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review 2018-09-18 11:33
‘Dark Descent’ gives Elizabeth Frankenstein a voice, in a retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic, now 200 years old
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten White

It has been two hundred years since an eighteen-year old Mary Shelley gave life to one of the most haunting novels of all time and the first true work of science fiction, so Kiersten White’s retelling of ‘Frankenstein’ couldn’t come at a more perfect time. To think that the original book was written when a young girl accepted the challenge of writing a ‘ghost story’, and she originally didn’t lay claim to her own work.

 

Kiersten White has chosen to write ‘Dark Descent’ as a retelling from Elizabeth Lavenza’s perspective, a feminist retelling if there possibly can be one, set in a time when women were taught to be objects to be acquired.
In Shelley’s story, Elizabeth Lavenza (later to become Frankenstein) is a ‘gift’ given to Victor Frankenstein, a socially awkward child, and she is taken in by the affluent Frankenstein family in Geneva, saving her from her own mother and a life of destitution. Young Elizabeth tries desperately to win the favors of the volatile Victor, and to secure her place in the Frankenstein household, and soon brings in another young girl, Justine, much like herself, saving her from a life similar to her own. Justine Moritz is brought into the home as a governess to the other Frankenstein children, a calling that she is a natural at, and she and Elizabeth become fast friends. Much of this background is given to the reader by way of flashback interludes, as are the times that Elizabeth and Victor spent together back in Geneva before he leaves.

 

‘Dark Descent’ traces Elizabeth’s and Justine’s footsteps as they travel to Ingolstadt to find Victor - and his friend, Henry - which is where he went to continue ‘his studies’, but recently haven’t heard from. Following clues that are found in his letters home, they don’t have much to go on, but Elizabeth fears Victor’s obsessions and fevers have overcome him, and only she knows how to help him.
She also comes to the realization of what his experiments really signify, and wants to protect them from being discovered.

 

Without going further (maybe there are some people out there who don’t know the Frankenstein tale), what I will say is that this is a captivating, dark, and tragic story; times were bleak for many, and even more dismal for women, and this is made painfully clear in this retelling. White has made sure to paint a vivid picture of the ugly prospects that women had in the times of Elizabeth Frankenstein: the choices she mulls over in her head constantly are framed by how society judged women’s place in society and expected them to behave. None of that was science-fiction, and it provides a fascinating historical perspective, and leading questions into feminism. It’s not by coincidence that Shelley herself was the daughter of radical social philosophers, with her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, being a writer of one of the most important founding works on family structure and women’s education in the eighteenth-century.

 

*It’s worth noting too, that the backstory and tumultuous early life of Elizabeth mirrors that of Mary Shelley (brought up by foster parents, suffered a lot of losses in her life). I find this fascinating, and feel that this permeates the writing of the original novel, and White tries to reflect this shadowing of tumultuousness, particularly in the flashbacks.

Initially I found the book slow to get into, but I later likened it to the slow discoveries that Elizabeth was making, and how the travel at the time must have felt, and I realized that this is the type of novel that I didn’t need to rush through after all. That said, at about half way, the pace picked up considerably and I didn’t want to put it down. Once the ‘monster’ comes into the story, everything seems to happen almost too quickly, and I had a lot of overwhelming emotions in the second half of the book that made it a weightier read as it went on, descending further into grief and desperation. The title is incredibly apt in that respect. I also especially love that the tone and prose feel in keeping with the period; Kiersten did an excellent job with this.

 

Few works of fiction can garner the status of crossing so many genres (horror, romance, sci-fi, literary fiction), have affected pop culture and so many types of media, for so many generations, and with one mention of the title, conjure up so vivid images and visceral reactions to its central story. Kiersten White has captured those images and the emotions effectively inside her version, without the cartoonish depiction of the modern monster, returning him to Shelley’s imagining. Upon reading, there is a sense that Elizabeth and the monster have much in common, and the misunderstanding from the world around them is palpable. There is a distinct uneasiness at the end though, and much like the end of the ‘Frankenstein’, and even ‘Dracula’, you’re left with the feeling that things are unfinished, and that the myth will continue. It’s a feeling I relish. If you have a taste for dark, gothic, or classic fiction, give this one a read; it’s also a fabulous pick especially for lovers of classic horror and science-fiction. Thank you, Mary Shelley!

 

*Kudos as always to Regina Flath for her brilliant design of the cover. Stunning.

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2305950033
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review 2018-09-18 11:00
New Release Review! Rescuing the Virgin (The McKenna Legacy #9) Patricia Rosemoor!

 

 

Can an undercover ICE agent and a virgin taken off the street and sold as a prostitute while searching for her missing brother work together to bring down a human trafficking ring?


When it comes to love, his grandmother’s legacy hasn’t worked for Quinlan McKenna Farrell as it has for his siblings and cousins. Working as an ICE agent shows him the darker side of human nature. He’s haunted by his failure to bring down a human trafficking ring in Texas. Then he meets Luz Delgado, sold to Quin as a virgin. He soon learns she’s an American in desperate straits, needing to be free of the ring and to save her brother. As she gets to know Quin, she realizes he can not only read people but communicate with animals that give him their trust—both abilities inherited from his grandmother. Quin tries to protect Luz, but she’s determined to help him bring down the human trafficking operation. And when she goes missing, a panicked Quin realizes Luz is his grandmother’s love legacy for him.

 

 

 

Lots of thrills and excitement pepper this McKenna Legacy romance as the Quin and Luz try to bring down a human trafficking operation. Quin and Luz are sturdy, captivating characters that draw readers into their story as this couple discover love during a rescue / take down mission. Quin is an ICE agent that doesn’t always follow the rules and Luz steps outside of her comfort zone in order to find her half-brother and the romance between these two might full of sizzling chemistry but their relationship is in no way a given as Quin is under the impression that he has missed his happily ever opportunity and doesn’t and it takes a while for his head to catch up with his heart. Both characters are stubborn and determined which has sparks flying in every direction throughout the thrilling and adrenaline pumping suspense as they search out bad guys, escape from the bad guys, and confront the bad guys all while dealing with a few surprises along the way. This keeps readers hanging on to the edge of their seat while reading this fast paced and smooth flowing McKenna Legacy romance.

 

 

Add Rescuing the Virgin to your shelves at -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6432899-rescuing-the-virgin-the-mckenna-legacy

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/rescuing-the-virgin-the-mckenna-legacy-book-9-by-patricia-rosemoor

 

 

Rescuing the Virgin (originally published by Harlequin Intrigue) is the 9th book in The McKenna Legacy series -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/71447-the-mckenna-legacy

 

Author - https://patriciarosemoor.com/the-mckenna-legacy-series/


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F92YKN6?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

which includes:


See Me in Your Dreams
Tell Me No Lies
Touch Me in the Dark
Never Cry Wolf
Mysterious Stranger
Cowboy Protector
Wolf Moon
In Name Only
Rescuing the Virgin

 

 

 

in ebook at -

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Rescuing-Virgin-McKenna-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B07GFBPCBY/


iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rescuing-the-virgin-the-mckenna-legacy-book-9/id1426749073?mt=11


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rescuing-the-virgin-patricia-rosemoor/1016531938?ean=2940155775645


Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rescuing-the-virgin-the-mckenna-legacy-book-9

 

 

 

 

With 100 novels and more than seven million books in print, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor is fascinated with "dangerous love" – combining romance with danger. She has written various forms of romantic and paranormal romantic thrillers, bringing a different mix of thrills and chills to her stories.


Website - http://www.patriciarosemoor.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/65795.Patricia_Rosemoor

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaRosemoorAuthor

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/PRosemoor

 

G+ - https://plus.google.com/+PatriciaRosemoor/posts

 

Pintrest - https://www.pinterest.com/prosemoor/

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/patricia-rosemoor

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-18 09:00
Pre 31 Days of Halloween [Movies I've Seen Recently]

I got a little head start on 31 Days of Halloween, so here are some movies I've seen recently. I know it isn't books, but I thought I would drop some reviews/ratings/thoughts here as I watch the movies.

 

Sept 7th, 2018 I watched The Sixth Sense (1999) 10/10

 

The Sixth Sense

 

This was my third time watching this. It is a great movie in my opinion. After you've watched this movie once or more, watching it again, it is really interesting to see the subtle clues that point to the twist that happens later on.

For example, when the husband sits next to his sleeping wife; she is holding tissues, has been crying and suddenly gets really cold. The wife seems to be angry at the main character throughout the movie, basically "ignoring" him.

(spoiler show)


I feel like everything is done really well and it all makes sense at the end. This is the type of movie that makes you think, even months and years later. The acting from child actor Haley Joel Osment is top notch; I think he had a natural talent.

 

 Sept 8th, 2018 I watched Sharknado (2013) 7/10

 

Sharknado

 

My review: Totally awful! But I still enjoyed it. My favorite character was the stool. The best actor out of the cast. Go into this one thinking of it as comedy, and a parody at that. The acting is bad and sometimes it feels purposely bad. Nothing in this makes sense or could even remotely happen. You can't go into this expecting it to be realistic. Haha

 

My notes while watching because there is a lot about this movie that makes you take pause. Spoilers ahead. As if you care.

 

1. The movie starts with people cutting the fins off of sharks for shark fin stew. As far as I'm concerned these people deserve to be attacked, and it's only fitting that they get attacked by tornado sharks.

 

2. There's a business man in a suit negotiating a price for all of the fins, I'm assuming for a restaurant. I just got to wonder why doesn't he just negotiate the price on land? He's like a fish out of water, and he's going to get what's coming to him! I'm guessing the fisherman didn't want to do it on land because it would take away from their time hunting the sharks.

 

3. The first person to get eaten by a shark is hilarious! Hilariously bad, sharks don't eat like that.

 

4. Marcus Choi's character Palmer got shot by Israel Saez de Miguel's character, Captain Carlos, then eaten by a shark. Carlos got shredded pretty much and got what he deserved.

 

5. Haha, Steve Sanders is in this movie. He was known for the 1990 90210. Now known for Sharknado. I grew up watching the show. Never realized he was just 2 years younger than my mom, yet he played a teenager.

 6. These beachgoers have no idea that they're not safe when they see the sharks in the water. They start running and screaming and I'm thinking typically you wouldn't think you were in danger if you're on the beach! 12 minutes into the movie. At this point, nobody knows the sharks can attack on land.

 7. "Don't you ever make fun of my stool again." 20 minutes in. Old dude comes through.

 8. You were wearing a red shirt! What did you expect?

 

9. Sharks growl... um...

 

10. How many more people are going to come out of the shark and be totally fine? It's a miracle...

 

Sept 9th, 2018 I watched The Diabolical (2015) 6/10

 

 

Once you know the twist, any scary factor it might have is out the window. That being said, I did not find this scary or even spooky. I'm not an expert, but I don't think that is how "blank" works. "blank" = the twist. The acting from the mom and children were okay, I guess. I liked Ali Larter in the Resident Evil movies, which is a nostalgic franchise for me. That is the reason I decided to watch this.

Cliche elements, predictable, and slow paced. Don't get me wrong, I love a good slow burn horror film. This isn't one.

 

Sept 10th, 2018 I watched The Conjuring (2013) 8/10

 

The Conjuring

 

I don't have a proper review, but I liked the movie and think the child actors were great.

 

Sept 11th, 2018 I watched Casper Meets Wendy (1998) 10/10 (haha)

 

Casper Meets Wendy

 

Don't judge me. Nostalgia wins. Bad special effects, super cheesy, hey it was the 90s, but the movie hits a warm and fuzzy spot. I needed a light-hearted movie. My mood was really low. This movie has some dark undertones, but it is a kids movie and it made me happy for an hour & a half.

 

Sept 12th, 2018 I watched Monster Family (2017) 6/10

 

Happy Family (2017)

 

Slow to start, boring, and I was thinking "what the heck is this movie?" Monster Family doesn't pick up until after the family is transformed. There is a lot of adult humor. Dracula trying to woo a married woman is one of the reasons I wonder if this was never meant to be a "kids" movie. The description of this movie is wrong. Dracula is the one who makes the "evil witch" curse the family.

The movie had some humor and some heartfelt moments and of course some good old fashioned life lessons. Always be yourself; it doesn't matter what people think of you, beauty doesn't last...etc.

The voice acting sounds a bit off as if these are actors who have never done much voice acting.

 

Sept 13th, 2018 I watched Piranah (2010) 4/10

 

https://resizing.flixster.com/DZ1AE7DbjRDIhYHh_-HrueX2Ad8=/206x305/v1.bTsxMjQ3NDM0NztqOzE3ODI5OzEyMDA7MTUwNzsyMTUy

 

 A 4 might be a bit generous. This is really just a gory version of GIrl's Gone Wild, even the movie people know it. Look at their tagline. "Jaws Gone Wild." Ugh. I'm not a prude, but seriously if I see one more pair of boobs, I might scream. Also, Jerry's character was just disgusting. How he treats women, how the movie treats them... ugh ugh ugh. The 4 is for Christopher Lloyd, even if his part was so cringy. Hey, it was all cringy. I guess it was entertaining, but I lost some brain cells. lol

 

Sept 15th, 2018 I watched Hereditary (2018) 9/10

 

Hereditary

 

 I don't want to say much because this is something you should go into not knowing much. I believe the ending is the type that you love or hate, but I'm not going to say why. Huge spoiler if I do. I liked the ending, though I can't deny I wished it went a slightly different way. Milly Shapiro, the child actor was great. Chills.

 

Alex Wolff, who played the son, is amazing in his role. He sold the emotions he was going through. There was a scene that really made my heart pound (I'll just say in the car, you'll know when you get there) and Alex's (Peter's) reaction was spot on. 

 

Toni Collette, the mother... another spot on performance, chills and lots of emotions felt with her character.

 

Over all, this movie scared me. It also scared my sisters and that is saying something. There are some scenes toward the end... ho boy.

 

Kind of a slow burn horror at first, but in a good way. But when the nitty gritty stuff starts, boy does it start. I don't know if that made sense.

 

---

 

Please, take all my ratings with a grain of salt. As with books, I really struggle on how to rate some movies >.<

 

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review 2018-09-17 11:00
Release Day Review! Saddle Up (Clean Slate Ranch #3) A.M. Arthur!

 

 

Reyes Caldero keeps his past buried deep and his emotions buried deeper. But what he doesn’t say he always makes up for with his actions. When the hot chef he once saved from an abusive ex turns up at Clean Slate Ranch, the quiet cowboy is happy to act on their sizzling chemistry, even if he’s not ready to share his secrets—or his heart.

 

Miles Arlington needs to get the hell out of San Francisco, and heading north for a job near Clean Slate Ranch seems like just the thing. It doesn’t hurt that his secret crush slash onetime rescuer happens to work at the ranch. Miles has never been one for the outdoors, but the superhot Reyes has him ready to saddle up.

 

Reyes is happy to keep things casual, even though his heart has other ideas. And when Miles is forced to confront his past again, Reyes and Miles will have to put all their trust in each other if they want any chance at building a future together.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

 

This book is approximately 86,000 words

 

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Alissa Davis

 


Saddle Up is a sweetheart of a romance with lots of thrilling suspense and sizzling chemistry. Reyes and Miles are both strong, compelling characters that readers easily connect to and fall in love with. The romance between these two is full of heat and an electrical attraction but these two fight their attraction due to unresolved past issues which keeps this romance on an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs. There are a couple of sensitive subjects brought up in the story but they are not brought up in elaborate detail. The story is also about new beginnings and overcoming seemingly insurmountable issues which is really inspirational as these two try to reach for the their happily ever afters which tugs at the heartstrings and has the readers cheering this couple onward.

 

Suspense and danger adds thrilling adrenaline pumping excitement to this story as the past comes back to torment each of these characters. Miles’ stalker ex-boyfriend and an emotionally torturous event from Reyes past which adds to the emotional turbulence and adds intense friction not only between Miles and Reyes but between family and friends as well. The ranch and ghost town setting really adds to the ambiance of this romance as well adding excitement to the story since that means there are quite a few hunky cowboys in the story and the getting a new ghost town venture off the ground is a fascinating subject on its own, but with these characters, also adds a bit of fun. So while the story is mostly a heartfelt and sweet read, it has uplifting moments and chuckle worthy moments which gives readers an enjoyable read.

 


Add Saddle Up to your shelves at -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39675784-saddle-up

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/saddle-up-by-a-m-arthur

 

 


Saddle Up is the 3rd book in the Clean Slate Ranch series -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/218343-clean-slate-ranch

 

Author - https://amarthur.blogspot.com/p/clean-slate-ranch.html

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H8KH7P6?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

 

which includes -

 

1 Wild Trail
2 Roped In
3 Saddle Up

 

 

AVAILABLE in print or ebook at -

 

Carina Press - https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488097157_saddle-up.html

 

Amazon - https://amzn.to/2MXQChI

 

Kindle - https://amzn.to/2CKNNMu

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saddle-up/id1364908598?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saddle-up-am-arthur/1128310951?ean=9781335091468

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saddle-up-12

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/A_M_Arthur_Saddle_Up?id=O41TDwAAQBAJ

 

eBooks - https://www.ebooks.com/96117608/saddle-up/arthur-a-m/

 

 

 

 

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance wasn't a thing yet) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. You can contact her at AM_Arthur(at)yahoo(dot)com

 

 

Website - http://amarthur.blogspot.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5304118.A_M_Arthur

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-m-arthur-5a817650-02c1-4b04-bbcd-aa65df95f0db

 

Twitter - http://twitter.com/am_arthur

 

Tumbler - http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur

 

Facebook Fan Page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/AM-Arthur/491929737588757?skip_nax_wizard=true

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007321836222

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-17 02:29
Sometimes it’s what we find when we’re not looking that brings true change and love into our lives.
Butterfly Hunter - Julie Bozza

 Dave wasn’t looking for Nicholas…much less love. Everyone knows he’s a one-woman man and when Denny decides that he’s not the right man for her, Dave resigns himself to being her friend and living a life alone running his tour guide business. 

 

Dave’s not gay so the last thing he expects is to develop feelings for the son of a British Earl who’s hired him to help find an elusive blue butterfly located somewhere in the Australian Outback and it’s as the two men go on this journey together in search of Nicholas’s elusive butterfly that Dave begins to develop feelings for the unusual Brit feelings that inevitably go beyond friendship and ultimately beyond a vacation fling for both men.

 

I loved how fluidly both parts of this story melted together. The romance and the journey to find the butterflies. Two different parts of the same story that worked together beautifully, each side working to enhance the other part.

 

I also loved the setting for this story…Australia. It’s one of those places that while I’ll probably never get to go there, it’s always captivated me so reading stories set in Australia is my way of visiting a place that I’d love to visit but may never get a chance to.

 

It’s been a long time…maybe ever, since I’ve found a story that felt as genuine and organic in its progression as this one. I never found myself questioning that Dave, who was for all intents and purposes straight was feeling an attraction for another man or anyone for that matter given that until Nicholas he’d only ever loved one other person.

 

‘The Butterfly Hunter’ is a story that while as beautiful and timid as the insect that it’s named for is also the kind of story that eases into your mind and soul with such a gentle touch and captures the readers attention and left me wanting more, which I will get, hopefully soon…or at least as soon as time allows.

 

I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to my book choices and while I love a good murder mystery or what I lovingly call a ‘blow sh*t-up’ book, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal, I’ll even do shifter books, seriously you’ll find a little of just about everything on my bookshelves including books like this…books that are soft and gentle, books that sooth my soul and bring out the romantic in me…they may even garner a few tears from me and while this one didn’t quite get the tears flowing there was definitely a point at which I felt my heart being tugged on as I held my breath and waited for what would happen next. ‘The Butterfly Hunter’ isn’t a fast moving action packed adventure or a hard-hitting mystery, it’s not even a gut wrenching romance…nope this one’s a sweet, gentle story not about finding what your looking for but about realizing what you need and letting it into your life.

 

For anyone who’s looking to read a book that’s sweet, romantic, has zero to no angst, gives you a peek at someplace you’ve never been all while telling a story that will warm your heart and leave you smiling.

 

************************

 

A copy of ‘The Butterfly Hunter’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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