Book Review: This Darkness Mine

This Darkness Mine.  A novel by Mindy McGinnis.
Price: $17.99
Set for release October 10, 2017.

A blind date gone bad . . .

This Darkness Mine is the story of Sasha Stone, a highly disturbed over-achieving teen.  Mental illness and medical malady turns Sasha’s well organized life into chaos as she tumbles from grace.  She manipulates her parents, makes friends and enemies while waiting for a heart transplant, and manages to cost a social worker her job.  Absolutely no character growth occurs in the novel, so that in the end, Sasha is just as twisted as she was at the beginning of the book.

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Book Review: A Culinary Journey through Time

A Culinary Journey through Time: A Cookery Book with Recipes from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages,
by Sabine Karg, Regula Steinhauser-Zimmermann, and Irmgard Bauer.
Price: 20 euros

A Culinary Journey through Time is a must have for adventurous cooks, European history enthusiast, and period writers.  The recipes in the book are based on actual archeological finds and analysis of food remains found in cook pots and the charred food remains found near hearths during archaeological excavations.  All recipes are marked by period: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Times, Viking Age, and Middle Ages.  Also, recipes are color coded by season according to when ingredients are naturally available.

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Book Review: The Book Of Polly

The Book of Polly, a novel by Kathy Hepinstall.
Set for release March 14, 2017; $26.00 US ($35.00 CAN)

After unwrapping the plain brown packaging, I looked with trepidation at the cover of the next book in my Blind Date with a Book series.  A blurry image of a perfectly appointed southern woman holding a garden trowel and sporting a falcon on her shoulder stared up at me.  I’d been burned on blind dates before and feared I was in for another scorching.  Figuring I may as well get on with it, I opened the book to page one and began to read.

By page seven I was hooked, laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes, eager for more.  As the book progressed I was introduced to hazards of Havens family, their personal shortcomings, and neighborhood feuds.

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Book Review: Blood in the Snow

The Guardian: Blood in the Snow, a novel by MJ Kobernus.
$14.99 Paperback.

Blood in the Snow is the second book in the Guardian series and was a fast paced read that kept me engaged and eager for more.

Philip Entwhistle is desperately attempting to settle back into his comfortable and boring life as a university history professor.  Unfortunately, all hopes for a quiet English life are shattered when his girlfriend leaves him and he is forced to flee the country to avoid being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

Arriving in Norway, Philip is determined to stay one step ahead of the detectives eager to arrest on suspicion of arson and murder, and win back his girlfriend’s affections.  In the process he uncovers an ancient mystery hidden in a Viking Age burial located on his girlfriend’s family farm, which has left her father cursed.  The only clues to saving him are scribbles in margins of a little studied saga.

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Blind Date with a Book

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As odd as it may seem, I very seldom visit a book store.  Several years back I had a vision of becoming an old hoarder lady who dies after a stack of books topples over on her.  I resolved then to get books from the library whenever possible as a means of staving off dying under the weight of the written word.  That said, my quest for a better critique group lead me to Book People of Moscow.

The critique group was a flop.  One man proudly informed me that, “sometimes the fringe element of society tries to join, but we just don’t allow that.”  Being a card carrying member of the fringe element myself, I wasn’t impressed.  Their rotation for getting work critiqued left a lot to be desired as well.  Members are eligible to have up to 3,000 words critiqued twice a year.  At that rate it would take 17.5 years to work through a novel.  A pair of orangutans with type-writers could produce something publishable in less time.

DSCF2523But, the experience wasn’t all bad.  I did manage to pick up a date; two actually.

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Book Review: The Vanishing Throne

Vanishing Throne_final front cover.pdfThe Vanishing Throne, a novel by Elizabeth May (Book 2 of The Falconer Trilogy.)
Set for release June 7, 2016.
Suggested Price; $17.99 USD.

The end is only another beginning.

The Falconer, Aileana Kameron, wakes up trapped on a cliff in a strange world with no idea how she got there.  Tortured repeatedly by her captor, Lonnrach, over daysweeksmonthsyears Aileana loses her memories and nearly loses hope.  Rescued by her lover and his sister, Aileana escapes her prison and returns to the human world only to find that Scotland has been decimated by war.  The few humans who survived now live in a Fairy city, hidden deep underground.  But life isn’t as safe or comfortable as it was before the war, nor has the war really ended.  The fae may have won, but Lonnarch will stop at nothing until the last Falconer is killed and in the process he may destroy them all.

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Book Review: Beware That Girl

GirlBeware That Girl, a novel by Teresa Toten.
Set for release May 31, 2016.
Suggested Price; $17.99 USD.

Beware That Girl is a rags to riches story that left me shaking my head.

Kate O’Brien, a pauper and con-artist with a brilliant mind, gains admission to Waverly, an elite all girl high school in New York City.  Despite the fact that it’s not a boarding school and all the characters are high school students, everyone’s parents are neatly tucked away on foreign business trips, living in London, deceased, or incarcerated, leaving the girls unattended to ruin their lives.  Oh, and all their parents let them drink, and so do all the restaurants in the city, actual laws be damned.

If the author doesn’t have the girls engaged in a cascade of bad decisions, then she’s busy dropping names of designer labels.  Tiffany’s, Doc Martins, Jimmy Choo, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Patek Philippe; please kill me now.  And don’t get me started about the name dropping of artists.  It served as a constant reminder that nearly all the characters in this book are shallow and unlikable.

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Book Review: Blood in the Sand

SandBlood in the Sand was a gripping read from beginning to end.

Philip Entwistle doesn’t believe in God and he certainly doesn’t believe in witches. But all that changes when the mild mannered history professor goes up for promotion and needs a Hail Mary to advance his career. Finding himself at the center of a trumped up sexual assault charge that nearly cost him his job, deliverance comes in the form of the occult as he researches the life of the famed English explorer, Sir Francis.

The book is full of delightful surprises, starting with the poem in the table of contents. Easy to read prose speaks to the heart of our humanity. Never shying away from difficult questions, the author takes the reader on a journey through time as Sir Francis’s experiences cause Philip to question his own doubts about religion, “After all, I am just a crazy man in the desert, hearing voices. Isn’t that how religions start?”  And then moves on to confront the stigmas of interracial marriages, “He has gone native, they will say and sneer. And I have. Gladly, with all my heart.”

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