lives. I love the meter of the first poem in part two, “On the River,” the moody tone of “The Last Rose,” and the wanton disregard for structure in “Attitude Really is Everything.” So true, btw! Here’s to Summer Magic, in Marcia Meara’s book, or wherever we may find it.”

You can find Anna Celeste Burke’s books on amazon:

A Dead Husband

A Dead Sister

A Word On Free Books

kindlevsbooksEver wonder why an author would willingly give away hundreds of copies of his or her hard work for free? (And trust me on this…writing IS hard work.) The answer is simple: word of mouth. The more people that have read a book, the more it gets talked about. And the more it gets talked about, the more it gets sold,  and then the author can afford to stay at home and write another book. This is why you see Read more…

Welcome To My Library!

Come on in!  You never know what’s going to be happening around here.  Reviews, cover art, author bios, release dates…it’s all fair game at Bookin’ It.  The genres will be widely varied over time, though I’m currently enjoying the glut of decent (and sometimes not so decent) urban fantasy work that’s available.  For many years, that particular section of the bookstore was pretty bare, so it’s fun to read it while it’s hot.  But expect to find reviews on general fiction, best sellers, classics from days gone by, non-fiction, and whatever else catches my attention.  I’ll always be polite, but I won’t pull my punches if I believe a book is poorly written.  The good news is, I like more books than I hate, so the Raves outnumber the Pans. 
Now let’s get started!  See you in the stacks!

NOTE:   PLEASE feel free to respond to any reviews, even with differing opinions and ideas.  I welcome all comments.  Just remember to be respectful.  No flaming, no seriously bad language.  A few milder oaths are not a problem, but  I don’t want to worry about younger, more impressionable readers.  I do review a lot of YA Urban Fantasy, so keep it nice.  Thanks!

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