Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those classics I've always meant to read, and finally did. It's no wonder it's been around for 200 years and is still enjoyed. Some early 19th c. novels suffer from too much exposition and not enough action, but Frankenstein delivers a philosophical polemic on what it means to be human and the dangers of science divorced from ethics, with a healthy dose of horror and gore.

Mary Shelley deserves the title Mother of Science Fiction.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Writers Alliance of Gainesville gets some TV time

The Writers Alliance of Gainesville was featured on the Ilene Silverman show, a local production that's also available on YouTube. My segment begins at 9:20, and I was darned glad I'd gotten a haircut earlier that day. Also glad I didn't have spinach in my teeth.

Anyway, check it out and discover what the North Central Florida writing community is up to these days.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Someone to Care

Someone to Care Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Le sigh* There is no feeling quite the same as closing a book and realizing there's a happy smile on your face because you enjoyed it so much, but hated to see it end.

We need a word for it.

Mary Balogh is always one of my favorite authors, but with this fourth Westcott tale she brought me catnip: Older protagonists, second chance at love, adults with real adult problems who deal with these problems as adults do, Regency era, and interesting secondary characters.

Viola Kingsley was once known as Lady Westcott, Countess of Riverdale, until she learned her lying, dead scum of a supposed spouse was already married (See Westcott #1, Someone to Love). Now plain Miss Kingsley with three illegitimate children, and grandchildren, Viola has been trying to hold it together and rebuild her life. She thinks she's doing OK until a man from her past--Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester--sees her alone in a country inn. Incidentally, I loved how Marcel is described as "fearfully handsome" and it becomes a running gag through the novel.

If you're not already a fan of Mary Balogh there's an extensive backlist of good series and stand-alone books to begin your journey into her writing. With Someone to Care she continues her reign as one of the top Regency writers today.

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Monday, May 07, 2018

Review: The Midnight Line

The Midnight Line The Midnight Line by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A classic Reacher tale, which is always a treat. There's not much more to say by Book #22. Either you're a Reacher fan, or you're not.

If you've never experienced the Jack Reacher books (and for the love of heaven, please don't think those Tom Cruise films give you the full story!!!) start with book 1 and work your way through them.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Review: Lady Of The Glen: A Novel of 17Th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe

Lady Of The Glen: A Novel of 17Th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe Lady Of The Glen: A Novel of 17Th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe by Jennifer Roberson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A "Romeo and Juliet" style telling of the events leading to the massacre at Glencoe at the end of the 17th century. It's of particular interest to readers who want to know more about the Jacobite Rebellion and events that led up to the defeat at Culloden.

I read this when it was first published, and the re-read was in anticipation of a trip to the Highlands this summer, including a trek to Glencoe. Roberson does an excellent job of bringing the land and its inhabitants to life.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like tv shows like Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, or go all the way back to M.A.S.H and St. Elsewhere, you'll enjoy this debut novel. I happen to be quite fond of medical fiction that displays lots of (literal) blood and guts and involves flawed characters with moments of brilliance.

This is a novel about 21st c. women juggling careers and family, about friendship, and ultimately, about betrayal and redemption. Zadie and Emma are BFF's with successful careers: Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. They've survived together, weathering tragedy and love affairs, but now a secret from their past threatens to upend their world.

There was so much I loved about this book! The brilliant cover, toddler Delaney's dialogue (I hope it's based on a real child and that she never loses her magical conversation quirks), the husbands, and most of all, this line that made me laugh out loud after the women save a life at the country club:

"The news stories accompanying the picture varied from the lurid (Buzzfeed: BATHING SUIT BEAUTIES DRENCHED IN BLOOD) to the factual (NPR: EMERGENCY CRICOTHYROTOMY PERFORMED POOLSIDE)."

It's often said everyone has one book in them. I hope Doc Martin can offer us more than one.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: A Treacherous Curse

A Treacherous Curse A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I luuuuuurve Veronica Speedwell! Unabashedly sexual, going boldly where few Englishwomen dared, the equal of her enigmatic partner, she's the Victorian heroine I didn't know I needed! This third book is delightful with its Egyptian artifacts skulduggery, interesting characters and a glimpse at Stoker's troubled past. I loved it and I look forward to more Veronica in my reading future.

I do recommend readers start with the first book and read them in sequence to get the full appreciation for Miss Speedwell and her no-holds-barred life.

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