Vampire romance for people who think! How many vampire novels have you read that feature a discussion on philosophy, as it relates to vampires, with rVampire romance for people who think! How many vampire novels have you read that feature a discussion on philosophy, as it relates to vampires, with references to Thomas Aquinas?
The story is centered on Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt, who meet at Hudson University. One is a vampire, one isn't. And I suppose telling which is which would be a spoiler.
The story begins with a prologue, in which Marco and his then-girlfriend Lily Sparks, and the violent incident that made Lily into an ex-girlfriend. We then move on to the meeting of Marco and Amanda. Amanda, in spite of her name, is actually Russian, and of course she is beautiful. Sparks--- but not Lily Sparks--- fly.
We then encounter one of Declan Finn's patented Clever Chapter Titles: "Always Date Inside Your Species." Which is a way of raising the question, can a vampire date a human without someone becoming dinner?
Marco, as it turns out, is a feudal lord to a pair of street gangs--- the Dragons and Los Tigres--- which unlike most street gangs compete to see how many bad guys they can apprehend and turn over to the cops.
Marco introduces Amanda to his father, Dr. Richard Catalano, and invites her to spend Christmas with the family. Richard reports on the murder of a former member of one of Marco's pet gangs. It is one of a series of vampire murders.
There are some medically unusual things about the vampire killings and Richard sends samples to the CDC. Which action attracts a vampire to the hospital. Marco has to fight the vampire off with a martial art called Krav Maga.
Then there is the matter of the Vatican Ninjas, a vampire fighting force. You see, evidently the Church noticed the sudden demand for holy water and other blessed items from people fighting vampires, and so the existence of vampires is no mystery to them.
The vampire virus is revealed to be parasitic in nature--- kind of like vampires themselves. And then there is the late introduction of another character, Merle Kraft, and the useful revelation of how you can up with a 50 gallon drum of holy water when a vampire battle looms.
There is a major battle against the bad vampires, which by no means ends the war, since this book is going to have a sequel (Yay!)
FLAWS IN THE BOOK (tongue in cheek)
Marco says some rude stuff about Mormons and also does not care for the Twilight series (I liked that series well enough, myself, and some of my imaginary friends are Mormons.)
A priest-character expresses the opinion that 'no one' believes in Adam and Eve any more. Which is not accurate since the Catholic Catechism mentions Adam and Eve and the Fall of Man rather than rejecting them. But I contacted the author and he says he ran this concept past a couple of priests. So it is possible a priest would say this.
The Yiddish word 'schm-ck' (rhymes with duck) is used. It's a dirty word in Yiddish.
The Star Trek series is mentioned and the character who does so gets it WRONG! He mentions 'Kojo the Executioner' and later corrects it to 'Chronos the Executioner'. It's KODOS the Executioner! You know, like Kang and Kodos on the Simpsons.
A character mentions that Boston, as home of the Red Sox, is EVIL. I am a Red Sox fan and therefore know that this is wrong, and that there is a whole other baseball team that is EVIL, and their initials are: New York Yankees. I shall have to get revenge on the fictional character that said this.
CONCLUSION: This book is an excellent read for anyone who loves vampire fiction. The love story does not get in the way of all the action. And there are no sex scenes or rants featuring foul language, so you don't have to hide the book from your kids or your parents.
"Sikh and ye shall find." (For some reason, some people groan at lines like that.)
There is a fair bit of violence mentioned, most either violence committed by evil vampires or violence defending against them.
And this novel represents a return to the vampire traditions of Bram Stoker's Dracula in the fact that the evil vampires, at least, are vulnerable to holy items.
I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out. If you read this book, you may feel the same way. ...more
This book consists of 80 short chapters, each dealing with an issue that may come to people's minds when thinking about the Catholic faith. Each of thThis book consists of 80 short chapters, each dealing with an issue that may come to people's minds when thinking about the Catholic faith. Each of these chapters is two to three pages in length.
There are chapters about the Rosary, Mary, priestly celibacy, contraception, what the Bible says about Jesus, hell, and the Socratic method. Whether you are Catholic or not, this book is highly useful as it answers so many questions about what Catholics really believe and whether these beliefs are supported by the Bible.
Chapter 5 gives ten instances where the New Testament references those Old Testament books that Catholics call the Deuterocanonical books, and that Protestants call the 'Apocrypha' and mostly omit from modern Protestant Old Testaments. Even the Golden Rule given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:16 is a reference to a phrase in the Deuterocanonical book of Tobit! (Tobit 4:15)
Chapter 8 gives three Biblical arguments for an authoritative Church. We know that the Bible says that Jesus himself taught 'with authority'. Catholics believe that there are Biblical reasons to believe that the Church also is able to teach on spiritual matters with authority. For example, in Acts 16:4 it records that St. Paul delivered the decisions of the Jerusalem council to various cities, not for debate, but 'for observance'. That is, they were expected to obey these decisions.
Chapter 9 covers the objection that some Protestants have to calling a Catholic priest 'Father', when Jesus said 'Call no man your father on earth.' Armstrong shows that this is just one of several instances when Jesus uses a teaching method that involves exaggeration to make a point. If the verse were to be taken as a literal command, we could not call our own Dads our fathers! Kind of confusing when introducing new in-laws at the family gathering.
Chapter 66 covers whether the Bible condemns homosexual acts. Armstrong gives a number of Biblical references such as Leviticus 20:13, 1 Kings 14:24, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, and Jude 1:7. He then deals with some common objections. As a person who has a homosexual orientation myself, I was pleased to see that Armstrong dealt with the topic in a loving way. He even quotes from C. S. Lewis "The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (John 9:1-3) : only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him. This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i. e. that every disability conceals a vocation..." Very inspirational for those dealing with this issue personally.
Chapter 71 is called 'Philosophical Defense of the Necessity of Hell'. I've noticed a lot of Christians these days deny hell. They think that God will somehow force everyone to repent and turn to God in the end, or that the souls of the wicked will be annihilated. He argues that since the soul is eternal by nature it cannot be annihilated even for its own 'good', and that forcing all to repent takes away human free will, the thing that makes us individuals and not robots.
I loved this book and read it in one day. It made me think about a lot of issues in a new way. I thank God for the work Dave Armstrong is doing, and I cannot wait to read my next Dave Armstrong book.
Space travel can drive you insane. And so a small band of interstellar travelers, confined together, experience the effects of a force which causes thSpace travel can drive you insane. And so a small band of interstellar travelers, confined together, experience the effects of a force which causes them to confront their internal mental contradictions and, worse, speak of them to the others.
This story is well-crafted and thoughtful, even philosophical. Highly recommended for the thinking science fiction fan....more
This is a book of sijo poems for children. Sijo are a Korean poetic form, similar to haiku, but longer.
The poems in this book deal with things that aThis is a book of sijo poems for children. Sijo are a Korean poetic form, similar to haiku, but longer.
The poems in this book deal with things that a child would identify with, and yet they are quality sijo worthy of adult attention as well.
Here is one example poem:
Everyone wants to get the ball, run with it, and score a goal. But when we win one-nothing, that "nothing" means everything.
It's tough, playing for nothing. Defense: Intense immense suspense.
In addition to the poems, the back of the book explains the sijo form and gives a list of books of sijo to read. This makes it a great resource for poets of all ages.
I was able to read this book because the kind people at the Stephenson Public Library of Stephenson, MI, ordered it on interlibrary loan for me. I would like to thank them, and encourage folks to support their local library, most especially the small town/rural ones....more
This is a book of poems by schoolchildren. The editor is the poet Sandford Lyne, who is also the author of 'Writing Poetry from the Inside Out', whichThis is a book of poems by schoolchildren. The editor is the poet Sandford Lyne, who is also the author of 'Writing Poetry from the Inside Out', which I own and has proved very useful to me. Mr. Lyne did a lot of teaching poetry workshops to children, and this book is the result.
"My Friend I remember a girl named Jeanine. She was one of my friends. One day at school, they told us she had cancer. A week later they said she was dead. She's like a plant that I forgot to water." ---Jessica Surrat, Grade 6
The poem above is one of the best poems in the book, in my opinion. As for the rest--- they are written by children as school assignments. There are a few that are flashes of brilliance, but many are more average. But that's OK too. Writing a poem from time to time is a basic life skill--- but we don't all need to be Robert Burns, Christina Rossetti or Hwang Jini.
I enjoyed this book very much. But it made me wonder. In schools they do teach writing poetry. Reading poets, not so much. Are we working towards a world in which poems are just a grade school assignment that we write before we grow out of childish things, and in which the only people who READ poems are the grade school teachers who made the assignment and are paid to read the results? ...more
Chiron Review is a poetry magazine in book form, and this particular issue dates from Fall 2014. It contains the works of a wide variety of poets andChiron Review is a poetry magazine in book form, and this particular issue dates from Fall 2014. It contains the works of a wide variety of poets and writers.
"It looks like a skillet for elves this cast-iron ashtray that once sat next to Father's big chair and now sits on the counter next to my stove."
That's from a group of several poems by Donna Hilbert, or perhaps it is one long poem with sections. The group or the poem is called 'Objects Brought From my Mother's House'.
There is also an interview with Eckhard Gerdes, a poem called 'Gaye' by J. Wesley Clark, and many other treasures to be found here.
I learned of Chiron Review over twenty years ago when going through my poetry files. I had it on record that some poems I'd submitted had been accepted, but I'd never received my contributor's copy. I emailed the editor and he told me the poems had never been published, but kindly invited me to resubmit, which I did, and got accepted. That's why my name is one of the many listed as the author of this work....more
Christina Rossetti, born in 1830, was involved in the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Anglican church, and her poetic work often has themes derived froChristina Rossetti, born in 1830, was involved in the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Anglican church, and her poetic work often has themes derived from her faith. She was also associated with the Pre-Raphaelites.
This particular volume, one of the Dover Thrift Editions, is only 68 pages long but includes the long poem 'Goblin Market' as well as many shorter works by the poetess. It's a very inexpensive edition suitable for impoverished poets learning their craft or homeschooling mothers or others attempting to teach children to appreciate poetry.
One of the poems I particularly liked was 'Cousin Kate'.
"I was a cottage maiden Hardened by sun and air, Contented with my cottage mates, Not mindful I was fair. Why did a great lord find me out, And praise my flaxen hair? Why did a great lord find me out To fill my heart with care?"
The poem goes on to tell the story of the maiden who became the lord's mistress, and then was supplanted by another woman, who became the lord's wife. But the (former) maiden has one thing the wife does not--- a son by the great lord, who would have given a great deal if only he could have got a son by the lawful wife.
As a self-taught poet I am currently trying to improve my knowledge of poetry by reading portions of a poetry book every day, with special emphasis on the highly regarded poets of the past. I remember the name of Christina Rossetti from my childhood--- a set of books my mother bought for me as a child contained a number of Miss Rossetti's poems. Reading this book helped me to get to know this fine poet a little bit and I intend to continue to read Miss Rossetti's poems....more
This slim volume of poetry is written by a woman with Down Syndrome, who began writing poetry while taking a course at Salve Regina University in NewpThis slim volume of poetry is written by a woman with Down Syndrome, who began writing poetry while taking a course at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
The poems often express a love for nature. Others document the poet's relationships to others--- poems for the baptisms of a niece and a nephew, ones about her grandmother and her friends.
Here is a sample poem:
The Invisible Five Dogs
Out in the fog I cannot see Five invisible dogs Running to me Dogs yelping with excitement To woof, "Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday"
As a poet I find many of the works in this collection to be quite beautiful. The poet certainly has a gift. I shared the book with my mother and she was also impressed.
I hope this poet will be very encouraged to continue her poetic work. Reading her work impressed upon me that poetic gifts can come to all sorts of people, even ones with Down Syndrome....more
When I read this book for the first time I wished that every school teacher that decides to do a haiku-writing lesson would read this book first. HaikWhen I read this book for the first time I wished that every school teacher that decides to do a haiku-writing lesson would read this book first. Haiku is more than just counting syllables!
This book goes into the traditions of haiku at great length and enables a serious student to understand what a haiku actually is, and how to tell a good one from a second-rate one.
For poets who'd like to try writing haiku, this book gives an overwhelming amount of information. I'd recommend going slow and reading and rereading useful sections rather than dashing through it and trying to apply everything you've learned all at once.
One useful feature of the book is an extensive list of traditional season-words (a traditional haiku always has a season-word). Looking over the list may help you find a season word that can act as a poetry prompt for your next haiku. ...more
How can a family survive an America which has been 'fundamentally transformed' in all the wrong ways?
'The Notice' is a sequel to 'Tears of Paradox.' BHow can a family survive an America which has been 'fundamentally transformed' in all the wrong ways?
'The Notice' is a sequel to 'Tears of Paradox.' Both books tell the story from the point of view of a married couple, Jason and Michelle, who see their world grow more dystopian by the day.
Michelle receives a government notice which impinges on the couple's freedom in a very personal way. Michelle, pregnant, has to go underground to have her baby, since health care has become a joke and maternity hospitals have been replaced by abortion clinics.
Children are not particularly welcome in the brave new world, and can in fact be killed after birth if they should prove to have some sort of defect or disability. Though if the children survive to the teenage stage they are recruited into a Hitler Youth style organization and told it is their right to defy their parents.
The book also tells the story of Jason's spiritual struggle--- perhaps at too great a length for those readers unaccustomed to such things even being mentioned in a book.
The story winds its way on a grand tour of this bad new world, but since the author keeps the suspense at a high level, the book is one of those 'read all night long' books like a good Stephen King novel.
I felt the book reminded me a bit of Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke's Agenda 21 books, only these books are set much nearer in the future. A very realistic dystopia....more
This is the story of a married couple, Jason and Michelle, facing the future in a world that could only be described as dystopian. But it's not any olThis is the story of a married couple, Jason and Michelle, facing the future in a world that could only be described as dystopian. But it's not any old dystopia. This one is quite realistic, because its building blocks are policies that some of the politicians of today would like to see carried out--- such as a universal health care system that promotes the abortion of children with 'defects'.
The story is told in an unusual way--- Jason and Michelle take turns telling their story from their viewpoints at different times in the overall story.
The author, Daniella Bova, really keeps the suspense up, constantly raising questions in the mind of the reader and delaying the answers just enough to keep you reading, reading, reading.... Don't buy this book on a day when you don't have time to sit down and read it, because no matter what your plans that is what you are going to be doing.
"He was Comanche, and he was known among the People as Buffalo Caller. Once in a time of hunger, when he was a fledgling on one of his first hunts, th"He was Comanche, and he was known among the People as Buffalo Caller. Once in a time of hunger, when he was a fledgling on one of his first hunts, the older and more experienced men had ridden their horses to exhaustion without scaring up so much as one lone, lame bull. But Buffalo Caller, riding alone, had heard a faint and distant bellow. He had responded in the voice of a buffalo, and the buffalo had answered him....."
This is the opening of The Buckskin Line by Elmer Kelton. The story opens with a Comanche raid on a settlement, in which a red-haired boy of about three years is taken captive, and later rescued. The boy grows up to be Rusty Shannon, a young man who after the murder of his foster father, likely by a man who disagreed with the foster father's opinion that the state of Texas ought not secede from the Union, is sent off to join a ranging company, the forerunner of the Texas Rangers.
Rusty must fight not only hostile Indians, but pro-Confederacy zealots who want to hang all who support the Union. And it's not only himself he must protect, but the Monahan family, the family of his girl, Geneva, who like his own foster father are pro-Union.
This book is a fine Western by an author who won the Spur Award more than once, and is a great book to start with if you are new to Westerns. It's a clean read and does not contain anti-Christian biases--- in fact, one character in the book is a circuit-riding preacher....more
This slim and inexpensive volume gives you a taste of the work of classic Japanese haiku writers from Iio Sogi (1421-1502) to Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902This slim and inexpensive volume gives you a taste of the work of classic Japanese haiku writers from Iio Sogi (1421-1502) to Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902).
What makes this haiku book different is that the original Japanese versions, transliterated into our alphabet, is given. It gives you an idea what the original sounded like.
Also, for many poems there are more than one translation given, so that you may compare.
There are footnotes to explain matters in the poems that may be obscure to the Western reader.
Of the several haiku books in my collection, this one is highly recommended. It gives a good selection of classical haiku and I believe it is an excellent introduction to the subject.
It will have an honored place in the library of any person who enjoys poetry or international literature. In addition the homeschooling mother and the school teacher may find it a useful and inexpensive book to have on hand while teaching poetry or Japanese culture....more
Murder at the Vatican--- and the murdered man turns out to have been researching Pope Pius XII. That pope, once known as the pope who opposed Hitler aMurder at the Vatican--- and the murdered man turns out to have been researching Pope Pius XII. That pope, once known as the pope who opposed Hitler and helped to save thousands of Jews, was rechristened by revisionist historians as 'Hitler's Pope'.
When a new African pope is elected, taking the name of Pius XIII and speaking up for the canonization of Pius XII, the 'Hitler's Pope' theory comes to the forefront. When it results in a murder, Vatican security head Giovanni Figlia and American mercenary Sean Ryan must investigate, which leads to more murders and lots of cool thriller-style destruction.
I very much enjoyed this book, even though I'm not normally a thriller reader. I must confess that the sheer number of Important Characters got me a bit confused and I had to start the book over to figure out who was who. (Hint: 'Sean' and 'Ryan' are the same dude.)
The historical digressions were not intrusive, annoying, or excessive, and they are based on actual historical research unlike a certain Dan Brown book.
As I am the author of this volume of poetry, modesty forbids my saying more than it was a great deal of fun to write the poems in this book. Some of tAs I am the author of this volume of poetry, modesty forbids my saying more than it was a great deal of fun to write the poems in this book. Some of them made me laugh like a madwoman. They make my mother cry....more