Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan's terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan's teenage stepson, doesn't help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

Review:  When I read the description to this book, I thought it was going to be about an actual haunted house and about how this con-artist woman who claimed to be a psychic was going to weasel her way out of this situation.  Boy was I wrong.  This story starts out with sexually explicit material and then just keeps moving in all kinds of wild directions after that.  You don't know who to believe or what exactly is going on due to the various stories from the characters Susan and Miles.

This story is full of suspense and mystery.  Miles says things without any hesitation that will make your skin crawl.  Susan seems like a terrified woman who's losing it, but is she really?  Even after finishing the book, I'm still left wondering who was telling the truth and who was lying and is just plain psycho.  

On a side note, I wasn't that impressed with the cover art, I thought it could have been better.  The inside end paper was really nice though, a black damask paper that would go with an old Victorian house feel.  I also didn't realize that this book was only 64 pages when I requested it from Blogging for Books.  Imagine my surprise when I received this rather large box from the postman and inside is this tiny book.  And finally, my memory is so bad, I knew the author's name looked familiar but I couldn't pinpoint where I'd heard it before.  Duh, she is the author of Gone Girl. Never read that book but watched the movie (lots of suspense and mystery there too).

I finished this book in a few minutes - for me it was that interesting and suspenseful.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense, thrillers, and mysteries.  I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Time Chamber by Daria Song

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in best-selling Korean artist Daria Song’s coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.

Review:  I was thrilled when I found out that Daria Song had a second book out in her coloring series on the theme of Time.  I immediately clicked on the review this book button in Blogging for Books to receive a review copy of this amazing adult coloring book.

I have to admit, I like this second book over the first one, The Time Garden.  Don't get me wrong, both books are stunning and beautiful but this second book has even more wonderful images to color and just stare at, than the first one. The Time Chamber continues with the fairy from the first book.  This time, she leaves her world and ventures into the human world which seems just as magical. There are intricate skeleton keys, hot air balloons shaped from flowers and leaves, a time mirror, and other lovely items that any girl or woman would love to imagine she owns.

I would recommend this second book over the first one.  You won't be disappointed at the artwork inside.  

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pompeii Thieves Claim Relics Are Cursed

Via Fox News:
Maybe the teen busted this summer for stealing a ceiling tile at the ancient city of Pompeii in order to buy an iphone got lucky.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, tourists who nabbed historic mementos during their trips to the Italian city have been returning them because of fears that they are cursed. 
The paper says that over the past few years, around 100 parcels containing items from the site have been sent back, often with letters of explanation saying that troubles in their lives could be traced back to the theft at Pompeii.
Massimo Osanna, Pompeii’s archaeological superintendent, told the newspaper that small statues, pottery and tiles are among the items that have been sent to him. 
One of these was written by a Spanish man who returned several items, including a bronze statue, because it had ruined his family.  
Another came from an English woman who had inherited a stolen tile from her parents who had recently died.
“Please don't judge them too harshly,” she wrote in her letter. “They were different times.”
It’s believed that Pompeii is cursed because the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that wiped out the city and its inhabitants occured because the gods ordered the punishment after legionaries destroyed holy buildings. 
Now, Osanna is thinking about creating an exhibition of the returned artifacts and letters to tell the story behind some of the stolen pieces.
Meanwhile, last week four French tourists were charged with aggravated theft after being caught trying to steal pieces of Pompeii's famous frescoes, La Repubblica reported.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wandering Avenues of the Dead in Montmartre

Serenity Now: Wandering avenues of the dead in Montmartre
Article by: Michelle Locke, AP

PARIS — Just around the corner, it's a typical Parisian rush hour with bumper-to-bumper cars honking their way down the Boulevard de Clichy past garish shop fronts and the blazing red sails of the Moulin Rouge.
But here in the Montmartre cemetery the only sound is the trill of birds as they flit through the shady trees lining the avenues of the dead.
It doesn't get much more serene than this.
This is not the cemetery where The Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison is buried; that's Pere Lachaise. But it is the final resting place of several painters, composers, writers and other artists, testament to Montmartre's Bohemian past.
A map to the most famous graves is available online, . Click the last entry, "Map of Montmartre Cemetery (English)," to get the document.
Some of the cemetery's most famous residents include composers Hector Berlioz ("Symphonie Fantastique") and Jacques Offenbach ("The Tales of Hoffman"). Dancer Rudolf Nijinsky is here as is Edgar Degas, famous for his paintings of ballet dancers. Also: Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone.
In a neat little bit of literary history, you can find the grave of Alexandre Dumas, who wrote "The Three Musketeers," as well as the grave of Alphonsine Plessis, the courtesan who was the inspiration for Dumas' "La Dame Aux Camelias." The tragic story laid the foundations for the opera "La Traviata," and the movie "Camille."
And if you don't feel like tracking down graves, this is also a perfectly good place to simply wander, investigating memorials that catch your eye, like the full-size statute of a man atop the grave of Jean Bauchet. Not a household name, but he was a manager of the Moulin Rouge, the famous cabaret, just a short walk away.
Walking back to Boulevard Clichy from the cemetery entrance you will find Corcoran's Irish Pub, It's a good place to toast the ghosts of Montmartre.
If You Go...
MONTMARTRE CEMETERY: 20 avenue Rachel, Paris; Open daily. Free. Metro stop: Place de Clichy.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dark Blooms

~ My poem Ask the Wolf has been posted at Dark Blooms Literary Zine.  Thanks to editor JD DeHart for graciously inviting me to submit my work there.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Time Garden by Daria Song

The Time Garden will sweep you away into an enchanted world, created in intricate pen and ink by Korean artist Daria Song.

Journey through the doors of the cuckoo clock and into its inky innerworkings to discover a magical land ready and waiting for you to customise with whatever colours you can dream up.

The Time Garden is an international best-selling colouring book and this edition finally makes it available in English. Full of beautifully detailed illustrations, this is the perfect gift for colouring fans of all ages.

Review:  I was so excited to receive a copy of The Time Garden, an adult coloring book.  Before this, I only recently found out about adult coloring books by reading a fellow poet's Facebook post.  Curious, I looked up the title (of another coloring book) on and was amazed to find several other "adult" coloring books available.  I wondered why no one else had come up with this simple idea a long time ago.  I know they're called adult coloring books, but I think they would be suitable for children as well.  

I looked through each page of The Time Garden and was immediately drawn to the images inside.  There are cuckoo clocks, gears, trees with fruit hanging from them, leaves, flowers, and many architectural elements.  I wish that I could draw as wonderfully as Daria Song but unfortunately was not gifted in this department.  Each image is drawn so carefully and perfectly, the entire book is truly a work of art.  What sets it apart is that there's an enchanting story within the images that allows the reader's imagination to flow.  

Can't wait to begin coloring and I think I will stick to colored pencils.  The book is too beautiful and I would worry about smudging with ink pens and having them bleed through to the other side.  I also think this book would make a great gift for a young girl or even a middle-aged woman like myself (young at heart).

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Publishing Interview

~ I have an interview posted at poet & writer Eliot Gilbert's blog, about poetry chapbook publishing and Flutter Press.  Thanks again Eliot for inviting me to participate!