Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Have you ever picked up a book by an author you've never heard of, written in a genre that's not your usual cup of tea and with a title that reminds you of a cheesy sci-fi movie...and then ended up loving it? That's how it was with me and 'The Martian'.

The story is pretty straightforward. A manned mission to Mars goes wrong and the crew have to flee the surface in haste when a storm threatens to destroy their take-off vehicle. In the chaos, botanist/mechanical engineer Mark Watney is injured. Believing him to be dead, the crew takes off.

However, Watney is still alive. And he has every intention of "staying alive" (a song our hero adopts as his theme song - yes, Watney is funny that way). Mark Watney becomes the first Martian - a good humored, resourceful and the one and only resident of Mars. How he survives on a freezing cold planet with no help in sight and no way to communicate with Earth makes for a terrifically compelling read and the suspense and drama of if/how he ever gets back to Earth is breathtaking.

If I was in the habit of giving stars, I'd give this book 4 stars. Why not 5 stars, you ask? Read on...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Author Alison McQueen stops by...

Alison McQueen, author of Under The Jeweled Sky
Forbidden love set against the backdrop of a maharaja’s palace in post-World War II India is at the center of Alison McQueen’s new novel, Under the Jeweled Sky (Jan 21, 2014; $14.99 U.S.; Fiction; Trade Paper).

Sophie Schofield always knew she would return to India. When she does in 1957, she is the new bride of ambitious British diplomat Lucien Granger and part of the glittering expatriate set that called New Delhi home following India’s partition. But it’s not the country she fell in love with 10 years earlier and Sophie is soon confronted with the memory of her first love and its devastating consequences. The past still haunts her - the guilt she carries, the destruction wreaked upon her fragile parents, and the boy with the tourmaline eyes.

Join me in reading what Alison McQueen has to say about her research involving declassified diplomatic documents, and her love affair with India while writing this interesting book.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review - An Imperfect Witch by Deborah Geary

You might be familiar with Deborah Geary's A Modern Witch series, featuring stories about a beloved clan of modern witches with lots of magic, enduring life lessons and a perfection that's to be read to be believed. Geary continues with the same characters in her new Witch Central series beginning with An Imperfect Witch (Kindle Edition, 250 p, Fireweed Pub)

Read my review below to see why, despite my fondness for this author's works, I decided to stop reading this story.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Author Benjamin Kane Ethridge & a Kindle Fire Giveaway

Today I'm happy to welcome Benjamin Kane Ethridge, the Bram Stoker Award winning author of BLACK & ORANGE (Bad Moon Books, 2010), who's guest blogging here today. {scroll down for the giveaway}

In his latest book, BOTTLED ABYSS, Herman and Janet Erikson are going through a crisis of grief and suffering after losing their daughter in a hit and run. They’ve given up on each other. One afternoon their dog goes missing in the coyote-infested badlands behind their property. Herman goes to find the dog, completely unaware he’s on a hike to the River Styx, the border between the Living world and the world of the dead. What Herman discovers about the dark power contained in those waters will change his and Janet’s lives forever…

How to write by the seat of your pants: outline or no
by Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Author Karleen Koen stops by...

Today I'm happy to welcome Karleen Koen, the New York Times bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly, Now Face to Face, and Dark Angels, who's guest blogging here today.

Her latest book, Before Versailles focuses on four intense months of King Louis’s young life. It’s the summer of 1661, and after the death of his prime minister, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, and in a way quite inexperienced and shy, but also very determined, intelligent and headstrong. He’s used to having anything and everything his heart desires—land, women—including his brother’s wife.

Why did I write "Before Versailles"?
by Karleen Koen

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review - The Last Victim by Karen Robards

I've read many books this summer (around 35+, so don't expect many reviews), but Karen Robards' The Last Victim (Ballantine, Isbn-0345535405) is one that I feel deserves a special response, an immediate review.

One word summary - Interesting

One line Review - An interesting mystery together with stellar characters and complex relationships, this book is one of my top five reads for this summer.

Synopsis : Fifteen years ago, young Charlie Stone was the only one to escape the Boardwalk Killer. Now an eminent psychiatrist whose speciality is serial killers, Charlie is called in by the FBI when a series of similar murders rock the town of Kill Devil Hills. Because of her ability to see the ghosts of those who've recently died violent deaths, Charlie is shocked to find that the ghost of her most recent patient, drop dead gorgeous serial killer Michael Garland who died in her arms, has attached to her and refuses to "go towards the light". As the killings escalate, Charlie finds in Garland a reluctant ally and a growing attraction that refuses to die, even as her head tells her that the living, breathing FBI Agent Tony Bartoli is a better prospect than the ghost whose kisses are killer. The resulting suspense holds the reader spellbound.

Spoilers ahead - Beware! 
(ps - the book releases August 7, 2012)