Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wonderland by Amily Shen

Artist Amily Shen takes adult coloring book fans on a magical journey inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Follow the White Rabbit into this imaginative coloring book inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, featuring intricate pen-and-ink drawings by acclaimed artist Amily Shen. Meet the Cheshire Cat, attend the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts in this evocative tale that invites you into a strange and beautiful new world of coloring.

Review:  Amily Shen's coloring book inspired by Alice in Wonderland is a marvel to look at. The images are beautifully drawn, from the teacups, roses and leaves borders, to the Mad Hatter's tea party, the Queen of Hearts, and many more. I enjoyed the addition of modern day places such as the cafe, where the book begins with the young girl and her colored pencils and sketchbook to a Japanese-style teahouse located in an enchanting mushroom forest. There are also puzzles to solve, a maze of roses, and areas where people can draw their own images which also makes the book an enjoyable experience.

I would recommend this coloring book to anyone who enjoys Alice in Wonderland, fantasy-type drawings, or just coloring books in general. It would also make a lovely gift for young children, tweens and teens, or anyone who is young at heart. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Goodbye Prince

~ This morning, after returning from grocery shopping, my husband called to tell me that he had received a news flash that Prince had died. I thought he was kidding with me, a morbid joke, but not something I wanted to believe. I am still in shock. I listened to Prince all throughout my childhood and later years and always was a big fan of his music and his style. There will never be anyone like him, ever again, and that's what truly makes his passing even more sad and tragic. My favorite song of his, When Doves Cry, will always have a special place in my heart along with all of the other magical songs he created during his short time on this earth.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Rosegiver Goodreads Giveaway - Cancelled

~ To anyone who may read this post, if you entered the Goodreads giveaway for The Rosegiver, I apologize for cancelling it at the last minute, but I feel the book needs a little bit of revision before I send out final copies of the book for ratings or reviews. I hope to complete the revision within 3-6 months and create another giveaway on Goodreads then. I hope that you'll keep The Rosegiver in mind and re-enter the giveaway when the book is eventually released again.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Rosegiver in Revision Mode

~ I've decided to revise the book a little more. I'm not sure if this is something that other first time writers have done after publishing their own book but I feel it's something I have to do. Based on recent negative reviews and low ratings, I feel that the book needs to be improved upon. It's my first novel, I'm still learning as I go, and I really want it to be more polished. To make matters worse, the book is available on Netgalley and is also in a giveaway on Goodreads which is going to end shortly, so now I will be sending folks an unrevised version of the book.  :-(

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Secret Language of Women by Nina Romano

Set in China in the late 1800’s, The Secret Language of Women, tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Zhou Bin Lian, a Eurasian healer, and Giacomo Scimenti, an Italian sailor, driven apart by the Boxer Rebellion.

When Lian is seventeen years old, she accompanies her Swiss father, Dr. Gianluca Brasolin, fluent in Italian, to tend the Italian ambassador, at the Summer Palace of Empress Dowager, where she meets and falls in love with Giacomo.

Through voyage and adventure, their love intensifies, but soon is severed by Lian’s dutiful promise as the wife to another. Forbidden from pursuing her chosen profession as a healer, and despised because she does not have bound feet, she is forced to work in a cloisonné factory while her in-laws raise her daughter, Ya Chen. It is in Nushu, the women’s secret writing, that she chronicles her life and her hopes for the future.

Rebelling against the life forced upon her, she empowers herself to act out against the injustice and becomes the master of her own destiny. But her quest for freedom comes at a costly price: The life of someone close to her, lost in a raging typhoon, a grueling journey to the Yun-kang Caves, and a desperate search for beauty and love in the midst of brutality.

Review:  Before reading this novel, I was familiar with Nina Romano's writing through her poetry. I always felt that her poems were painstakingly detailed and full of unique imagery. Even back then, I could picture her writing a novel because of her prose writing style.

The Secret Language of Women was for me, a hefty read. I tend to shy away from books that are longer than 300 pages, due to past experiences of reading hefty books that were too long-winded or my own short attention span at times. This novel was different. The story of Lian, a Eurasian girl who meets and falls in love with an Italian sailor, Giacomo, is engaging, exotic, and intriguing. The author does a superb job of creating this authentic Chinese world in the late 1800s. As the reader, you truly get a glimpse of life through the eyes of Lian, what China must have been like hundreds of years ago. I can't begin to imagine how much research went into this story but it is incredibly impressive, from the settings to local cuisine, it's all there.

Lian experiences so much adversity in this tale and the author creates these different experiences in a way that seems real, intimate, and also interesting. There is hardly a dull moment in this story and as a reader, I appreciate that. The ending is not what I was hoping for but this only added to the realism of this novel. Nina Romano is truly an inspiring and gifted writer. I'm so pleased that she dived into writing fiction, I feel that all writers and poets can learn a great deal from her.

I would highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy historical fiction and romance, you won't be disappointed.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Shrinking Violet

It’s so easy for you,
the bold sunflower in the room.
Born to be in the spotlight,
your Summer colors warm 
and saffron like the sun.
Curious moths gravitate
towards your heat, 
burned in the moment of impact
for just one chance encounter.
I am the whisp of shadow
lurking in the corner;
a delicate petal wilting
within a savage garden
overgrown in thickets and thorns.

July 2015

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just killto get out. 

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

Review:  The cover is what drew me to this book at first; the creepy, thin girl wearing a translucent white dress with long black hair covering her face. The cover and the story reminded me of the horror movies The Grudge and The Well combined. 

The story line was interesting and was seen through the eyes of a young Japanese girl who died tragically over 300 years ago. The book also revolves around a modern day teen boy who seems haunted by something and senses that he is not alone half the time; both of their stories intertwine and you find yourself wanting to read on and on to find out what happens next. I also like how the characters travel to Japan and the reader gets a glimpse into the landscape and language. There were moments that I got the creeps while reading it and that's really hard to do with a book because you have to envision it in your mind instead of watching it take place on screen. Also a sign of a very talented writer. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys horror and paranormal novels or the movies I mentioned above.