Writers enjoy having the power of God over their characters, but what if they also attract the forces of the devil? What if the power of life and death in a fiction translates into a ‘real’ existence, if some elements of the authors omnipresence on the page slips into physical life? The book is very much paranormal, some of a magical realism bend and some with a quasi-religious one. Through excepting the premise that many good versus evil, religious/paranormal boundaries collide in mystical ways one can enjoy the book. Most of us have little trouble suspending belief to enjoy a good yarn. I preferred to read this is the imagined world of a psychotic personality in total meltdown. This was easy given that the book is written in first person. I enjoyed this as a false reality from which we are supposed to hope the character voice, Alexa, will escape. I was a bit underwhelmed by the lengths Bell went to in exploring the threads of the story as it drew to the end, as for me the detail rather reduced the power of resolution. Climatic events, both in life and books, are best enjoyed without distracting reflections on the rationality of the mechanics.
This book is well written, describing Alexa’s world in a way that easily paints strong scenes in one’s mind. As a writer, I can appreciate the mind games as Alexa the well-established, if quite famous, author, struggles to complete her trilogy. Some of the other characters, especially Margaret, her book editor, are very well-rounded. I may have enjoyed the book more with a few chapters written from the mind of Margaret, watching the mental breakdown of her number one selling author.
This is the second book of Bell’s I have read. She is a very gifted writer who might achieve greater success with psychological thrillers without the distraction of paranormal elements. Provided, of course, she could find the discipline of scripting her stories without occasionally falling for the convenient escapes of the unrestrained supernatural.
It should be obvious that I enjoyed this book more for the qualities of Bell’s descriptive writing than the story it tells. However, I am sure that those that relish the buy-in to the paranormal will find this to be a great read. There are plenty of original elements as well as standard themes of the paranormal and mystical realism genres. We have here a, ‘watch what you wish for’ morality tale. The allegorical foundations of the theme resonate throughout. The four stars rather than five isn’t a devaluation of the Bell’s work. Rather, it reflects my view that this book, despite all its qualities, didn’t do talent full justice.
I love a good second chance romance and Do Over has all the elements - the not so likable playboy who does redeem himself (finally), the woman who loves him but doesn't trust him, the child they share, and the circumstances to put them together. In spite of that, the result was rather mediocre. Maybe it was the constant denial of compatibility from both characters, the conversations between Jack and his buddies, the lack of real communication, the determination that they were just hooking up, or a combination of all those things, I never felt a romantic connection between Jack and Maddie. Sharing a child without any commitment certainly shows that there is lust between the couple, and maybe even friendship, but it felt more like they were playing house than building anything together. On the whole, the story is well-written, but there's really nothing to set it apart from any other second chance romance, making it a little too predictable. On a positive note, there were a few chuckle worthy moments and young Gabe was absolutely adorable, which did somewhat redeem the book for me.
One Christmas in Winter appear about a girl and her dream to want to director of holiday films. Will she get her dream job. There appear problems though out with her cast. When her led man falls it put her in a spot, that she got to find a stand in for him.
Holt Bradley has his own dream. He walked away from it and Hollywood for a reason. He has come back to his hometown where his father owns a diner and once his father passes Holt is owner and run the place. Things get a bit confusion when he delivers Chinese food to the movie crew that come to winter to film on location.
What on from there is anyone guess. Will Holt and director be the stars or the holiday film or will it be a repeat of the past. Find out by reading the story to see. This book and story is centered around the holiday season of Christmas. Looking for the spirit of Christmas and it magic. This one will not disappoint.
The author does well with having take place in Winter, Montana. The title says it all. Will Christmas bring true love together or will it just be another Christmas in Winter, Montana.