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review 2017-10-21 14:46
Last Words
Last Words: A Diary of Survival - Shari J Ryan Emma's grandmother, Amelia is the rock of her family. That is, until the day Amelia suffers a stroke. At this point, Emma's life is forced to come into focus. Amelia suddenly wants Emma to find her old diary, one she wrote during the Holocaust, and a man named Charlie. Oh, and Amelia has also conned her cardiologist, Jackson into taking Emma on a date. When Emma finds her grandmother's diary, she is launched into a world of secrets from Amelia's life and horrors that she could not believe. In addition, Emma also reads about love found within the concentration camp. Amelia and Nazi Soldier, Charlie Crane find one another during the worst of times. Charlie, though a Nazi, has simply been forced to serve since a youth. In reading Amelia's story of survival and love, Emma comes to realize what she has been missing and dives into her new relationship with Jackson. However, she is now in a race against time to find the Charlie from her grandmother's past as Amelia's health worsens. I have always loved historical fiction and I'm so glad Shari took on such a heavy topic. Inspired by her own grandmother, Shari has weaved together a story of past and present, survival and loss and heartbreak and love. I was pulled into Amelia's story with her strength and tenacity throughout the pain, hardship, loss and desperation of being separated from her family and watching those around her continuously die while she lived with help and hope from Charlie. With alternating viewpoints of Amelia's diary and Emma's blossoming love life, I was given a reprieve from the Holocaust and given a taste of Shari's specialty with Emma and Jackson, a sweet and sultry romance. Through reading Amelia's diary together, Emma and Jackson are brought together quickly, realizing that love is something that you should hold on to. With just enough hints of spice, their relationship heats up quickly. I was also engrossed by the mystery of Charlie; was he alive, had he moved on, would Emma find him on time? I was glad for Amelia's happily ever after, although it came seventy-four years late. Most of all this story this story is about remembering those who fought to survive and the power of love when we have lost all else. This is also a way to remember those who have survived this hateful time in history and to make sure we have all of their last words recorded so that we will never forget. This book was received for free in return for an honest review
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review 2017-10-21 05:56
Seeing is believing, I guess
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Disclosure:  I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I knew the author, Trana Mae ("TM") Simmons, twenty-odd years ago when we were members of Romance Writers of America.  We attended several conferences together, at which we socialized.  I have had no contact with her for at least 15 years, and never knew anything about her paranormal adventures.  This is actually the first of her writing I've ever read.

 

Do I personally believe in ghosts?  Well, I don't completely disbelieve.  And I haven't even told you the story of the 7-Up bottle that floated through the air in front of me.

 

That being said, I went into the reading of this with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I emerged with that skepticism intact.  TM and her crew of ghost-hunters seem to have remarkably good luck finding ghosts and sending them on their way through The Light so they don't haunt any more.  The few techniques she reveals for her "cleansing" of haunted places are an odd mixture of neo-paganism and traditional Christian rites involving sea salt and olive oil and burning sage.  Nothing unusual, nothing spectacular.

 

Could have used a bit more proofreading and even a little bit of editing, but it wasn't too terrible.

 

An easy read and diverting, and only mildly creepy.  ;-)

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-10-20 18:34
Reading progress update: I've read 47%.
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Could have been edited and proofread a little better, and there is a lot for the avowed skeptic to roll her eyes at.

 

I'm not quite that much of a skeptic, so it's still fun reading.

 

Research material.

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text 2017-10-19 20:03
Reading progress update: I've read 29%.
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Research material.

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review 2017-10-19 05:52
Mr. Bean's Diary by Robin Driscoll & Rowan Atkinson
Mr Bean's Diary - Robin Driscoll,Rowan Atkinson

A hilarious diary presents a zany chronicle of a year in the life of Mr. Bean, from his New Year's resolutions to the trials and tribulations of romance, poetry class, and run-ins with the local police. 

Amazon.com

 

 

 

*This review is based on my 1993 edition of this book. A second edition was released in 2010

 

 

First published in the UK in 1993, Mr. Bean's Diary is the result of teamwork between Robin Driscoll (British actor / writer for the Mr. Bean show) and Mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson. Here, fans of the show will get a peek into Bean's daily scheduler, which offers hilarious insight into his wacky psyche (not to mention his wild inventions!). 

 

 

Sometimes there's some cutesy humor -- Bean having a brief flirtation with the idea of marriage, so he decides to stalk a librarian who catches his eye. Then there's a darker vein of humor, almost in the style of the Ace Ventura "LACES OUT!" bit. There's also some trouble with the police thrown in. One of my favorites was Bean's trip to a psychic medium, where he tries to connect with his mother to ask her where the plunger is so he can unclog the sink (funny, but in a way also rings a little sad). He also mentions posing a question to Charles Dickens regarding his novel Edwin Drood, to which the apparent reply was "Haven't made up my mind yet." :-P Longtime fans of the show will also see plenty of nods to classic content, such as Bean's love of Shirley Bassey and of course regularly avoiding interaction with the landlord Mrs. Wicket. 

 

 

The attention to detail on each individual page is quite impressive. It's fun to spot things such as tea stains, blood splatters, passport photos of the back of Bean's head LOL, pressed insects. There's even one page layout that features a pressed flower on one side with faint flower residue on the other! 

 

 

Some of my favorite entries:

 

* His telephone directory in the front: "God -- Everywhere (Literally, apparently)"

 

* Has a bad day, writes "Whiskey is lovely" in squiggly, run-off cursive. 

* Jan. 19th: "12:15 Lunch in park. 12:25 Left park (too much poo)"

* Feb 15-23 blank entries, Feb 24th "FOUND DIARY!"

* July 27th: "Scream ---> Pull Self Together"

* "Christmas Day, 1992: "3pm -- The Queen"

 

Also be sure to check out the bonus flip book in the upper right hand corner featuring Bean's car!

 

 

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