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review 2018-10-14 16:20
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Tribute - Nora Roberts

Cilla McGowan, washed-up star, comes to Virginia to restore her famous grandmother's house. But someone doesn't want Cilla around, determined to do anything to drive her out of town. But she's not alone; her hot and quirky neighbor, Ford Sawyer, a comic book author, is close at hand to help...And to keep her in Virginia.


What makes this book (if you saw the TV movie, the book is way better, even though you know who did it) memorable is Ford Sawyer. He deserves five stars all on his own. I love the guy. What's not to love after all. He was nerdy, quirky, hot, protective, loyal, deceptively laid back and relaxed and so damned in love it made me want to go out and find me a Ford of my own.
Compared to him, Cilla, the heroine, paled and I must say I didn't really know her, not even in the end. It's not every day the heroine plays such a second fiddle to the hero. She was rather formulaic, a pretty standard NR heroine with a chip on her shoulder and an independent streak. But she was rather bland and generic.
Heck, Spock the dog had more personality than she did. The supporting cast was more interesting than she was. I don't know how to explain it, she left me quite cold and disinterested.

The suspense was good, even though I knew who the villain was. If I didn't, the identity would've been a huge surprise, something I wouldn't have seen coming, which is always a plus. The big bad was pleasantly twisted, wearing a perfectly innocuous mask, which made the big reveal that more coldly shocking.

The book started off rather slow and I didn't much care for the flashback/dream scenes, but it picked up the pace toward the end, creating a nice feeling of anticipation. The hero was adorable, the supporting cast provided a nice backdrop to the story and the shop talk, though rather abundant, didn't deter from the overall enjoyment.

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text 2018-07-04 16:03
The Color of Water by James McBride $1.99
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother - James McBride

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.

 

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan's free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

 

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

 

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth's determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

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review 2018-05-03 03:14
CHUD Lives! Tribute Anthology Review
C.H.U.D. LIVES!: A Tribute Anthology - Jonathan Maberry

I agreed to read an ARC copy of C.H.U.D. Lives even though I honestly couldn’t remember if I had ever seen the movie. I didn’t think it would matter too much if I hadn’t. (I know, I know. That was a horrible idea. But I thought “Its a book with stories about a cheesy monster movie. How much background info do I need?”) About halfway through the anthology, I rented the C.H.U.D. movie. I’m very glad I did, as some of the stories just really didn’t make sense with nothing to base them upon. The very first story, for example, D.O.G. W.A.L.K.E.R. from Robert E. Waters seemed really tame actually left me a little leery of the rest of the book. I’d even given it an initial rating of 2 out of 5. However, after seeing the movie, (specifically its opening scenes), I knew what the story was referring to, and suddenly I appreciated it a lot more. There’s a story that continues the story of George, Lauren, and Bosch after the end of the movie that you need the background for as well, I think. Gives the movie a bit of an alternate ending, if you will.

 

My favorite story from the C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  was T.H.A.T.S. E.N.T.E.R.T.A.I.N.M.E.N.T. by Mort Castle. It doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the book, given the way things are going today, it was a very fitting piece to include. I think they timed the inclusion right as well, as things had reached sort of a natural climax in the preceding stories and needed a bit of a breather.  And the stories section of the book ends on an explosive note with the story from Jonathan Maberry and Eugene Johnson, called Y.O.U. W.I.L.L. N.E.V.E.R. L.E.A.V.E. H.A.R.L.A.N. A.L.I.V.E. While I’ll admit I expected something a little bit more from this story, I couldn’t deny that the ending felt pretty good!

 

This is an anthology jam packed with names that most readers will recognize. For the most part, the A-Game is definitely brought on the stories. The introduction by Dave Drake is lovely, and Eric S. Brown does a great job with the interview with Andrew Bonime at the beginning, and the interview at the end with Parnell Hall. One of my favorite things about the  C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  was the flow. It’s obvious that a lot of work and thought went into this book, and it paid off in a big way. While I might not be a fan of every story in the book, I’m definitely a fan of the book as a whole.

 

I think that for true C.H.U.D. lovers, the  C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  is a must-read. Other readers will enjoy it as well (especially once you’ve seen the movie!)

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

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review 2018-04-20 00:00
C.H.U.D. LIVES!: A Tribute Anthology
C.H.U.D. LIVES!: A Tribute Anthology - Jonathan Maberry First of all I have to say I didn't want to read C.H.U.D. LIVES!: A Tribute Anthology because it was based on the 1984 cult classic horror movie. It's been a long time since I've seen the movie so I didn't remember it well. I got this book because I've read a lot of the authors in it before and Crystal Lake Publishing puts out some awesome horror anthologies. I also loved the idea that it included interviews with a couple of the people who worked on the C.H.U.D. movie. It felt like a love letter to people who never forget the horror films they grew up watching. For the record if you love 80's pop culture this book has a lot of references to the 1980's which was a great decade for horror.

One of my favorites of the 19 stories in this book was Strange Gods by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes. There's a new religion in the sewers of New York. They worship two gods named Gog and Magog who bring purpose and purity to some but a vicious death to others. I love the concept of people trying to find meaning in a city where homeless people are getting eaten by monsters. I enjoyed the religious references here and the will to survive of the non-believers and how the non-believers come across as normal compared to the ones who started a new religion.

Another good one was Lost And Found by Greg Mitchell. This one is about a Grandpa taking his granddaughter to New York to visit her uncle just before the C.H.U.D's wreak havoc in the city. This story deals with themes of redemption and standing up against the things you fear the most. For a short story it makes a great point on the importance of family and deals with both a physical horror with the C.H.U.D.'s and the psychological fear of abandonment and feeling powerless.

Samsa's Party by Ben Fisher was another one that stuck out for me. This one is about a man whose back has been against the wall his whole life and recently he's been living in the sewer. Things get worse though as people in the sewer go missing and the ones left are changing into something horrible. What I loved in this one was how so much depth is given to the homeless people before they become victims to what lurks in the darkness. Monstrous Me by Martin Powell is in the same vein. It's told in a diary format and follows the story of a woman who is slowly changing from human into a C.H.U.D. I loved how the change happened as the main character loses her taste for food and craves human flesh instead. The author makes you care for this person and then you watch her slowly loose her mind and become a monster.

Reading C.H.U.D. Lives! is like reading a 1980's horror movie if that was possible. Even the stories I thought were mediocre were still a lot of fun to read. Each story seemed to have heroes that had a lot of depth to them while the C.H.U.D.s came across as the ultimate unstoppable horror. In a world of vampire and zombie anthologies this book stands above the rest by being based on a movie that many people probably don't remember. This book is a must read for hard-core horror fans.
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review 2017-12-18 06:40
Little help
Tribute Act - Joanna Chambers

This is book #8, in the Porthkennack series.  This title can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding of the series, I always recommend reading the series books in order.

 

Mack & Nathan have a hot history.  One that they agreed they would keep private.  Mack is already under the weather and needs to recuperate without added stress.  Only he wants to be more with Nathan and does not know how.

 

Nathan is really needing to move on.  For right now, he helps a man who he wants to keep.  Only he promised to keep things simple.  Can he convince his new roomy that complicated is better?

 

This was such a sweet story.  Unexpectedly light in some parts, I really felt the story deeply.  I sure hope we see these characters again.  Compelling for more than one reason, this book is a sure win!  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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