Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

Hello, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā¬† I am bringing you another book review from my favorite author, Stephen King, who partnered with his son, Owen King, to write the book called Sleeping Beauties.

I have read almost ALL of Stephen King’s books and have the rest on order to read but I have never read one of his son’s books.¬† I was looking forward to seeing how their writing styles complimented or contradicted each other, as well as, how well they meshed together in the book.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen KingSleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King is about a small town that is struck by the latest disease hitting the world called the Aurora Flu aka The Sleeping Sickness which causes women of all ages to grow a cobweb type of cocoon around their bodies once they fall asleep.  If you were to wake up these women in the cocoon, they became feral animals attacking and killing whatever or whomever woke them from their sleep.  There was one female, Eve, who seemed to not be affected by the disease which cause a big fight among the townspeople.  Some wanted to take her to kill or study her and some fought to keep her alive until it wore off in a few days as Eve promised them.

I did not know what to expect out of this book when I first bought it.¬† I know Stephen King’s voice in all his written works, but I did not know Owen King’s voice, so I was a bit concerned about how well the book would flow.¬† The story flowed well, you could tell the different voices at the beginning of the writing but as the story continued, the two author voices became in unison thus making the storyline easier to read without any tone changes.

The characters were developed, and several had their own unique personalities and quirks and throughout the book you did get the background stories of each of the key players.  While I enjoyed the book, I did not find myself invested in any one character.  I do not know if it was due to the many players in the book or if it was due to the actual story line.  Either way, I was not consumed with wanting to know the next move as I normally am while reading a Stephen King book.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it was anticlimactic for me in the end.

I give Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux

Hello, Dear Bloggites! ūüôā¬† This book review is on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.¬† Now, I did not read this one, but I did listen to it.¬† This story is my absolute favorite love story in the world – even bigger than Prince Charles and Lady Diana! ūüôā

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxMost of you are probably familiar with The Phantom of the Opera story, but for those who are not, it is about an up-and-coming opera singer, Christine Daae, who believes she is receiving lessons from “The Angel of Music” for Opera Populaire.¬† The Opera house where Christine works is reported to be haunted by the Opera Ghost.¬† While Christine is learning from the Angel of Music, she rekindles a friendship with Raoul de Chagny and that friendship turns to a passionate love affair.¬† While Christine is building her relationship with Raoul, Eric (Angel of Music nee Opera Ghost) becomes enraged with jealousy and vows to have Christine as his own even if it means killing Raoul.

Exciting, right!  The author, Gaston Leroux, was a well-known French journalist and detective story writer when he was alive.  The Phantom of the Opera is his best-known work of literature; however, he does have other novels he wrote before passing away.  I have not read any of his other works, but I do plan on remedying this fact after listening to the original novel.

Gaston Leroux wrote an amazing novel with complex characters and a mystery to solve to boot.  The story swept you away to another time and place where you root for the love between Christine and Raoul while hurting for Eric at the same time.  The author broke down his novel to feature specific characters and what they were thinking or doing throughout the book, but you never found yourself confused or lost within the story line of what was going on.

There really is nothing to critique this novel on other than the repetitive nature when a character addresses a person Рthe names were repeated each time a statement was made instead of letting the reader follow the dialogue without the repetitive names.  I am sure the author wrote as the people spoke in that age, but it did become annoying at times.

I give The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Go pick up your own copy and read or listen to the original story.

4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Take Me To Task…I Need To Blog

Goodness Gracious, Dear Bloggites!¬† I have been slacking off!¬† It has been three days (THREE) since I last blogged, and you guys are not taking me to task.¬† I need to be hollered at to keep on top of blogging, so I can share what is going on in my Journey I call Life. ūüôāIMG_0432.¬† All that said, here is what has kept me from blogging to you Awesome People:

First, I started working my list from 2017 now 2018 and have started walking with my dog, Ragonk, and 4 of 7 in the Familial Unit (Debbie) and her dog, Pepper.  I have found that just walking an hour a day, I have so much more energy, and OMG РRagonk LOVES to go for walks!  Just look at this grin on his face!

The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee KaySecond, I have been offered a guest post on The Floating Thoughts Blog for providing an honest review on their book, The Two-Faced Truth, and have been working on that.¬† I am so touched and excited for this opportunity to reach new people with my written work.¬† I don’t want to disappoint anyone, so I am being extra picky about the story line.Paisley Showing 03-24-2018

Third, today I went and showed support for 1 of 7 in the Familial Unit (Kathy) as she and her beautiful dog, Paisley, competed in the Fort Worth Kennel Club All Breeds Show.¬† I am proud to say Miss Paisley won first place in her category (dachshund puppies), not too shabby for her second show.¬† My sister has done an amazing job with her.¬† In the two shows she has done so far, Paisley has won first place in one or multiple categories. ūüôā

WORD EmblemFourth, I attended my first WORDfest 2.0 today.¬† WORD means Writer Organizations ‘Round Dallas.¬† This was their second annual WORDfest where they invite published authors and specialists in the craft of writing to do breakout sessions for the writers in the area.¬† My BFF, Tracy, went with me to show her support on my writing dream. ūüôā

Fifth, I went to my monthly Off The Cuff Toastmasters meeting tonight.¬† I was assigned the “Funmaster” role, so I created this fun exercise for the members to do at the meeting.¬† I created some nifty flower pops that had an action written at the back for the member to do while passing the homemade Bling Milk Can to the next member who had to pick.¬† Everyone laughed and got some exercise.¬† I thought I did a pretty good job for a moments creativity.

All in all, as you can see, I have been busy thus the delayed posting on this blog.  I promise I will get back to posting at least every other day.  Until then, Dear Bloggites, let me know what you would like me to talk about, share, discuss, or review.  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: News Of The World by Paulette Jiles

“This is writing.¬† This is printing.¬† This tells us of all the things we ought to know in the world.¬† And also that we ought to want to know.” ~Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (in Paulette Jiles’ novel News of the World)

Hi Ho, Dear Bloggites.¬† This book review is on January’s Books & Broads Book Club choice.¬† In January, the book club read News of the World by Paulette Jiles.¬† The setting and premise of the book was interesting.¬† The book was set in 1870 North Texas.¬† Of course, I was immediately intrigued because that is the part of Texas where I live.

News of the World by Paulette JilesThe book was about Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly man who travels through Northern Texas and stops in towns reading the latest news from papers he picks up along the way.  In Wichita Falls, Captain Kidd is approached to take a young orphan, Johanna, who had been kidnapped four years earlier by Kiowa raiders after killing her parents, back to her relatives in San Antonio.  The journey was a 400-mile trek through rough terrain, but Captain Kidd agreed to return Johanna to her family.

Pretty good premise, yes?  Sadly, I did not like this book.  Many, many times I found myself wondering what the purpose was of the author, Paulette Jiles, when she decided to write this story.  Not only was it boring, but there seemed to be no core purpose in the storyline aside from traveling 400-miles.  I know fiction does not have to have a purpose, but it does have to make sense and this book did not make sense to me with how it was formatted.

When it seemed like some action was going to happen, I was disappointed to see nothing happen, and the minimal moments when there was action it was underwhelming.  The characters were not as developed as I like and there were moments of humor and moments of emotion, but not enough to keep me engaged as much as I could have been.

There was great imagery and some clever sentences in the book, but it did not help this book capture my attention like so many other books have.  Throughout the book you followed Captain Kidd and Johanna as they travel on the road and he tries to reteach her the English language while learning what certain Kiowa words meant.  I know the author really tried to engage the audience, it was almost palpable during many scenes, but she just could not take it the rest of the way through.  Kudos to the author for writing a passion project, because that is the only thing that makes sense to me after reading this book.

I give News Of The World by Paulette Jiles 2 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam

Here it is, June’s Books & Broads Book Club choice, Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam.¬† Getting closer to this month, eh, Dear Bloggites?

Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail KeamDeath by a Honey Bee (A Josiah Reynolds Mystery) by Abigail Keam was a fun read.  The author wrote the book in an easy to follow flow with fun, quirky characters.  The story is about a beekeeper, Josiah Reynolds, who finds her rival dead with his head stuck in one of her bee hives on her property.  While the man died of a heart attack, the cops felt there was foul play afoot and their primary suspect was Josiah.

To clear her name, Josiah partners with her assistant, Matt, and begins her own investigation into the death of her rival.¬† All the characters in the novel were written with fun individual personalities and Josiah’s dry sense of humor and no-nonsense attitude kept the reading interesting.¬† This novel is the first in a series and the first mystery novel written by Abigail Keam.¬† Unlike many series novels, Death by a Honey Bee can be read as a stand-alone book which I like.

The only two minor issues I have (well one minor and one pet peeve of mine) with this novel is the ending was predictable as to whodunit and it was written in the first person (I hate that).¬† I know, some novels are better in the first person and I will one day write a novel in the first person and have to eat crow, but it is an annoyance of mine.¬† I don’t like being in the mind of each character so intimately that I cannot utilize my own imagination when reading a book in the third person.

Okay, off my high horse before I fall and break a toe, overall, I really did enjoy this book and how the author wrote it.¬† I was immediately interested in the novel as soon as I started reading because of the quirkiness of the main character.¬† I will probably go and get the rest of the novels in this series because of my OCD and not being able to just stop when I KNOW there are other books to this series, but also because I did enjoy this storyline and the author’s way of writing.

I give Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you are looking for an easy, fun read with a little mystery, I recommend you go get this book.  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in This & That

Reading + Writing Vortex = My Addiction

Hello, Dear Bloggites!¬† How many of you ever find yourself so immersed in an activity that you are ‘sucked into’ the vortex?¬† Hands? Anyone?¬† Bueller?¬† Bueller?¬† Oh, HEY!¬† There is one…oh, wait, that’s mine…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had this ability to tone everything around me out and become one with an activity.  This is a very strong super power of mine when it comes to reading or writing.

I will pick up a book with the intent of reading just one chapter and then hours later shake the imagination monkeys from my brain and return¬†back to the real world to find the one chapter turned into ten or twenty or an entire novel! ūüėÄ

Yep, it is a wonderful super power, indeed.

The reason behind my reading vortex is simply the enjoyment of finding a new world to bring into my life.  Whether it is a scary story, funny story, romance, or biography, I love meeting new and interesting characters and learning about their lives and the world they live in.  I walk away from a story with new friends and a satisfaction so grand that I cannot wait for the next great adventure!

Queue in my other¬†addiction of choice: writing.¬† I am working on my first novel and have written many poems and short stories in my life but the writing vortex I fall into willingly while writing my novel…man, no words can describe it!¬† I usually start off with¬†a refresher of where I left off last and as soon as I start reading, my vortex engine begins to rev and then it is off I go!

When I write, the characters and their story drive my fingers and words.¬† I may start out with a concept or intent for a story line but as the characters are developed their life takes over and they become the driving force behind my writing.¬† Many times I realize at the end of a chapter or scene that it did not resemble my initial intent when I sat down to start writing.¬† This feeling is so Amazing and Otherworldly to me that I feel like my world is the imaginary world while the novel’s world is reality.

It is hard to try and express what this feels like because it is just that: a feeling; a sensation of images and thoughts.¬† It is my addiction.¬† A very good¬†addiction at that.¬† It does not hurt anyone or mess up my life other than to take me to a new when instead of my when.¬† Other writers can probably express it better than I can because all I can come up with is my writing vortex…LOL

Reading & writing are so important to me, and for me, that they become something I need on a daily basis to live.¬† My Neanderthal friends will never get how or why I am so into reading or writing, but my Bibliophile friends are reading these words and shaking their heads yes while adding their own feelings to this. ūüôā

See you on the flip side!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan

I have a question for you, Dear Bloggites: what would you do if everything you grew up knowing, and believe made you the way you were, turned out to be a lie?¬† Today’s book review is a wonderful read that answers this question in one way.

What She Inherits by Diane V. MulliganThis book review is on What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan.  I received a request, via email, from the author offering her book as a gift if I was willing to review her book.  As you all know, I never say no to reading and helping authors out by providing a review.  Thank you, Diane, for the honor of reading your book and reviewing it.

This story follows two people, in two totally different worlds being pulled and pushed by forces outside their control.¬† Angela Ellis is a young college student whose mother died¬†unexpectedly and forced her to fly home to put the family house in order.¬† Casey Seaver is a thirtysomething lady who runs a caf√© on a small island which provides the necessary landscape for her to hide from her past and make her own way.¬† As the story unfolds, Angela is faced with some rather unusual circumstances which makes her believe she is being haunted by her mother’s ghost.¬† Casey is faced with the potential need to sell her caf√© and leave her island she loves so much.

Throughout the novel, the reader follows these ladies on their strange journey of trying to find themselves while their worlds are falling down around them.  The characters are well developed and any reader will be able to relate to one or more of them in this book.  You have the popular girl that is a lot deeper than surface level, the self-sufficient woman who does not want anyone to dictate her life, the nerdy guy who finally gets the chance with the girl, the friends who always think they know what is best for your life and do not hesitate to tell you how to live it, as well as, the parental figures who were the rock for the various people, and young love gone wrong.

I truly enjoyed this novel.  This is technically my first Paranormal Fiction I have read that features ghosts and I loved it.  The story offered a wide variety throughout: love, friendship, lost-love, family, new-love, and the list goes on and on, PLUS ghosts, but not the spooky, freaky kind (which are not bad) but enough that they figure to strongly in the storyline.  The novel had a few typos and missed words here and there and it was easy to figure out the end result as the story builds out, but that is not always a bad thing.

I give What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† I recommend this book if you want a fun story that will keep your focus.¬†¬†You won’t be disappointed. ūüôā

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard

Hello, Dear Bloggites!¬† Happy March, Ya’ll! ūüėĬ† I am once again honored to have been asked to review a book by an author.¬† Jamie C. Pritchard emailed me with the offer of gifting his book, Killer in the Coop, if I was willing to write a book review for him.¬† As you all know, Peggy NEVER SAYS NO to providing book reviews or reading new authors she had not heard of. ūüôā

killer-in-the-coop-by-jamie-c-pritchardI was intrigued by the story plot in this book.  The plot was about a man, Eli, who writes a 51,000 word essay of his planned shooting and why and sends it to the news media.  The fascination is how the author wrote the story.  Jamie C. Pritchard wrote the story telling the ending first then working backward to the beginning.  I am an ID TV junkie and one of my favorite series works from the end back to the beginning so this format immediately piqued my interest.

The story was written in the 3rd person which I love (as you know) and each character had multiple dimensions to them.  The only complex character was the lead character and that worked in this story line.  I was immediately pulled in by the first few lines of a woman who was calling 911 to report a shooting in her building until the killer, Eli, found her under her desk.

The only thing I did not like about the story was it ended too soon.¬† I was expecting a long novel and was surprised that it was more of a novella and as I was totally engrossed in the “making” of the man named Eli, I was stopped short with the shocked knowledge that I was at the end.¬† That being said, I really enjoyed this story and I hope the author continues with other stories about Eli’s life before his final decision to murder a bunch of random people with a strange sense of purpose.¬† Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your book with me and I look forward to reading more of your written work.

I give Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† Go grab a copy and enjoy a quick read, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It’ll Be Fine, A True Story by Rebecca Rose

Hello, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā¬† Two reviews in one day…I am on a roll.¬† This book review was at the request of the Author, Rebecca Rose, via an email from Amazon.com.¬† As you all know, I love to read and I love to support new, up-and-coming¬†authors.¬† I gladly accepted this request and it took me a bit longer than planned before I could read this book.¬† Life, that ol’ bugger, demanded my focus and I am power reading all the books I have on my list now.

itll-be-fine-a-true-story-by-rebecca-roseThis review is on the non-fiction book, It’ll Be Fine, A True Story.¬† This book is similar to an autobiography/memoir, but is so much more.¬† This book was about an AMAZING Love Story of two hearts, recognizing¬†their counter-point, yearning to unite as one.¬† Not only is this a wonderful love story, it is a wonderful story of a woman working on reaching the next level of her.

The story is about a girl, trudging through life, living the materialistic world of “being the best” and “making the most” at her job yet failing at finding the balance of life and work.¬† Throughout the book, the reader is taken on the journey that the author herself lived.¬† Unlike most autobiographies/memoirs, this book read like a fictional love story that has all the elements of a wonderful book: love, challenges, disappointments, loss, and hope.

It is a factual story about finding inner peace and the struggle that happens to some before inner peace is found.¬† The¬†people in the novel are¬†relatable for any reader and the story itself gives the reader hope and encouragement¬†for their life and the situations they are facing.¬† The format of the story was a timeline format so you¬†do¬†not have the bouncing back and forth of¬†times like so many books are written today.¬† The author did not sugar-coat anything about herself or the other people involved in the story.¬† She literally has¬†held her arms out,¬†hands open,¬†saying, “This is me, all my ugly and beauty, here for you to witness.¬† Be gentle.”

Every¬†writer¬†puts¬†something of themselves in every story they share with the world; this makes them very¬†vulnerable.¬† Writing about a real life event in her life, Rebecca Rose,¬†willingly exposed more of herself than that of a fiction writer.¬†¬†The author is a very brave person to write about something so raw and life changing and I applaud her for it.¬† Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your life with me and the rest of the world. ūüôā

If you want to read a true, life inspiring story, visit Rebecca at her website and learn more about the author and¬†order your copy¬†of It’ll Be Fine today. ūüôā

I give It’ll Be Fine, A True Story¬†by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.¬† Get ready to have your life changed for the better, Dear Bloggites, once you start reading.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

the-monster-in-the-closet-and-other-stories-by-k-kris-loomisHello, Dear Bloggites.  As you know, I have been working on honing my writing craft this year and one of those goals is to take at least one writing class each month.  One of the best things, aside from learning some new techniques on honing the craft, is getting to meet other writers and authors.  Every person is at a different point in their writing life and this makes for some great connecting and friend building.

In the class I took back in January, I met a wonderful lady who sweetly offered two of her books she has already published to whomever wanted them.  I, of course read the title of one of them and immediately wanted to get that one.  This book review is on that book.

The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories is the title of the book I received from K. Kris Loomis.  This book is different from my normal reviews because it is a book of short stories.  Normally, I do not review short story books but I wanted to provide some feedback to Kris as well as promote a dear writer I had the privilege of getting to know and learning from her in the process.

There were a couple unique characteristics to this short story collection that you normally do not find in other similar works.¬† These two characteristics are: 1. The stories are broken down into five different categories that have three¬†stories each¬†& 2. The stories were written specifically for busy people on the go.¬† You also find that each story has a moral purpose behind it that anyone can learn from.¬† I am going to break this book review up into the different categories in the collection.¬† Here we go, Dear Bloggites. ūüôā

The Park Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in a park of some type.¬† The three stories are titled Lovely Horns, Friday Afternoon, & The King Stomper.¬† In this collection you meet a variety of people who either never met but impacted each other’s lives, had a rocky relationship where communication never went past the surface level,¬†& two people who met online but once the first meeting in person happened a shock was found between the two.¬† I like this set of stories because it reminded me that we should never take people for granted that we have in our lives or who we may share a brief moment in life.¬† Too many times people are so busy moving to the next thing that they forget to stop and appreciate and SEE what is actually right in front of them.¬† You know the old adage, “Stop and smell the rose,”¬†well this set of stories reminds us that not only do the roses smell good, but they also contain a new mystery to be found.

The Café Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in some café.  The three stories are titled Self Improvement, The Gossip Grind, & Backgammon Buddies.  I really was entertained by this group of stories.  In these stories you meet the standard people in the 21st Century who are just sharing space instead of spending quality time due to an obsessive attachment to technology, people sitting around judging others with their gossip while believing they were actually spending some quality time together, and good friends who has one trying to make amends for past wrongs while the other is distracted by the game on the table.  These stories reminds the reader that, no matter how grand technology is, you still have to take the time to cultivate your personal relationships with communication of the lip speaking kind.

The Funeral Home Stories Group: This group of stories take place in funeral homes.¬† The three stories are titled Now at Peace, The Makeup Artist, & Granny Gertrude.¬† This set of stories cover the loss of a parent where the children have to make arrangements, a person that has to prepare a body of a classmate while coming to terms with the past, & a person who learns more about someone after they are dead just by the memories friends share.¬† This set of stories hit near to my heart because I read the book on the six month anniversary of my Dad’s death.¬† The take away you get on this set of stories is to never take life for granted and always live in the now because you never know when someone won’t be there anymore.

The Bus Stories Group: This group of stories take place on a bus.  The three stories are titled Glue It to Your Butt, The Orange Scarf, & Say Something.  This group was a thought provoking read.  When you read this group you meet an unlikely friend who helps someone remember the answers to a test, a unique look in the life of a mother and child from the eyes of an observer, & a life lost too soon.  These stories gave moments to pause and consider situations I came across in my life and I dealt with them.  This set reminds you to be present in the life of others because your presence make be the defining factor on an outcome for someone else.

The Bedroom Stories Group: This group of stories take place in a bedroom (not in a sexual way).¬† The three stories are The Monster In the Closet, Marks on the Ceiling, & The Santa Debacle.¬† This group of stories cover¬†fear of the unknown, feelings of worthlessness, & the extreme measure new parents’ make.¬† This set will definitely give¬†me pause to really assess¬†my life and how¬†I handle situations.¬† It reminds you that nothing is so bad that you cannot find a way to overcome.

Now that I have covered a very brief summary of the tales you will read in this book, I am going to give you my view on how the stories were written.  The author did a wonderful job at creating a realness to each character in such a short block of time.  This is usually hard for writers when dealing with a short piece of work but K. Kris Loomis did a wonderful job and creating well rounded believable characters that the reader can relate to in their life.  The only negative I could find was that I felt the story Say Something did not quite fit with the feel of the other two stories in the group.  I think it would have fit better in a different category even though it did take place on a bus.  Overall, I loved this short story novel and I am grateful that Kris offered it to us to read.  Go visit her website & see other works she has written, as well as, get your copy of this book.

I give The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Go read this book, you will be entertained and enlightened.

~4-Ever, P