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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-14 07:55
November 2017 — A Wrap-Up!

I know, I know. It has been forever since I last posted. So, I combined my wrap-up post with an infographic to atone for my er blogging sins.

 

 

For all that they are “novellas”, these books have way too much happening in them! I read and loved the first one (Read my ravings here). This one, I found to be okayish. Maybe it was the attitude of Binti’s family towards her that I didn’t like. Or, maybe it was the plot device, “something that happened a long long time ago is disregarded by everyone to such a degree that its origins are completely lost”. I just don’t buy it. For instance, look at the words that have now become obsolete. They might not be used today but that doesn’t mean they have been erased from the record.

 

I didn’t completely hate it though because it was saved by the ending. It was a cliffhanger where an important character is killed off. Don’t you just love that feeling you get when you don’t know what might happen in the next book? I sure do!

 

 

Someone somewhere (I forget who and where now) described this book as Jane Austen in Dragon world. Of course, I just HAD to read it and duh, I ended up liking it.  I mean, I liked the part about:

putting out a gentle claw

I also liked that the dragon stayed true to their natures yet maintained Austen-tatious sensibilities as a son promised his dying father, his still unestablished siblings would:

take the greater shares when we eat you.

I found myself chuckling when a parson made untoward advances to a maiden of quality. It put me in mind of Mr. Collins. She responded in the right manner:

I am sensible of the honor you do me…

And then I shuddered when the full implications of what had just happened hit me. The maiden’s scales colored when the parson crowded her. She didn’t feel anything for him, yet her honor had been compromised: she had been raped!

 

I rooted for my favorite character: Sebeth, a female dragon who had suffered the same fate when she was kidnapped. She didn’t let a thing like that stop her from falling in love, earning a living, becoming a clerk, and secretly following an outlawed branch of religion.

There was the usual gender discrimination, females with a less than useful dowry, proud males who fell for them, manners and sensibilities, scary rich disapproving mothers in law, and females with backbone who gave no inch.

 

No wonder I loved it!

 

 

If I have to come to expect anything from Wilde’s works, it is laugh-out-loud funny prose that bites:

I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.

This one didn’t disappoint on that account! A ghost who wouldn’t accept its defeat and an American family that refused to be haunted made up the plot:

(said to the ghost) My father will be only too happy to give you a free passage, and though there is a heavy duty on spirots of every kind, there will be no difficulty about the Custom House, as the officers are all Democrats.

It is amazing that Wilde knew exactly the right length of the story and when it should end. If this is what I have to look forward to, I can’t wait to read The Picture of Dorian Gray!

 

Now for the promised infographic: During our trip, we stayed at a hotel for a few days. It was amazing to indulge ourselves in all the hot showers we wanted after we returned to the hotel every night. And, it felt decadent to not have to do anything but sink into the fluffy pillows and let the housekeeping staff take care of the rest. But, we also learned a few things; things that might have helped us save a few bucks had we known about them before.

 

And then, I thought, why not compile them and make them into an infographic? If nothing else, it might help you guys when you go on vacation. So, here goes…

 

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on December 14, 2017.

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review 2017-10-19 16:17
Ghostly Review – The Haunting of Hotel La Belle by Sharon Buchbinder @sbuchbinder
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle - Sharon Buchbinder

I love the beautiful cover for The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder. I am always eager to pay a visit to a haunted place and this is the perfect time of year to do so. Come and in…if you dare.

 

Cover:  Rae Monet

 

 

The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle

 

Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder starts me out with a laugh and I love that.

 

The story begins at Hotel LaBelle in 1905. Finally Lucius’ dreams came true. He’d worked hard, sacrificed much, including his love. He was ‘left’ with a curse from Mourning Dove’s powerful mother.

 

Present Day:  Tallulah was at the Hotel LaBelle to find out why the hotel’s renovations were being delayed. The outside looked like Hotel LaHelle. She hadn’t had a vision in a year and she wondered, “Why now?”

 

Enter Lucius:  who is neither alive nor dead. My thoughts are of a very unusual romance. Is it possible?

 

Both the living and the dead want her there, to fix what is broken, to save Hotel LaBelle.

The Native American mysticism adds that extra element that intrigues me, that takes this creatively written paranormal/supernatural read to a special place. I love haunted buildings and ghosts. Tallulah also has a dog, a pug. Any time a critter appears in a book I am reading, it adds a little spice to the story. The writing has a humorous side, along with the mystery, and all I can say is, “I want to return to Hotel LaBelle:”

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/ghostly-review-the-haunting-of-hotel-la-belle-by-sharon-buchbinder-sbuchbinder
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review 2017-03-25 13:42
Spooky
America's Secret Hauntings (Most Haunted Places Series) - Sarah Ashley

While I am slightly annoyed that my home state was not in this book, Ashley's book is quite a good collection of haunted places, including histories of the places. Nicely done, with illustrations. Ashley's tone is good and engaging. Not a dull read.

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review 2017-02-27 23:17
Book Review of The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow (Haunted Series Book 1) by Alexie Aaron
The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow - Alexie Aaron

Little Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Haunted Series. I really enjoyed it.

 

Mia Cooper is a likable character. She has been able to see ghosts since being a child. However, her ability has left her a bit of a pariah and loner. When a ghostly sighting leads to a group of paranormal investigators visiting Cold Creek Hollow, she finds herself involved in a race against a malevolent and ancient evil that threatens the residents.

 

I actually purchased this book when I first bought my Kindle way back in 2012. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I haven't been able to read this book until recently. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

 

I started to read the book and quickly became intrigued. I found myself completely riveted by the story, though I did find some of the characters to be a little under developed. I must admit that I did like Deputy Whitney (Whit to his friends) Martin at first. However, he also can be a thoughtless and chauvinistic jerk and I wanted to slap him on more than one occasion. He and Mia have a history (though not romantic on his part even though Mia had a crush on him - they went to school together). Whit is married to Sherry, who is an aspiring artist who wants to show her work in the Museum of Modern Art. The paranormal investigators are an interesting bunch. They are: Burt Hicks and Mike Dupree, who are the leaders, then there are Amber (presenter), Beth (researcher) and Ted (camera/soundman). Rose Malloy is the town's real estate agent and has a penchant for gossip, which she uses for her own gain. However, I think my favourite character has to be Murphy. He has a sense of humour to match his razor sharp axe. He also happens to be a ghost and can only communicate through mime to Mia, or by using his axe to chop wood.

 

The story is told through the eyes of several of the characters. This gives the reader an opportunity to see different view points, I must admit that I enjoyed this aspect. This story has a slow-burning undercurrent of suspense to it that completely had me hooked. I wasn't sure where the author was going with this story at first, but as the history of the Hollow and horror of it was uncovered, I found myself feeling sorry for the ghostly inhabitants that were caught up in a vengeful evil. I also found myself turning the pages in a effort to find out what would happen next, as there are several twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I also enjoyed the romance aspect between Mia and Burt and thought they made a lovely couple and were well suited.

 

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours and, to say it's a four hundred and forty-three page book, that's how engrossing it was. There is mystery, danger, horror and happiness within the pages and it took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I did think that the explanation the author gave for the vengeful spirit's evil was a little disappointing, and I couldn't feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters apart from Murphy; this made me feel sad. I felt that the ending was a little anti-climatic for me, even though it concluded satisfactorily. Nevertheless, I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Ghostly Attachments, when I have the chance.

 

Alexie Aaron has written a wonderful supernatural horror. I love her fast paced writing style. However, I found the flow a little jerky at times. This is the first book I have read by this author, but it will not be my last (I hope).

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature (though not explicit), as well as violence and horror, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love supernatural or paranormal horror. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-02-24 17:48
Review: Ghostland: No Man's Land
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey
Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead - Christine Wicker

  I was quite excited to spend my monthly Audible credit on this book; what a fascinating idea--reframing American history by examining our relationship with our landmark haunted locales.

 

I, unfortunately, have returned it to Audible.

 

Each house is well-chosen: the Lemp mansion, for example, as a haunted touchstone in American history and culture...

and then debunked as an actual, or at least a full as-known haunting by the author. Chapter after chapter.

 

I hung on through the underlayer of smugness until the author stated repeatedly that Spiritualism didn't last, it was dead, it was no longer a thriving practice in the United States. Then I stopped reading. Why? I had reached the intolerable level of poor scholarship and research. There is an entire town of Spiritualists who live and work as such, in plain sight, and have done so for years: Lily Dale. Both a documentary and a book are available about Lily Dale, New York, and both are easy to find:

 

Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead * Christine Wicker

 

HBO Documentaries: No One Dies in Lily Dale

 

Side note: The author was also treated well by the Lemp Mansion's hosts, taken on their Haunted Tour, and given the choice room--one that is on the tour because it is reported to exhibit so much phenomena. His entire account of his Lemp tour and stay was mocking, in my opinion, disdainful of staff, location's history, and even his fellow tour group members! I feel as if I have been subjected to a history book written by a hipster: "Look, we're supposed to be enjoying this. OMG, all these people are really enjoying this! I cannot wait 'til I return to my cocktail and typewriter." Combined with the shoddy research, and some debunking claims without citations, this book is disappointedly unprofessional.

 

Also posted at The Dollop: American History Podcast

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