I never used to be a fan of short stories. Usually when I read them, I felt like I was just getting to know the characters and familiarize myself...moreWow.
I never used to be a fan of short stories. Usually when I read them, I felt like I was just getting to know the characters and familiarize myself with what was going on, and then the story would end and it would be time to acclimate myself to a new one. Over the past couple of years though, I’ve started to change my views on short stories. I’ve come to realize that when written well, a short story can really make an impact.
Clare Wigfall is a gifted writer, who’s stories are absolutely wonderful. Each story leaves an impression on you, and each is a little different from the last. The common theme among the stories seems to be one of humanity; of characters searching for a sense of hope and freedom, that unfortunately, they rarely are able to achieve.
The stories are beautifully written, and compelling. I’m keeping my eye out for more from Wigfall in the future, as she is an incredible new writer.(less)
While "Vampire Cabbie" may not be a novel filled with literary merit, it is just the same a very well written and entertaining story. If you’re lookin...moreWhile "Vampire Cabbie" may not be a novel filled with literary merit, it is just the same a very well written and entertaining story. If you’re looking for the next great classic, this probably isn’t it. However, if you’re looking for a story that will engage you and keep you turning pages, (especially if you want one about a vampire) look no further.
The story is about a vampire named Al Farkus. Al is leading the good life, mingling unnoticed amongst society. One day he learns that his fortune has been lost in a stock market crash, leaving him pretty much broke. Forced to fend for himself financially, Al accepts a job in Madison, Wisconsin, and sets off to resecure his financial fortune. Arriving in Wisconsin, Al secures an apartment and pays the rent for the first year upfront. Next Al learns that his job has fallen through, leaving him broke, unemployed and virtually stranded in this strange city. Faced with the obstacle of needing a job with night hours, Al ends up applying for a job as a cab driver on the night shift. From here we follow Al as he attempts to understand, or at the very least, deal with, his quirky passengers and co-workers.
"Vampire Cabbie" kept me turning pages from the start to the finish. Like I said, its not the next great literary classic, but its definitely an entertaining read. I’m looking forward to future works from this author.
Okay, its not terrible...but I can honestly say this wasn't one of my favorite books of all time. The plot is relatively simple: Nicholas is the gu...moreEh.
Okay, its not terrible...but I can honestly say this wasn't one of my favorite books of all time. The plot is relatively simple: Nicholas is the guy to be seen with. He has it all; wealth, connections and his very own club. He also has a taste for drugs and treating his girlfriends like crap before he kicks them to the curb. The two main characters are Steenie, Nicholas's current girlfriend, and Stephanie, one of his bitter exes. Both girls share one thing in common: they're tired of the way he controls them. One is an aspiring model, the other an aspiring DJ, and Nicholas uses his connections to get them ahead, and then threatens to blackball them to keep them in his back pocket so to speak. Originally Steenie and Stephanie don't care much for each other, but when they both receive letters from the Dept of Health advising them to be tested for STD's, the girls come together in their dislike for Nicholas. From here they plot to bring him down; to not only get his club closed, but to make him look like the total jerk that he is as well.
The plot itself was interesting enough, and I did stay engaged with that part of the book from start to finish. The writing itself though didn't flow for me. It comes across as choppy and disjointed, leaving the reader feeling the characters are underdeveloped and the plot is confusing. There were several times while I was reading that I found myself confused by the dialogue as well.
The story has potential; I think what it needs is just a strong editing job and a slight revision. If you're looking for a quick read that will keep you up to par in the goth/club world of today; this is your story.
This book far surpassed my expectations; after reading the book jacket, I expected a story of a classic love triangle. Bob loves Mary but Mary loves J...moreThis book far surpassed my expectations; after reading the book jacket, I expected a story of a classic love triangle. Bob loves Mary but Mary loves Jack you know? While there is an traingular element to "Stray," its so much more than that.
The story revolves around three characters: Kent, the married musician who has never truly gotten over Paul, a lover from his past who just walked out on him one day. Paul, the young actor, who can't commit or take anything too seriously, and finally, Maggie, Kent's kind hearted wife, who unwittingly gets stuck in the middle.
Kent is pretty content with his life. His job is good, his marriage is good...life is good. One day he unexpectedly runs into Paul, and the inner turmoil starts to run rampant. Paul and Kent begin a passionate affair, all the while Kent makes it clear that he is happy with his wife and has no intentions of leaving. Out of curiousity and jealousy, Paul inserts himself into Maggie's life. The two become fast friends, and Maggie comes to care for Paul immensely; all the while not knowing that Paul is also sleeping with her husband.
In addition to the emotional rollercoaster of a plot, there's a bit of a murder mystery thrown in as well. Paul lives with an older man, Bernard, who is dying of cancer. Paul returns from the club one night to find Bernard dead, and himself the prime suspect. While this aspect of the plot does keep the story moving forward, and the relationships developing, its not a crucial part.
The strongest part of this book is the author's ability to develop her characters. The development isn't rushed, and each and every detail that we learn of the character adds to the story and makes the whole thing come together. Joseph has created three very different, very likeable, very real characters, and they are what makes this story a good one.
In The House of Pendragon Book I we are introduced to Lin, the daughter of the famous King Arthur. Through a complicated twist of events, Lin's birthr...moreIn The House of Pendragon Book I we are introduced to Lin, the daughter of the famous King Arthur. Through a complicated twist of events, Lin's birthright is denied her, and she instead grows up knowing fear and pain, suffering the life of a slave girl. In Book II, Lin's story continues....
The book opens with Lin and her family returning to Camelot after a twelve year hiatus. Lin is telling the story of her youth to her children; from her experiences as a slave, to her father discovering her existence and bringing her back to Camelot, to her quest to become one of the knights of the Round Table. The story draws you in from the beginning and doesn't let you go until the last page. It's a new twist on the ageless King Arthur legends, and its told from a female point of view. Does it get any better than that?
Lin is a character you can't help but respect. She's headstrong and proud, stubborn and fearless. She's a noble woman, and her headstrong ways made me chuckle throughout the whole story. You can't not admire a person who stands up so strongly for what they believe in, always.
If you've read the first book, you won't be disappointed in the second. It's every bit as great. If you haven't read the first book, you should. If you have any interest in the King Arthur stories, this is a series you won't want to miss. I am very much looking forward to Kemp's next book in the series.
"Reflections of a Khmer Soul" is not what it appears to be at first glance. The author, Navy Phim, is a Cambodian who was born in the midst of war, an...more"Reflections of a Khmer Soul" is not what it appears to be at first glance. The author, Navy Phim, is a Cambodian who was born in the midst of war, and to this day can feel her heritage cursing through her veins.
When I read the title, I assumed this was going to be a book about being raised in a war torn country. While books like that do indeed move me, and I completely value their importance as literature, I was still quite pleasantly suprised when I realized that this isn't what this book is all about. The book is a collection of snippets; memories, cultural lessons and explanations, thoughts and ideas. The author doesn't remember a whole lot about her life in Cambodian refugee camps. At a fairly young age, she was moved to the US, and the majority of her life has been spent here. Yet she has always remained true to her history and her motherland, chosing not to change her Khmer name and to return to Cambodia at every given opportunity.
Some parts of the book were more interesting (to me) than others, but all in all, I would say I enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot, both about the Killing Fields, and about Cambodia itself, and I smiled at several of the author's trips down memory lane. The snippets are written with passion and heart, and that's what makes them so wonderful. Never once do you doubt your narrator's sincerity, and because you can immediately trust her, your interest holds through to the last page.
After reading the back of this book, I was feeling a little iffy as I started it. Sometimes military stories catch my attention, and other times I get...moreAfter reading the back of this book, I was feeling a little iffy as I started it. Sometimes military stories catch my attention, and other times I get overwhelmed by the lingo and the violence and quickly lose interest. "Destination: Berlin," kept my rapt attention from the first page through to the last though. As I finished the story I realized with a smile that I actually quite enjoyed it.
Sharon Cates is a model American soldier stationed in Germany. On her way to attend a routine orientation tour in Berlin, she meets a Russian soldier named Dimitri. The two share a meal and agree to put aside their military and political differences and "be friends for the day."
Shortly thereafter, an explosion derails the train, mildly injuring Cates. After overhearing a conversation by the train bombers, Dimitri quickly realizes that Cates is carrying more than just her identification papers in her briefcase. Somewhere in that case, unbeknownst to her, are nuclear launch codes that people are willing to kill to get their hands on.
Injured and completely confused, Cates finds herself with few options other than following the enemy soldier to safety. From here we follow Cates and Dimitri as they attempt to get to a safe and neutral part of the country; all the while hoping to guard the codes and prove Cates had no knowledge of the codes being in her briefcase at all.
There's a little bit of everything mixed into this story. There's history, adventure, suspense, romance and of course so military jargon. The author does a good job though, of simplifying the military lingo, so that it never becomes a burden to understand. The story flows well, and moves along quickly. If you're looking for a good story to keep you occupied for a night or two, I'd highly recommend this one.
"Midnight Awakening" is the third installment in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series, and every bit (if not more so) as good as the previous two. This...more"Midnight Awakening" is the third installment in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series, and every bit (if not more so) as good as the previous two. This novel stars Teagan, the deadliest and coldest of all of the Order, and allows readers insight into what makes him the deadly hunter that he is.
As the Order continues to hunt Marek, one of the oldest yet evil vampires in the world, we come to understand Teagan's past, and root for his future at the same time. We see inside the apparently apathetic creature, and learn why he has distanced himself from his emotions for so many years.
We are also introduced to Elise, a strong and independent woman, and yet another Breedmate; a specific type of woman bearing a particular birthmark which signals her ability to mate with and breed with vampires.
Each new book by Lara Adrian advances the story, reveals a little more of the world she has created, and introduces us to a new member of the Order. By far Teagan was my favorite, so I enjoyed Midnight Awakening immensly. I've said this before, but if you're looking for a new twist on the typical vampire story, her series is one you should pick up.
From the first page, "'Shroom!" is a total trip, one that you'll laugh through, and be unable to put down. At least that's how it was for me.
Arnold Mi...moreFrom the first page, "'Shroom!" is a total trip, one that you'll laugh through, and be unable to put down. At least that's how it was for me.
Arnold Miracle is just your average, everyday guy, until one morning as he is eating breakfast, he notices a door in his kitchen that was never there before. The door opens into a basement (also never there before,) and Arnold's descent into that basement changes his life forever.
In the basement, he meets Shroom, a 9 foot talking mushroom, who grants Arnold something called "Allpowers." Shroom seemingly enjoys not answering direct questions though, and it is up to Arnold to learn exactly what these allpowers make him capable of.
"'Shroom!" is a classic story of good vs. evil, told in a new and bizarre manner. The story jumps all over the world, and back and forth in time. From 1930's Hollywood, to the times of the dinosaurs, and lots of places in between. It's a ride that will keep you laughing, and curious as to what will happen next. The story also includes an all star guess cast. From Marilyn Monroe, to John Lennon, to Frank Sinatra, you never know who Arnold may meet next.
If you're looking for something a little bit different to get lost in, I'd highly recommend getting yourself a copy of this book. It's light, yet centers around such themes as love, lust and the fight of good and evil. Any book that can keep you laughing is always a good choice right?
While this novel does start out a bit on the slow side, it quickly delves into a story that you can't help but get caught up in. At the center of the...moreWhile this novel does start out a bit on the slow side, it quickly delves into a story that you can't help but get caught up in. At the center of the story are thirteen year old twins, Michael and Emily. When Emily one day discovers she can make a strange "knocking" sound from her ankle, she decides to play a prank on her brother; making him believe that he is seeing and hearing a ghost. From this escapade, the twins give birth to the idea of "ghost knocking." Performing for their friends, convincing them that Emily is capable of communicating with spirits from beyond.
As Emily prepares for these knocking sessions, she begins to delve into the past lives of those from the other side she is supposedly communicating with. It's tough to really give an accurate synopsis of this book without giving away a lot of the mystery and surprise. I guess you'll just have to go out and get a copy and read it for yourself. Don't give up on, stay with it. It's a wonderful story, with many sub plots inside. You'll ponder it for days after you've finished it..
This is one of those books that caught my interest from the first page due to its subject matter. I work with at risk teenagers, so anything relating...moreThis is one of those books that caught my interest from the first page due to its subject matter. I work with at risk teenagers, so anything relating to their lives draws me in immediately. "Almost Home" is the story of seven teenagers in Los Angeles, who call the streets their home.
The story is told through the eyes of seven very different teens, with one thing in common. Each of them has opted to leave their abusive (or in one case, boring) home life and try to make a life for themselves on the streets of LA. Their lives consist of panhandling for change, avoiding cops, dumpster diving for their next meal, seeking out safe places to sleep and their relationships with each other, a necessity for some to survive.
The story is written for young adults, and I honestly plan to leave the book at work where the kids can read it if they'd like. It's a story of survival. Rather than romanticizing what life on the street may be like, it is honest, raw and brutal. It's a true account of the day to day problems and dramas that homeless teenagers face, once they take that step and run away from home. Stories of drugs, violence, rape and the things a person is forced to do to survive, not knowing where the next meal may come from.
"Almost Home" is gritty and edgy. Better yet, its REAL. It's a great read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who has any interest in the teenage mind. (less)
How many different ways are there to say that you completely and utterly adored a book? I sat down last night to start this book, and didn't get up un...moreHow many different ways are there to say that you completely and utterly adored a book? I sat down last night to start this book, and didn't get up until I finished it. I connected with the main character from the first page, and can honestly say that he's one of the most pessimistic yet endearing characters I've encountered in a story in a long time.
"Strange Skies" is the story of a man named Paul, who is married to a woman he loves with all his heart. However, his wife is eager to change the life Paul loves...she wants to start a family. Not something Paul is too thrilled with. After finding a lump in his arm, the doctors send it way for biopsy, to find out if Paul is indeed inflicted with cancer. When the day of the big news arrives, Paul finds he is sadly disappointed to learn he is healthy as can be. Then, without even really thinking about what he is doing, he tells his wife, his friends and pretty much everyone he meets that he DOES have cancer. He's a dying man, and he uses this idea as an excuse to live life the way he's always wanted to.
I laughed out loud several times as I read this book. I also found myself despising and respecting Paul all within the time it took to read a single page. Some of the things he does are immoral and wrong, yet he's funny as hell, which almost excuses his behavior.
If you need a quick read that will make you smile, and even take a step back and examine your own life, this is a book for you. I loved it. Two thumbs way up.
For all you Nicholas Sparks fans out there, rest assured, he's done it again. He's written another ridiculously perfect, impossible not to cry over, r...moreFor all you Nicholas Sparks fans out there, rest assured, he's done it again. He's written another ridiculously perfect, impossible not to cry over, romance. I'm usually not a fan of this type of work, but as I've said before, there's something about a Nicholas Sparks book I can't resist. It's like my guilty pleasure or something.
This one is about Travis, a small town vet, who has everything he could ever want out of life. He's got excellent friends, a cool dog, his own house and a great job. Sure, there's no steady girlfriend in the picture, but Travis is okay with that.
Until (yep, you guessed it. Enter girl of his dreams.) Gabby moves in next door. Gabby is a pediatrician, who has just moved to this small town to take a job. Complete with her very own unsatisfying relationship. Gabby and Travis meet when Gabby's dog suddenly ends up pregnant and she assumes it was that carefree neighbor's unruly dog.
The two meet, and come far from hitting it off. Yet behind closed doors, neither can stop thinking about the other. Yadda yadda, perfect romantic courtship follows. You know how it goes, its nothing earth shatteringly new. I knew exactly how this plot would unfold, it was completely predictable (as all of his books are) and yet I still cried and read the entire thing in basically one sitting.
So if you like his books, you won't be disappointed. It's exactly like all his others...
I'm an animal nut. I have two dogs of my own, who I adore, and who more times than not, I organize my life around...so any book with a picture of a do...moreI'm an animal nut. I have two dogs of my own, who I adore, and who more times than not, I organize my life around...so any book with a picture of a dog on the cover has my interest instantly. That said, "Cormac" was an okay read, but didn't come close to measuring up to the hopes I had for it.
The story is about a man and his dog. Sonny Brewer is in the midst of releasing his first novel, and touring the country to publicize it. One night, while he's thousands of miles from home, he gets a phone call from his close friend (and dog sitter) which puts into play any dog owner's worst nightmare. Cormac is missing. During a thundershower that lasted a matter of mere minutes, Cormac took off.
Brewer spends the next three weeks searching for his dog, never giving up home that the two will be reunited. Without giving anything away, Cormac had been picked up by a Golden Retriever rescue program and processed into their system. While Cormac was not at home with his family, rest assured he was at least being taken very good care of.
I read a review written by another reader on amazon.com. I seriously don't think this woman read the same book I did. Its hard for me to properly discuss my disagreements with her review, without pretty much spoiling the entire story for those of you who might want to read it. Basically, in her review she states that she works for a Golden Retriever rescue, and was insulted by this book and how they referred to others like her as over zealous. She then went on to accuse the author of neglecting his dog, and pretty much not ever caring about him to begin with. Now, while this isn't the most interesting or entertaining book I've ever read, one thing is made crystal clear through the author's words: the man adores his dog. How she can even call that notion into question is beyond me...like I said, I don't think she read the same book I did.
The end of the story, where we learn all the facts, and all the pieces behind Cormac's disappearance start to fit together, horrified me. I began questioning the humanity in the world...its sad.
If you're a dog lover, read this book...when you're done, read the review on amazon and send that reviewer your thoughts..