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review 2017-05-30 15:50
Podcast #49 is up!
Technology in the Country House - Marilyn Palmer,Ian West

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Ian West about the book he coauthored with Marilyn Palmer on the use of new technologies in British and Irish country houses. Enjoy!

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review 2017-05-17 22:30
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Mark Bramhall
Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman

 

Those Across the River is my first Buehlman, but will not be my last. In fact, I downloaded another of his books just now.

 

I recently got a new phone that came with some fancy earbuds, so I decided to head over to Overdrive and check out an audio from my library, so I could try them out. I saw this book available and remembered that my friend Tressa has just recommended to me a book by this author just a few days previous. I downloaded Those Across the River knowing nothing about it, and I think that was the best way to go in to this story.

 

Set mostly in GA in the early 1930's, a damaged WWI veteran moves down from Chicago to a house he has recently inherited. In the letter he received about the inheritance he was warned not to actually live in the house, but of course, he does so anyway-along with his fiance Eudora. What follows is a well told, atmospheric and creepy story that went in a totally different direction than what I expected. There's nothing new or extraordinary here, but a well told and atmospheric story is always welcome on my Kindle, (and now on my phone!), and I enjoyed this immensely.

 

The narrator, Mark Bramhall, was absolutely phenomenal-I loved his Southern accents and voicing-they brought the story alive for me. I will be keeping an eye out for more of his work in the future. As for right now? I'm on to my next Christopher Buehlman book!

 

I highly recommend the audio of this novel!

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review 2017-05-09 18:35
The Well by Jack Cady, (Introduction from Tom Piccirilli)
The Well - Jack Cady,Tom Piccirilli

"There are Things that do not love the sun. They weep and curse their own creation. Sometimes on earth a cruel shift takes place. Time splits. Corpses possessed at the moment of their death rise from tombs. The dark ages of history flow mindless from stagnant wells and lime-dripping cellars. The corpses, those creatures of possession, walk through ancient halls and rooms."

 

So starts Jack Cady's The Well.

 Extremely well written, this is an excellent haunted house story, but it's also much more than that. It's A tale spanning generations, sprinkled throughout with genius and madness alike.

 

"He thought he knew the look of greed, lust, envy; but he realized without question that he was now looking at the force that embodied them all. He was looking at absolute evil."

 

This edition from Valancourt Books features a touching Introduction from Tom Piccirilli, (who has since passed away.) In it, Tom speaks of the kindness Jack Cady showed him when he first started out, which is coincidental-because I recently read a piece by another author who said the very same things about Tom Piccirilli. Tom goes on further to talk about The Well and how it influenced him and his writing, and now having read the book, I can see why. I'm glad that I bought my very own copy, because I'm sure I'll be reading it again in the future.

 

Note to self: Check out more works written by Jack Cady, ASAP.

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text 2017-05-02 18:25
New May Releases That Are On My TBR
Salt Houses - Hala Alyan
Mr. Rochester - Sarah Shoemaker
The Book of Summer: A Novel - Michelle Gable
House of Names: A Novel - Colm Tóibín
A Stranger at Fellsworth (A Treasures of Surrey Novel) - Sarah E. Ladd
Lilli de Jong - Janet Benton
Before the Rain Falls: A Novel - Camille Di Maio
The Prada Plan 5 - Ashley Antoinette
Rich People Problems: A Novel - Kevin Kwan

May's a fantastic month for new releases! I'm truly excited for all of these reads. There are three books by favorite authors this month; The Prada Plan 5 by Ashley Antoinette, A Stranger At Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd and Rich Peoples Problems by Kevin Kwan. The Salt Houses, The Book of Summer and House of Names all have received lots of praise by early readers and critics. I'm hoping to enjoy them as much as others or more.

 

Here's the release dates;

 

May 2

 

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

 

 

May 9

 

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

 

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

 

House of Names by Colm Tóibín

 

 

May 16

 

The Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

 

Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton

 

Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio

 

The Prada Plan 5 by Ashley Antoinette

 

 

May 23

 

Rich Peoples Problems by Kevin Kwan

 

 

Happy Reading Friends!

 

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review 2017-03-16 06:24
"Glass Houses - Morganville Vampires #1" by Rachel Caine - a YA vampire tale that is heavy on cute and light on reality.
Glass Houses - Rachel Caine

I picked up "Glass Houses" in an audible.com "First In A Series" sale, thinking that I was going to be trying out a new Urban Fantasy series like Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson.

 

What I got was an intriguing idea: vampires founding and maintaining a small Texas town, Morganville, so they can farm the human livestock and using their second-rate college to freshen the bloodlines.

 

There's lots you could do with that.

 

What Rachel Caine decided to do with it was re-invent the Scoobie gang with our main character being a small, skinny version of Velma, Shaggy being a huge guy who plays videogames and cooks chilli, Daphne being a Goth Chick just to piss-off the real vampires and Fred is a tall, handsome, guitar player with a secret. Quite an original secret.

 

The writing works well. The dialogue is often snappy and fun.Nasty things lurk in the background of all of the scooby gang who live in the Glass House. There is some real violence and some bodily harm.  Yet, overall there is a wholesomeness and simplicity to this tale of a bright sixteen year old girl who's never been kissed, making friends and facing up to vampires, that it was much more cute than chilling.

 

It's a good YA adventure, but the kind where someone has rounded off the  tips of the scissor blades and made sure there are no sharp edges for you to cut your innocent imagination on.

 

This struck me as a cupcake series: light and sweet. If that's what you're looking for, this is a great place to start

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