The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty

I really enjoyed this book by Liane, and I believe it is her third story I have read. The first one I did not care for, the second one I loved, and I definitely liked this one.

The Last Anniversary Cover Image

I am still trying to get a feel for her style of writing, and it is not something I have been able to pinpoint yet. I do not get that familiar feeling I have from other authors who have multiple books that I have read. Her style of writing seems to change with each book, but I do not think it is done intentionally to help set the tone of the story.

So after all of that complaining, I really did like this story. I promise! I did have the initial problem of keeping all of the characters straight, because there were several, and they all seemed to be introduced very quickly, and very briefly. This does seem to be her method-of-operation when it comes to writing.

A small island with a small population and a big mystery seem to be the only thing keeping some of the characters going. Introduce a new person to the mix, and see what begins to happen. It seems that everyone knows everybody else, and there are some long-stretched ties connecting basically every single resident to everyone else. It can make things familiar, and also very interesting. You would think in this type of environment there would be no secrets. It seems as if every resident has secrets falling out of their ears, they have so many.

Without giving away any spoilers, this is definitely a book full of suspense, mystery, laughs, and some romance. It is a page turner, and I think you will be glad to have read it!

Eve – Wm. Paul Young

I was anxious to get started on this book, as I have made it a habit to read “The Shack” pretty much once a year. I was aware this book would be different. Not just in the story line, but in the style it was written, and how I reacted, and interacted, with it.

Eve Cover Image

Yes; I do interact with the stories I read. In the manner of when I do not have said book in my hands, reading, I still think about it throughout the day. The characters, the plot, what I could be missing, and what I do not understand, or have just not figured out yet.

It did take me a couple chapters to really get into the story, and understand what exactly it was I was reading about. I knew from the book jacket that Lilly was a girl who washed up on a beach on an island between worlds. Lilly being from Earth, and the place where she landed, never really named.

There are many characters in this story, and they each seem to have a very important role within the story. While this is a retelling of creation and how we, man, all came to be, you will see that while it holds true to what you will read in Genesis (the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible), it gives you another insight into how it really all could have happened.

As you read it, you can see it. You may be a bit confused, but yet you understand it. It all makes sense, in the grand scheme of things. Lilly is a Watcher, and although it takes her quite some time to accept the fact that maybe she really isn’t useless, you can certainly sympathize with her and feel the true pain of her mind, body, and soul.

For further information about this book, visit: Wm. Paul Young – Eve

Have you tackled this story yet? Did you love it, or absolutely despise it?

My Library Haul

It has been far too long since I have visited one of my local libraries. My 13 year old and I had time to burn between her doctor’s appointment and our appointment with our Pastor concerning her upcoming Confirmation.

I tend to be more likely to read the books that I get from the library, compared to reading the ones I buy and sit for many months collecting dust because I just cannot “find the time” to read them.

In the quest of looking for one particular book (my library has moved things around) I managed to find a few other books I did not know I wanted to read until I saw them. You know what I mean here, right?

I stumbled across C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters”, which I have heard many great things about, but have never seen nor read. I managed to get about halfway through it already, and it is as good as the reviews say it is. Of course; it is C.S. Lewis. I would expect nothing less.

I also found “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, which is so old it has that orange hardcover on it with nothing but the title on the spine. You know the kind I mean: how all books were published in the 1940’s and 1950’s. I enjoy reading religious works, and this looks like it will be a fairly quick read for me. I’ve no idea if the movie of the same title is from this story (I am betting yes), so I am curious to see how much better the book is than the movie. Because the book is always better than the movie, right?

I picked up “Dead Over Heels”, by Charlaine Harris, and I may have read this one already, but flipping through it, nothing was looking too familiar so I will give it a read. This is a series about Roe (Aurora Teagarden), whom has the uncanny ability to find any dead body in close proximity of her.

I grabbed an Andrew Greeley story that I do not think I have read yet, which is shocking. He is absolutely one of my very favorite authors, so I am excited to get into this book. It is one of many in his series that centers around Blackie Ryan, a priest with a sense of humor, and great detective skills.

I am setting aside time on a daily basis to work on the many projects I have gotten supplies for, but have not taken the time to get started. I have a Zazzle and Etsy store that I am trying to get set up, and will be carrying all things book related. Except for actual books. Those you will have to get elsewhere.

I have had a very, very difficult Winter, and my Spring is not starting out too great either. I am determined to focus on “me”, and no, that is not selfish. Anyone who knows me knows the very last person I ever worry about is myself. It is a hard way to try to go through life. I may be 42 years old, but I still have hopes, and dreams, and goals I want to accomplish.

Coming Soon; To A Blog Near You…

…Well, okay; this blog.

Book reviews, suggestions, interesting facts, quotes, and author features.

Yes; I have been reading (very slowly). No, I am not feeling better. Still trying to crawl out of the winter blues, and a trip to the doctor’s and chest x-rays today have not given me an answer yet for what is physically been ailing me since I woke up Thursday.

So I am arguing with myself about using the next 2 vacation days I put in for at work; just-in-case. Or, going to work like I really should, even though I desperately need the rest.

So I will get those book reviews posted again. I will pick back up with my author features. And most of all I look forward to the great comments and insight from all of my followers!

Here’s to books, and all the happiness they bring us!

The Books of my Childhood That I Could Not Get Enough Of! (Still Can’t)

One of the joys of having children, or nieces and nephews, friends with kids, neighbors with kids, or just knowing young kids, is that you get to introduce them to the stories you loved when you were young. I may or may not have used my kids as an excuse to go back and read all of my favorites, over and again. There were numerous trips to the library, and I have bookshelves full of stories I can pick up whenever I want a quick read to take me back to my childhood.

These stories are timeless; at least to me. I wish I could remember the first book I ever read that put me on the path of loving books. It does not matter now, but I would love to read it again.

This is certainly not like any cover I had growing up!

The first series I recall reading was “The Boxcar Children“. Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first 19 stories in this series, but there are now over 130 titles! I am positive I have not read any of them written beyond Mrs. Warner’s stories, and am unsure at this point if I would want to go back and read further into the series when she did not write them. The series has its own website, and you can visit it here: http://www.boxcarchildren.com/content.cfm/boxcar-children-books

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators” by Robert Arthur is another series that I have read over-and-over again. I have not had the time to do it lately, but I would often go to the library and check out as many of these books as they would let me, and spend my weekend reading them for the umpteenth time!

From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/
From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

There is a website dedicated to collectors and fans of these books, with a lot of other great information, including forums. If you enjoyed these books as well, be sure to visit the site here: http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

If you loved The Three Investigators stories, you must have read “Encyclopedia Brown” as well. Donald J. Sobol had every young reader wanting to be the neighborhood detective. A fun series to read, for those of us who could just not figure out the solution, you could always find it in the back of the book. I know I had several “A-ha” moments reading these stories.

The covers on the books I read did not look like this!
The covers on the books I read did not look like this!

I have to admit that I never read the Narnia series of books by C.S. Lewis until I was an adult. I have no idea how that ever happened, but it is truly one of my favorite sets of books to read. I was fortunate enough to get to read Harry Potter right along with my girls, and J.K. Rowling is probably as responsible as I am for the fact that I have 4 daughters who truly love reading.

What books did you read as a child, and do you ever go back and read them now?

What To Do With That Horrible Book Review You Wrote

Oh. Hello there. I hope you were not coming here to find the answer to what you should do with a horrible book review you wrote, because I have no idea. I actually was hoping someone could tell me.

As I have stated many times, it is not my intention to destroy anyone’s writing career, or write horrible things about their writing abilities. But when you pick up a book, and it was very poorly constructed, how do you avoid that huge problem while focusing your review on the underlying story that was actually pretty good?

If I post a review that I loved it, or even liked it, I destroy my reputation immediately. Trust me, if you saw this book and I gave it a top review and rating, you would think I was off my rocker. Now, the fact that this story had a few top ratings on Amazon also tells me that someone had their family members post reviews for their story. There were no ‘bad’ reviews for this particular story, or even reviews with much needed and deserved constructive criticism.

Book reviews are a touchy subject, especially to the writers who have no control over how the reader is going to interpret what they wrote. Did they understand the point you were trying to make? Did they misunderstand the dialect? Did they not realize the story was intentionally written like that? and on and on and on again…

One of my favorite quotes is about the fact that no two people will ever read the same story. I find it amazing that no one else read Harry Potter and got the same, identical things from it that I did. That is the beauty of books!

As a footnote, I do not want any of my recent authors who have sent me books or whose books I have purchased to panic. This post is NOT about you. I have had a couple people contact me within the last couple of days and I do not want them to think I am talking about their story 🙂 This is a story that I found on my own while I was looking for someone else’s book.

So at this point I am going to hold unto this review. This book is not a new release and I do not believe that more people will purchase this story, and that I did not prevent that from happening by holding unto this review. I want to do some more digging to see if I can find more ‘true’ reviews of this story and then go from there.

As I Finish Up Your Stories…

…I would like to ask that if I had indeed contacted you about reading, reviewing, proofreading, and/or editing your story, and you have not heard from me, to please send me a personal email.

Those whom I am about to review are Marilyn Cohen de Villiers, “A Beautiful Family”, Kate O’Hara, “Aphrodite on the Half Shell”, the 2nd book of “The Universe of God 2: the Chronicles of Jesus”, (twestephens please email me, I am lacking contact information). Also Adan Ramie’s, “Darkness Undone”.

Mary Ellen Deleon, please send me the date of your blog post on the 3 chapters you asked me to read, I can have that done as soon as I hear from you.

CB, I left a reply on my post, please contact me via my email so I know if there are certain ones of your short stories you would like me to look at, and I need your contact information as well.

I also am in the process of reviewing 2nd stories for Caryl McAdoo and Tony Smith.

If I have not mentioned you and had contacted you previously, Please send me an email. I likely just overlooked it, as I know there are books I purchased and are on my nook that I did not list here. Some books I found from reading through your blogs, and you did not necessarily ask for a review; I just found the premise of your story interesting, and wanted to read it!

I also received a couple emails from persons unknown to me, and unless if you put “Book Edit or Review” somewhere in the subject line, I would not have opened it. I do still have them in my inbox, but please send me another email so I know you are someone who has seen my blog post and not a random email virus waiting to infect my laptop!

Thanks so much, I look forward to hearing from you, and Happy Reading!

angi.gibbs@yahoo.com

The Night Shadow – Cheri Vause

The Night Shadow CoverThis is a great suspense-mystery story, set in the 1960’s. Taking place between California and New York, the attention to details for this decade is excellent, and just one of many things that make this story so enjoyable.

There are many characters in this story, but the story places them in at the right time, without overwhelming you and making you feel like you can no longer keep track of who-is-whom. Very early on I was trying to work out what I thought the ending of the story would be, the who-done-it if I may.

There are twists and turns, and I quickly developed a valued interest in the main characters, Esther and Mac. There is tragedy, illness, murder, deception, hatred, and many other vices sprinkled throughout the story that made me stay up much later than I should of just because I needed to know what was going to happen next.

I can honestly say at one point I was brought to tears, and that does not very often happen to me from a book. Of course I never had it figured out, but those are the ones that make the best stories, wouldn’t you agree?

I would recommend you get this book as soon as possible. Just make sure you have the free time to read it, because once you start, you will not want to put it down!

Cheri is a theologian, a photographer, and an author. She is the proud mother of 2 sets of twins, born on the same date, 14 years apart! She currently lives in Texas with her husband and dogs, Scully and Mulder.