Monday, September 26, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
I am part of the Romancing Your Dark Side Tour, and today I am reviewing Kristie Cook's first novel in the Soul Saver series, Promise! I'm also giving away an e-copy of this book, and I'll include instructions on entering the giveaway at the end of my review.
Alexis has moved many times during her childhood because of her special abilities. Her mother refuses to tell her exactly what she is, but she is not human. She is able to heal faster than normal, and when she's angry, she's got enough strength to knock a nasty ex-boyfriend across the room with one punch.
She and her mother Sophia move to Florida where Alexis is already enrolled in college. On her first day of class, she literally runs into Tristan. She has a knack for knowing who is good and who is evil, and Tristan screams good guy to her. They begin getting to know one another, despite the misgivings of Alexis's mother. As time goes on, her mother is forced to start answering some of the big questions that Alexis has about who and what she is.
I'm not sure what I expected of this book, but I was blown out of the water! I really loved it. I started out feeling like it was more a novel that belonged in the Young Adult genre. The more I read, the more I felt like it was for grown-ups, too.
The romance was perfect for me. It moved slowly with the those moments that make your heart(and other parts) tingle! I'll be honest, there was a little bit of a wet panty factor going on. There wasn't a lot of profanity. It's not something I usually notice the presence or absence of, but one of the characters said "son of a witch!" a lot, and that made me chuckle a little. No one I've ever known has used that particular phrase when they were trying to avoid cursing. Toward the end, the f* bomb got dropped a few times, and that startled me.
I got the feeling that the author was a Christian. It doesn't bother me--I've read multiple Inspirational fiction novels, and even some paranormal that include characters who claim Christianity as their religion. I've also read some overly preachy sci-fi. I did not at all feel like this author was preaching at me, trying to convince me that Christianity was right. It was an undertone in the book instead of being an overtone.
The writing got better as I got farther into the book. There were some times at the beginning that I noticed some places where I would have written a sentence or two differently. The story pulled me in quickly enough that I quit noticing any places where editing might have been needed.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! I liked the characters, the story was strong, and the writing was strong as well. If you like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Jessica Anderson's Skykeepers novels, and the Anita Blake novels, you will most likely enjoy this novel. It's not really like any of those books--it's a twist I haven't really read in any novels before.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I have not watched any news coverage about the attacks on September 11, 2001 since that day. I've rarely talked about my memories with anyone. I don't want to follow the crowd of people who are talking about their experiences, but it seems like it is time.
I was late to work at the small private college where I worked that morning. My brother had been sick and was home from school. I don't think he had anything to do with my tardiness, but I don't remember.
I listened to the radio during my drive and heard the announcers say that a plane had flown into the first of the Twin Towers. My first thought was that it was a joke! It was at the same time the cruelest joke I could imagine.
I reached my office still very disbelieving. It was much quieter than normal. I found one of the professors at a TV, and then I believed. They were showing the smoke, the collapse of the towers. The people walking out of the cloud of dust from the Twin Towers' collapse. The worst was the people choosing to jump from the top of the Towers and die as opposed to waiting for the buildings' collapse.
We watched hours of coverage that day. They replayed the same scenes over and over. There was a girl there whose father worked in the Twin Towers. She was beside herself with worry over his safety. I knew nobody in New York City, no one who worked in the Towers, and I watched with numb detachment. I don't remember if I cried or not.
It didn't stop with the Twin Towers, either. We heard about the Pentagon being hit and the plane that was bound for Washington, D.C.
The stories were, and still are heartbreaking. I am proud beyond measure of the Fire Department and Police Officers in New York City. They heroism, their bravery exemplifies what a Fire Fighter or Police Officer should be. They are among the noble professions. Those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice that day are among the saints, I truly believe. There is no more tragically magnificent way to die than to die saving the life of another.
I am a child of the cold war, but I remember nothing of it. The first tragedy I remember is the explosion of the Challenger. I remember the Oklahoma City Bombing vividly. After 9/11 happened, a bombing seemed so much less terrifying than using airplanes filled with innocents to commit terrorism. It was also terrifying simply not to know who had committed these crimes against the American people for so long, even though there were suspicions.
My world has always been safe. September 11th changed that.
Friday, September 9, 2011
I am one of those people who has a great capacity to love others. I have found so very many wonderful people in the world! I consider myself very lucky and I would never trade my friends for anything in the world. I would even dare to say that my friends are more awesome than your friends! Just kidding. I hope that you have friends as generous, caring, and reliable as mine.
At the same time, it hurts to have so many wonderful friends. It hurts to live most of the way across the country from my friends. I miss my California friends all the time. I wonder how their school years are going and if my little gang is getting together at Canter's diner to have lunch or dinner without me. Just being friends on Facebook isn't enough. I want to be close enough to go out to dinner with them, too.
It also hurts when they die. I had a dear friend from California pass away over the weekend. She was smart and funny. She was generous with her heart and her home. She was everything you could want in a friend. She was diagnosed with cancer about a week before she died. If cancer is the thing that's going to get you, it's the best way to go--right away before the chemo, surgery, and pain can eat away at your joy in life. At the same time, she deserved the right to fight! I can't find words for my hatred of cancer.
I've begun to wonder how much grief one soul can absorb and not completely unravel. I feel like I've barely recovered from one loss when another hits. It is magnified so many times, an algebraic effect. Every time someone I love dies, I remember the pain of all those other deaths. I re-live the grief of the other deaths on top of the new one.
I think that some people have the inclination to draw away from others and close their hearts to loving new friends and family. I don't do that, but my greatest wish is that the people I love stop dying.
Rest in Peace
Avery Edward Adkins McCoy
Amy Rion Chesbro
Anne O'Donohue Lainhart
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
First, let me apologize for the tardiness of this blog post. A dear friend of mine passed away over the weekend, and I've been somewhat mired in grief over that.
Secondly, I have 2 e-copies of B.K. Walker's Night Secrets
to give away! Anyone who comments on this post, follows me publicly on Google Follow, votes in my poll, follows me on Twitter, and retweets the contest will be eligible. Please leave one comment per entry! In addition, each person who comments will be entered in a contest to win a free Kindle! Check out www.vbtcafe.com for more information and for an expanded schedule of the Romancing Your Dark Side book tour!