Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: "Heart of Evil": by Heather Graham

Title: Heart of Evil

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Mira Books

Year: 2011

Summary:

Emerging from the bayou like an apparition, Donegal Plantation is known for its unsurpassed dining, captivating atmosphere, haunting legends…and now a corpse swinging from the marble angel that marks its cemetery’s most majestic vault. A corpse discovered in nearly the same situation as that of Marshall Donegal, the patriarch killed in a skirmish just before the Civil War. Desperate for help traditional criminologists could never provide, plantation heiress Ashley Donegal turns to an elite team of paranormal investigators who blend hard forensics with rare – often inexplicable – intuition. Among them is Jake Mallory, a gifted New Orleans musician with talent that stretches beyond the realm of the physical, and a few dark ghosts of his own. The evil the team unveils has the power to shake the plantation to its very core. Jake and Ashley are forced to risk everything to unravel secrets that will not stay buried – even in death…. 

Review:  

Heart of Evil by Heather Graham is a history filled ghost story. When after a Civil War reenactment on Ashley's homestead, a Louisiana plantation, a man turns up missing and Ashley and the FBI Crewe of Hunters and the entire household go on a hunt to discover the mystery plaguing the entire place.

A old flame is lit alive again as Ashley works along side her ex and childhood friend, Jake. This book is loaded with Civil War history, mystery, and a bit of a love story. 

I had a couple problems with the storytelling. You are introduced to too many characters at once and you keep getting them confused, especially since none of them are that memorable. Their dialog is flat and the characters really are indistinguishable. It took nearly the entire novel to get a hang of the characters. By the end you could sort of decipher one from the other, but it should have been better told off the bat. The dialog wasn't exactly realistic either. After a certain character would speak, I would try to imagine a real person saying that quote and the complete mix of words would never be uttered out of a real person's mouth. That's why I think the dialog is unrealistic. 
Other than that, the mystery telling of the story was great and the setting was explained so well you felt like you were there, enjoying the scenary of the Louisiana plantation getting bit by mosquitoes and fear a run in with a gator. It kept you in scene and in suspense the entire time.

After reading the author's bio on the back cover of the book, I was shocked to find out that she has written over 100 novels. That's incredible! I would like to get my hands on another one of her novels to give it a go to see if she writes all her novels so unmemorable or if this is the only one. But no hard feelings, she's from my neck of the woods, where I was raised in South Florida, so no hard feelings. It's all good.
 

To check out the other 100s of novels Heather Graham has written check out her website at: http://theoriginalheathergraham.com/

Happy Reading!

Review: "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs

Title: "Moon Called"
Author: Patricia Briggs
Year: 2006

Summary:

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.


She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.


But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

Review: 


Anyone who has explored my blog knows I love fantasy novels. Werewolves, Vampires, and witches, oh my! I love it! This book has got it all. Moon Called is the first book in a series by Patricia Briggs. I love reading books of a series. They really take you along for a ride with the lives of the characters better than a stand-alone novel. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to start reading the next book in the series.

"Mercedes the VW mechanic" (LOL) is a "walker" (she can shape-shift into a coyote in an instant). She gets in involved in the business of the alpha next door neighbor and his pack of werewolves. She gets caught up in some sticky situations in her rescue mission but manages like the tough stubborn girl she is. It's refreshing to see a new type of heroine. Not your typical beauty. She's a mechanic with lots of tattoos and can definitely hang with the guys.

In the romantic department the book was kind of lacking. There was such potential to turn it up a notch, but it never really did. Another thing I that threw me off was during some good action scenes where you usually get caught up in the action and flip the pages faster and faster to find out what happens next, Mercy starts rationalizing and explaning things to herself during some of the heavy action scenes. It throws your mood off completely. At times, the novel was a little confusing to where I had to read some parts over and over again to understand who was speaking and what was actually said.

All in all, I did enjoy the book. It's got a good storyline and great characters. They all have very distinctive personalities and lots of different accents and looks which make it interesting. On last note, I'm looking forward to picking up the next book, Blood Bound, in the series, so that should tell you that the positive points outweigh the negatives.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Angel Eyes", Poetry by Nette

"Angel Eyes"

Angel eyes so beautiful
So blue and crystal clear,
As azure as the sky
and as the oceans may appear.

Every morning I see your face
It makes me want to smile,
I see the stare in your eyes
That lasts for miles and miles.

There's nothing that you can't do
with a smile so sweet,
with a mind so peppery
but you do it so discreet.

You keep your eyes busy
nothing leads you astray,
When I want to hold you close
You always run away.

I feel your sense of autonomy
It runs oh so deep,
Just like a river
It follows its own lead.

You'll go off and leave me here
A mother wanting more,
You'll go and do great things
That I know is sure.

You'll bring joy everywhere you go
To know you is a prize,
Each time someone looks
Into your Angel Eyes.

*For Natalia, the silliest, most independent, gorgeous girl around.



"Starstruck" by Cyn Balog

I was reading "Starstruck" by Cyn Balog during a pretty fierce thunderstorm. I'm talking 40 mph winds and tons of rain. My AC went out too, so I had to endure the storm with the windows open. Lucky me! The reason I mention this is because there was a terrible suspenseful storm in the book and it scared the bejesus out of me while reading it during my own crazy storm. There was no terrential flooding like in the novel, but I feared at any second a tree would be whipped by the wind, snap, and land in my living room. Paranoid? Maybe.

 Anyways, "Starstruck" is essentially a love story. Usually when I read a love story, the heroine is some gorgeous, thin girl. The heroine in "Startstruck" is a normal girl with weight issues. It was good to see the big girls get noticed every once in a while. It is an unconventional love story, but mostly it comes down to this: the two people in the relationship get so hung up on appearances, they lose themselves. In totally different ways, but it's all the same in the end.

The greatest thing about this young adult novel is the confident boost it gives you. Especially for teenage girls that are ever self-conscious (I know, because not too long ago, I was one), you learn that to just be yourself is the greatest thing in the world. You don't have to be like everyone else to be accepted or to be you. Just believe in yourself and know that you are beautiful and unique and that is the most wonderful thing in the world. There is only one you. Believe in yourself.

If you want find out more about "Starstruck" or the other novels by Cyn Balog; "Fairy Tale" and Sleepless", visit her website at cynbalog.com

Happy Reading,

A Review of "Dracula" by Bran Stoker

Okay, so, I have to admit, I love Vampire books. It's a bloody obsession (pun intended). I always wanted to read "Dracula", but never did. The version I read was "Dracula" by Bram Stoker with an introduction by Leonard Wolf and an afterword by Jeffrey Meyers.

What brought me finally to pick up the book was in the "House of Night Series" by P.C. and Kristen Cast, they mention it and used quite a bit of content from it. So  it peeked my curiosity as to the actual story of "Dracula". 

Recent vampire novels have been making vampires look like the 'good guys', so it was a whole new aspect to me to read "Dracula" that makes vampires the total bad asses they are supposed to be. "Dracula" is evil, seductive, and scary.

I love the setting of Transylvania and the insane asylum. Absolutely fabulous. It was exciting how it starts with Jonathan Harker in Dracula's castle in Transylvania, then moves to England and its crazy mishaps, and then to an all out trek across Europe chasing the one and only "Dracula". It's great.

Happy Reading,

"A Great and Terrible Beauty"

"A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray was great and refreshing. I love historical fiction novels and a bit of the supernatural. The novel takes place in England around the late 1800s at an all girls boarding school. It's a bit of a ghost story, but not scary. The main character, Gemma Doyle and her friends discover a secret group that travels the realms of the supernatural. It's a mystery too, where they try to figure out a murder mystery of two former students from years passed. I love reading historical fiction novels because you get a taste of what life was like. I was intrigued by the life at the boarding school of mostly forgotten girls. It's very interesting and different in that there aren't many novels I've read of the supernatural that take place in that time period. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Happy Reading,