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text 2017-11-23 17:09
Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson 99 cents! Great fun!
Apples Should Be Red - Penny Watson

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Start with 62-year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon.

Add 59-year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.

Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.

Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.

Tastes like happily ever after.

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review 2017-10-18 20:05
Five Slices of Halloween Horror – Bad Apples #BadApples
Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror - Edward Lorn,Evans Light,Jason Parent,Adam Light,Gregor Xane

Bad Apples is Five Slices of Halloween Horror.

 

I received and read this book in October of 2014, but…

 

Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror

MY REVIEW

 

These unique, gruesome and devilishly delicious stories will have you looking over your shoulder, jumping at every noise and shadow.

 

Be careful of wandering dark streets at night.

 

The authors twisted imaginations take horror to the highest levels with  surprise endings and plenty of twists and turns along the way.

 

Four stars all the way!

 

The Riggle Twins by Gregor Xane

 

Pretty gross and devilishly delicious with tricks and treats for the Halloween hater. Do you have a dark house on Halloween, no candy for the treaters? Beware…egging and tping are not the only tricks these children have in store for you. 4 Stars

 

Pumpkinhead Ted by Evans Light

 

What they did to Ted is so awful…I can’t tell you. You’ll have to read it for yourself. BUT, he is back, one year later, for payback. OMG. I never saw that coming. Evans Light takes me to a place that smacks me around and makes me scream UNCLE! 4 Stars

Ghost Light Road by Adam Light

 

Of course, someone saw the light. Of course, what happens next, had to happen. I actually laughed. Dumbasses! Here comes the badness. You think vampires and werewolves are scary, you haven’t met Uncle Jesse’s children…and you really don’t want to. 4 Stars

 

Easy Pickings by Jason Parent

 

Beware. What goes around, comes around. Like a cat playing with its prey, I know something is coming…Now…No, now….Uh Oh. 4 Stars

 

The Scare Rows by Edward Lorn

 

Children of the Corn and Supernatural on steroids. I didn’t see this story developing the way it did, but I should not have been surprised, with Edward’s twisted imagination. Horror, perverted sex and evil do go together well. I wondered how he would end The Scare Rows and I couldn’t help but laugh when I got there. Corn Whisky…HA HA HA HA HA! Excellent. 5 Stars

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Bad Apples.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

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review 2017-08-26 21:11
The Duke of Snow and Apples
The Duke of Snow and Apples (Entangled Select) - Elizabeth Vail

Frederick is a duke in hiding. As a servant. Charlotte wants to land a husband. I picked this up because it sounded interesting, a gender-swapped Cinderella/Snow White, and I happen to really like fairy tale retellings. Plus, I bought this when it came out a few years ago.....and forgot all about it. Then I needed a book for one of the Bingo games/challenges I'm in (debut author shelf).
This really didn't work for me. There wasn't anything that I really liked. The characters, mainly Charlotte got better as the book progressed. (Okay, that's *1* thing). This read more like a historical romance with fantasy (magic/fey) elements thrown in. I couldn't decide what it wanted to be: a historical romance or a romantic fantasy. While there are overly descriptive moments (oh very many, my eyes crossed), I thought the world building could have been more. It was slowly paced. 
Frederick was okay. He finely got some assertiveness towards the end. Charlotte, my first thought was: Spoiled brat. I. Did. Not. Like. Her. It took all of the book to somewhat like her. Or I should say, dislike her a little less. I can be quite forgiving when I adore the main characters. 
When I'm on the fence about a rating, I really should write out what I want to say first and then star rate. A 2 is too high. Changing this to a 1. This would have been DNF'd but for the Bingo challenge.

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review 2017-07-30 15:25
THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert
The Simplicity of Cider - Amy E. Reichert

Sanna only wants to made the perfect blends of cider. Isaac wants to give his 10-year old son, Bass, a last innocent summer. Their worlds collide when Sanna's father hires Issac to work on their apple orchard. Sanna and Isaac are attracted but with the baggage both carry they try to keep is simple between them.

I loved Sanna and Isaac. They are both strong people who are carrying heavy burdens. Betrayals abound in this story--parents and children, husbands and wives, neighbors. Watching how the thinking of each character is muddled until they come clean with the truth is interesting. I liked how the chapters changed between Sanna and Isaac. I also liked how Eva, the real estate agent, also has some chapters from her point-of-view as well as Bass has a few scenes. I liked how Sanna's thinking develops in regards to the orchard and her burdens. I enjoyed this story.

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review 2017-01-28 09:52
I enjoyed the story, the characters, the historical detail, the beautiful language and yes, the trees too
At the Edge of the Orchard - Tracy Chevalier

Thanks to NetGalley and to HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction, The Borough Press for providing me with an ARC copy of this book that I voluntarily choose to review.

Tracy Chevalier was one of the authors that I had wanted to read for a long while but somehow never got around to it. When I saw this title on offer I decided it was now or never. For me, it was well-worth the wait, but more about that later.

The book follows the story of a family who moves from Connecticut to Ohio in the XIX century and later of their youngest son, Robert and his adventures. It is divided into several parts, and it is symmetrical and beautifully composed. We first get to know the parents, James and Sarah (Sadie), whose first-person narrations alternate, and whose points of view and personalities couldn’t be more different. Then there are the letters that Robert, their youngest son, writes back home, which give us a brief insight into his adventures, without narrating every little detail. Then there is the narration of Robert’s adventures, this time in the third person, and how he goes full circle and after trying many things ends up working with trees, his father’s life mission. There follow the letters for his youngest sister, Martha, who tries to find him and also tell a story that would have been much more difficult to read if it had been told in detail. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but let’s say her way of talking about her experiences make them more poignant for me. Robert was right when he told her she was stronger than she thought she was.) Then we go back to James and Sadie’s story, picking it up at the time where it had been disrupted, and by the end of the novel, we’re back to Robert’s story. Although the story goes backwards and forwards in time, I did not find it difficult as the times and the narrative voices are well and clearly delineated.

Life in the swamp is vividly described as harsh and demanding. It kills animals, people, and crops. It also can destroy the spirits of some individuals. The only bright spot are the apples (be the sweetness and the joy of growing them, for James, or the cider and Applejack for Sadie). Here I found myself fascinated by the description of the trees, the process of looking after them, what they came to represent, the fights over the different types of apple trees, and later about the love of people for the sequoias and the business involved in exporting trees. It has happened to me more than once that when I read about a subject I’d never thought much about; I become entranced by it, not because of the subject itself, but of the passion and beauty with which it was written about. I remember, as an example of this, American Pastoral by Philip Roth. I’d never given a second thought to glove making before reading that book, but I the way the craft was described, so lovingly. In this case, to Chevalier’s advantage, I like apples and trees, although I’ve never studied them in depth, but I loved the factual knowledge, the beauty of the language, and the use of true historical figures, as the author explains in her notes. As a note of warning, having read some of the reviews, not everybody found that part interesting. I guess I’m more of a James (or a Robert) than a Sadie in that respect.

The characters are not immediately relatable to or even likeable, but they do ring true. Both parents seem to be trapped in relationships and roles not of their liking but unable to do anything else, at a time when survival was the main object and most people had to put up with their lot in life, like it or not. Robert is a quiet man, who prefers nature to the company of others, but he is also loyal and more attached to people than he likes to acknowledge, even to himself. The book is built around a secret he keeps, although for me that was incidental and not the hook that kept me reading. He ends up becoming fonder of people and, like the trees of the story gets to move around and see the world. Martha, his sister, is a great character (she would have made an interesting protagonist too, but perhaps her story would have been too bleak) but does not get a lot of space in the book. Some of the secondary characters, based on historical ones, like John Chapman and William Lobb, deserve whole volumes dedicated to their endeavours, and some fictional characters, like the housekeeper and Molly, are larger than life.

I can’t compare it to any other of Chevalier’s books, but I enjoyed the story, the characters, the historical detail, the beautiful language and yes, the trees too. I recommend it to lovers of historical fiction who are happy to delve into the texture and the feel of an era or an occupation. And now I have to try and catch up with the rest of her books.

 

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