Sunday, September 25, 2016

Autumn Tempest



~ It's finally Autumn once again! I've been looking forward to this season ever since, well, Summer began. I'm not a Summer person at all, can't stand the hot temps. My two favorite seasons are Spring and Autumn; the latter for the cooler temps and colorful leaves and in Spring, the abundance of flora and fauna. This is also when darker clothes in hues of aubergine, burgundy, chocolate brown, grey, and black come out of the wardrobe.  

~ Feels like Wyoming here today, the winds are strong and haven't let up since I woke up this morning. Occasionally, we get these strong windstorms here in the inland region of southern California. This made me think of a poem I wrote several years ago:


The Tempest

She gathers leaves beneath 
November's moon, their texture 
reminiscent of linen paper and 
pressed rose petals.  Her auburn 
hair twists and turns in the 
Autumn wind like a red flame.   

Her hands sense the annoyance, 
attempt to tame the wild tresses.  
A temporary fix until the next 
gust has its way, trampling 
through maple leaves and fragile
branches.  Disrupting life in its
wake.   

Shadows play on white fences; 
she tells them to go away.
They whisper among themselves,
trees bend backwards to hear the
conversation. Shake the secrets
from their limbs where they fall
to the earth in a tempest of gold,
copper, and amber leaves.  

And the cycle begins again.  Raking
and gathering the dead into funeral
pyres.  Lighting prayers.  Then 
watching them burn away her sorrow 
in smoky clouds of redemption.



~ Sept 06 ~

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.

A disturbing, yet beautifully composed narrative told in three parts, The Vegetarian is an allegorical novel about modern day South Korea, but also a story of obsession, choice, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.
 


REVIEW:

I'd seen this book on Blogging for Books for the longest time, but I just wasn't sure about it, so never requested it. By the time I came around and decided to request it, there weren't any copies left. Then, I noticed it was in a giveaway on Librarything. I entered the giveaway and to my surprise, I won a copy and I'm glad that I finally read it.

This is such a compelling, provocative, and disturbing read that explores mental illness and the progression and toll it takes on not only the person afflicted but everyone close to the person. At first, before I even started reading, I thought this book was about a woman who decided to change her eating habits and become a vegetarian. There is so much more to the story than that!

The novella is divided into three sections, I wasn't sure if they were considered chapters, and each section is narrated from the point of view of a different character but each character is interrelated in some way. The first section introduces us to the main character, the woman who has frightening dreams, and then suddenly seems to change her view on eating meat. The second section is narrated from her brother-in-law's point of view and his strange, sexual obsession with the woman's mongolian birthmark. He is also obsessed with birds and flowers, and convinces the woman to allow him to paint flowers all over her body which leads to something terrible and inexcusable. The third section delves into the woman's older sister's views about the past and regret.

I won this book through a giveaway on Librarything and this is my honest review. 

4/5

Friday, September 2, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 


In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.


Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


REVIEW:  I've never read any of the Wayward Pines books by Blake Crouch but really enjoy the series on tv, so thought I'd give this book a try. The summary seemed interesting and I always love a good mystery.

This is a suspenseful, mysterious, action-filled story from the very beginning and it doesn't let up until you reach the end of the book. Each chapter entices you to keep going to find out what ultimately happens to Jason, the main character. His journey into the never-ending, dark corridors with endless doors to alternate realities was frightening, because he never knew what kind of world or reality he would enter. I found myself rooting for him throughout the story, hoping that he would eventually find his way back to his real home and his real family. Along the way, he must do violent things he wouldn't otherwise do and outwit the people who know him the best...himself. Confused? You will be at first, just keep reading and you'll know what I mean.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend this book to fans of science fiction, suspense, and mystery.

4/5

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Congrats to the Winner of The Rosegiver Giveaway on Goodreads!

~ I was so excited about finding out who won a copy of The Rosegiver through the Goodreads Giveaway that just ended yesterday. And the winner is...Joanne S.!!! I hope you enjoy the book, Joanne; I'll be mailing it off to you very soon.  :-)

I feel a little sad that the giveaway is done, to me, it almost feels like Christmas.  I hope to do another giveaway next month and hopefully, I can give away more than just one copy this time. The big shocker of this venture, was finding out that 1004 people entered the giveaway. I never expected such a huge number, I was hoping for at least 250 entries total, so this amount was amazing.

Because of this one giveaway, I've received more folks placing the book on their to-read list, more followers, and a new friend request. These things may seem trivial to some, but I think it's worth mentioning because everyone matters. Even though I'm not some famous, well-known author, I think it's really important to acknowledge people and let them know that you appreciate them, whatever the gesture may be (as long as it's not violent or just plain evil).

Now for some so-so notes about the giveaway I held on Librarything that ended in July. They allow authors to giveaway e-books, 100 at a time. I chose to offer 50 free e-books in exchange for an honest review. I was so thrilled that 46 people had requested The Rosegiver. However, out of those 46 people, only 2 people have actually read and rated the book since then. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to the 2 people who read the book but where is everyone else who requested it? I hear crickets...again. I conducted a little research before I held this giveaway and from what I read, from other authors who did the same thing, this stat is actually pretty good. Most also said they received between 2-5 reviews from giving away 50-100 copies of their e-books. Still, you would think the odds would be a little better?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White's sleepy, seaside town... until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet's crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet's grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet's already so knee-deep in love, she can't see straight. And that's just how River likes it.

A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop—a must-read for fans of Beautiful CreaturesThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Anna Dressed in Blood.



REVIEW:  I purchased this book from Book Outlet since it was on sale and the summary seemed rather interesting upon first glance. The cover is striking, with the intricate scrollwork of the title. I was surprised when I skimmed through the beginning of the book and found that it was signed by the author. There are three initials, AGT, and the author inserted devil horns and a tail on the letter "A" in her initials. 

I like the gothic landscape that the author created, with the dilapidated mansion that resides on a cliff by the sea, as well as the rundown greenhouse, painting shed, the old town cemetery, etc. There were scenes that were intriguing, when the main character, Violet, visits the attic and rummages through her grandmother Freddie's trunk and discovers remnants from a secretive past.

Violet meets River, a stranger who comes to town and offers to rent the guesthouse for a while. Later in the story, the reader learns more about River and his "glow." For me, this was a unique concept but for some reason, after everything that happens, I wasn't that impressed with his gift or as it's unraveled, his curse really. The romance between him and Violet is unbelievable in the beginning. They just met each other and the next thing you know, she's sleeping beside him? It's very strange. 

Also, I know this is a YA novel, but I didn't care for the dialogue at times; it seemed childish to me. There was some lovely prose in the story as well but just not enough to keep my interest going. 


3/5

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Rosegiver - Available on Kindle for $1.99/Createspace for $6.78

~ Interested in reading The Rosegiver? The book is available on Kindle for the low price of $1.99. 

~ Want a print version instead? Purchase The Rosegiver on Createspace for $6.78 (not including shipping and tax), using discount code: LTM69DCF.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda

Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda's love poems are the most celebrated of the Nobel Prize winner's oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images and reveling in a fiery re-imagining of the world. Mostly written on the island paradise of Capri (the idyllic setting of the Oscar-winning movie Il Postino), Love Poems embraces the seascapes surrounding the poet and his love Matilde Urrutia, their waves and shores saturated with a new, yearning eroticism.


And when you appear

all the rivers sound

in my body, bells

shake the sky,

and a hymn fills the world.




REVIEW:

When I spotted Love Poems on Book Outlet, I knew I had to buy it. The book is what I consider a tiny book and I absolutely love those! Just think, you can carry this one around with you in your purse or bag and read it at any time. I think it would also make for a nice gift if you have friends who also enjoy reading poetry or are also big fans of Neruda. It's also designed in a lovely, feminine style with its pink cover and gold lettering and scrolling.

Beautiful collection of poems by my favorite poet, Neruda. I love the imagery and metaphor in the poems as well as the romance depicted here. My favorite poems: In You the Earth, Your Feet, Your Hands, Night on the Island, The Stolen Branch, If You Forget Me, Ode and Burgeonings, and Epithalamium, but all of the poems are so wonderful. This little book is a must read for poetry or Neruda fans, romantics, and dreamers.

5/5