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photo 2016-07-03 19:20
The Mystery of The Old Wicklow House by Miranda Beall

Cass and Brad are at it again. This time she persuades a reluctant Brad to solve the mystery of The Old Wicklow House, rumored to be haunted, during the Blizzard of 1966 in Southern Maryland. This time, she pulls from her arsenal as protection against restless spirits the powerful protection of crystals: moonstone, pyrite, Blue John, snakestone, carnelian, amethyst, and bloodstone to mention a few. But ultimately she convinces Brad to turn once again to the Ouija Board to sort out the mystery of The Old Wicklow House.

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review 2016-04-24 18:09
Murder and More- Gerald W. Darnell

A detective mystery set in the 1960s with an authentic feel of the 1960s. The book could so easily have been written then rather than in 2015. The read is nicely scattered with illustrative pictures from the period, which I can see adding a lot to the reading experience of those born later. I felt that I could be reading a period Mickey Spillane novel; the script felt that authentic. I'd even say that there are more than a few similarities between Mike Hammer and Carson Reno— well at least as how I remember the character. Then again, possibly Reno is a more James Garner in the Rockford Files TV series. Okay, that was very 1970s scripted, but the Rockford character could have been slotted seamlessly into any '50s/60s detective series. So then, for me, Carson Reno is possibly best described as a blend of Mike Hammer and Jim Rockford.

 

The writing has a sharp journalistic economy, never burying us in irrelevances and keeping a brisk pace. Some of the bit players are easy to confuse, but that problem is relieved by the index of characters. This is the first Darnell book I've read. Love it. I can see this series of books on every paperback turntable in front of every '60s newspaper store. The mass market paperback days are, generally speaking, history, but that shouldn't limit the availability and popularity of Darnell's Carson Reno. This book is an object lesson in how to get that old paperback buzz into the e market. For those still addicted to traditional paper, the lovers of the smell and feel of 'pulp', for those that still have or are discovering vinyl records and classic cars, the hands-on version looks just as 60s slick. The period will always be culturally cool and so will Carson, with bourbon and coke and an after dinner cigar.

 

This is a mystery detective novel, not a voyeuristic trip through violence and death, as so many modern genre books are. A read that may seriously damage your place in time.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2016-04-19 16:23
Watch out for the scientific geniuses in your life
The Reproductive System - John Sladek

When you read the title The Reproductive System: A science fiction novel what immediately springs to mind? If it's machines that can self-replicate then you're spot on. John Sladek has somehow managed to hit on almost every single sci-fi cliché in this one slim book and create a delicious parody that had me shaking my head at the ridiculousness of it all. The basic premise is that a scientist has discovered how to create machines that can reproduce. However, it's pretty clear that he plans to put them to a nefarious purpose (also the name of my rap group). Characters are introduced almost at random with the most insane backstories and names (Wompler? Sounds like something from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.). In true sci-fi fashion, all the individual storylines merge together at the end to create something completely over the top and scientific ++.  I thought it was a really fun read and if you're a fan of the more 'classic' science fiction novels then you'll most definitely enjoy this. It's satirical and sarcastic without being preachy. In short, it's hilarious.

 

Sorry this one's a bit short but the book itself wasn't that lengthy and I can't say much without revealing the ludicrous plot. :-P

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-03-21 03:31
Let It Shine (Alyssa Cole)
Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole

3.5 stars

I bought this novella (only $0.99) because 1) It's #DABWAHA 2016 nominee (and have been praised at both SBTB and Dear Author websites -- as both gave this novella A/A- rating) and 2) I've been wanting to try interracial romance in my M/F collection too.

For the most part, I enjoyed this -- as a non-American, I found the background of Freedom Rides and the fight for Civil Rights movement in the 1960's to be well-drawn. This story made me doing some Google browsing, reading about what Freedom Rides all about. I found myself learning things and that is one of the best things about reading, right?

Oh, I also found the fact that Ivan's background as Jewish to be interesting -- since Jewish Americans also suffered from prejudice, and the conflict Ivan felt because his father didn't see why he should sympathize with the movement felt real. I liked the heroine too, Sofronia, her struggle and wanting to stand up for her rights was compelling.

Sofronia and Ivan were wonderful; Ivan was winning my heart left and right though. His feeling towards his Sofie was loud and clear and I believed in him completely.

Having said that, I thought some parts of this novella also felt to be rather glossed over, maybe because of the limitation of the length? I guess I wanted to read more about the relationship too, in addition to the social background. I loved the short story though, it made me a bit teary eyed as well.

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text 2016-03-07 00:20
Comeback Love
Comeback Love - Peter Golden

Finally a love story where the aching questions "Why did they break up in the first place?" and "Did they ever get back together?" are answered in one book!  Peter Golden's Comeback Love is a love story about second chances and the one that got away.  As his debut novel I'd say it is an excellent work.

 

The book begins in present day when Gordon Meyers decides to look up his lost love Glenna Rising.  She is surprised to see him but agrees to join him for a drink. As they catch up with each other and reminisce over the past the author takes us back and forth from their previous life to present day as he tells this story.  We are brought back to the 60's when the two meet in a time when they were passionate about their ideals which defined them as well as drew them together. Gordon is a journalist trying to write a book but remains a college student semester by semester whilst avoiding the draft for Vietnam.  Glenna is a med student and caught up in women's rights specifically abortion.  While they are very much in love, their relationship is emotional and intense.  Upon meeting again thirty years later it seems their lives resemble the past.

 

I would describe this as a grown-up love story that feels more believable than most.  It had substance and depth so it did not feel sappy or foolish whatsoever.  I would highly recommend this book to readers who want to graduate from Danielle Steele and/or Nicolas Sparks.  I have put this author's current release "Wherever There is Light" on my wish list.

 

How I acquired this book:  Barnes & Noble clearance shelf

Shelf Life: Two and a half years

 

 

 

 

 

 

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