The “most haunted house in the world,” the Winchester Mystery House, is a Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion in San Jose, California, once the residence of widow firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. Fueled by rumors, stories, and confused fascination, the mansion has long been the subject of conjecture contained within books and now a movie Winchester, released February 2, 2018.
I find it fascinating that not an American director/producer, but Australian brothers, Peter and Michael Spierig, created the movie starring Helen Mirren (English) and Jason Clark (Australian). We went to see this movie on Tuesday. The critics have panned it. Of Google users who responded, 77% liked it. So what did the brothers get right? Actually, quite a lot.
Choices and Illusions-How Did I Get Where I am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? By Eldon Taylor
Genre: Currently #1367 in Best Sellers Ranking for Books, Religion & Spirituality, New Age & Spirituality, New Thought (#5004 in Books, Self-Help, Motivational, and #7925 in Books, Self-Help, Personal Transformation)
From the hype promoted for “Choices and Illusions-How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?” I guess I expected some innovative breakthrough, or influential psychological studies that would drive home a solution, albeit not without real conscious or subconscious work on the behalf of the reader.
This entire book, however, could basically be summed up in two words: “Own it.” Taking responsibility for yourself is a strong mantra repeated throughout, and probably learned by most who delved into self-help books beginning 20 years ago. It’s a close companion to “forgive and forget”, and ergo always more difficult that those simple words would divine. It begins with the basic tenet–we have all been imprinted–and I’ll buy that. Whether or not by accident or design, that imprint creates the composite of who we are. Continue reading “Choices and Illusions – Review”
Once again, Toby Neal has written a book with so much character and charisma in her multi-dimensional protagonist, exotic Sophie Ang, you’ll feel intimidated when she launches into explosive action in Wired Rogue. I’ve written before regarding the author Toby Neal and have long enjoyed her Lei Crime Series. The character of Sophie Ang was introduced in that series, along with friends Marcella and Marcus.
While book 2 of the Paradise Crime series could be a standalone, you might want to read book 1 first to gain some insight and back story into Sophie’s character and the ongoing battle regarding her program DAVID secreted within the FBI with whom she’s worked computer guru for five years.Continue reading “Wired Rogue by Toby Neal – Review”
The winners of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards have been published on the Goodreads website. These are the only major book awards decided by the readers themselves and come through literally millions of votes; 3,562,702 to be exact. Who says people don’t read anymore?
Voting was scheduled in three rounds beginning November 1st and ending November 27th and included 20 categories from Fiction and Mystery/Thriller to Non-Fiction and YA Fantasy. Of all nominees, there were 237,844 votes total. In the Fiction category, the winner with 30,154 votes went to Truly Madly Guiltyby Liane Moriaty. Truly Madly Guiltywas also listed on Amazon in the top 20 overall customer favorites, where additional favorites listed were such authors as J. K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Connelly. And in the best mystery and thriller category, Stephen King for End of Watch with 42,382 votes. How is that even fair?
Also found in the top 20 in both the Goodreads Fiction category as well as the same category on Amazon was The Nestby Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeny with 24,848 votes on Goodreads and The Nixby Nathan Hill with 3,645 votes, also an Amazon editor best pick of the top 20. Additionally, Nathan Hill scored again for Best Debut Goodreads Author. And it doesn’t stop there. Continue reading “Goodreads Choice Awards 2016”
Maybe it was the discovery of the odiferous rat found under the refrigerator when the protagonist, Andy Crowl and his sister Kate, tentatively set foot in the house he has just inherited, but this one grabbed me from the beginning.The rat had a key wrapped in a note shoved into his rotting jaws. His unfortunate cousin, Craig Moore, had passed and left his entire estate, consisting of this old house and an empty bank account to Andy despite the lack of recent familial connection.
What he remembers of his cousin was the puzzles in which they both shared an interest. Craig wasn’t just good with puzzles, it was the one activity where he could actually best Andy. It doesn’t take Andy long to realize, however, this puzzle is a deadly one, but one that could also reap him some major bucks if successful–and heaven knows (given his current circumstance) he needs them! Unfortunately, the puzzle comes with a timeline. Continue reading “Mortom by Erik Therme-Review”
Serenity by Craig A Hart – Interesting cover-may not convey subject
Serenity – The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series by Craig A Hart actually uses a senior protagonist, albeit one who, as a former boxer, still has a somewhat athletic body with the strength and experience to handle most of what comes his way.
Shelby Alexander is known in the small Michigan town of Serenity as a “fixer,” and takes on the murder of a young woman left to die in his arms on his property. She comes from a family of less than stellar reputation, and the patriarch has hired him for the task of discovering who and why. Continue reading “Serenity by Craig A Hart – Review”
Maybe because I’m not, I love stories of strong, independent women. In particular, the ’60s were a time of major upheaval in the standard structure of the home with more women than ever grabbing the car keys and **gasp** heading to work.
Giddy from escaping total nuclear annihilation in the ’50s, the ’60s went the extreme from flower children to the assassinations of our leaders. Increasingly, women no longer had a mandate to stay home, produce babies, cook, clean, and “stand by their men.” And like a number of social activists and feminists, the author discovered she too had to have more than diapers and a garden.
The memoir of Wendy Crisp Lestina, “A Bit of Earth,” is composed of folksy vignettes, some of which originated as columns written through the years, and tells the story of a remarkable list of accomplishments. There are a few times the chronicle lapses into a back-story; something that perhaps is meant to explain the next. This is a woman of intelligence with places to go, people to meet, things to do, and the powerful influence to do it. Continue reading “A Bit of Earth – Review”
“The Old Man and the Princess,” from the mind of Sean-Paul Thomas will definitely grab you from the beginning. You may think you can second-guess where this is going, but you won’t. Yeah, I know you’ve heard that before, but Sean-Paul apparently thinks out of the box and his plot is full of intrigue and plot twists.
Pegged as a mystery, thriller, and suspense, this novel has that and more; how about tension and apprehension? I love how that dark sense of Irish humor weaves in and out of the dialogue, a patter so palpable, there are snicker-filled moments–or depending on your own sense of humor, LOL opportunities.Continue reading “The Old Man and the Princess-Review”
Like watching it play out on the big screen in full Technicolor and Dolby Sound, the action from the beginning pages of “When the Reaper Comes” by John DeBoer was so well laid out, it was difficult to hit the pause button until the last scene played out.
I do enjoy a good thriller and have read my share of both military and political themed novels, including stories that include the present day battle with ISIS. It seems that so much of the philosophy zooms over our heads and is usually far enough removed off our own soil that it is fairly easy to stick our heads in the sand and try to pretend it isn’t happening. Unfortunately, it is. America is no longer the isolated and protected country it once was. But don’t take my word–read the book. Continue reading “When the Reaper Comes – Review”
Genre: Currently #3071 in Best Sellers Rank for Kindle ebooks, Literature and Fiction-Historical
Publisher: Cambridge Books
Publication Date: March, 2016
Submitted by author for review
Maggie Elizabeth Harrington – Two Covers–One for print and one for Kindle. The Kindle cover includes a wolf in the background, but a modern-day woman.
This powerful story of thirteen year old Maggie Elizabeth Harrington was set in a copper mining town of Michigan in 1893. Maggie Elizabeth is the daughter of a miner who lives with her grandmother and her father (who against everything that Maggie Elizabeth believes in, drowns every new litter of kittens). Her mother passed in childbirth; the father barely speaks to her, the grandmother isn’t much better, and she attributes this to the death of her mother–which she considers must be her fault. Continue reading “Maggie Elizabeth Harrington-Review”
Genre: Currently #14083 in Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Publication Date: July, 2016
Submitted by author for review
Lost Coast Rocket – Cover and title conveys subject; Cover girl hints youthful age of characters
The debut novel, Lost Coast Rocket by Joel Horn, is classified as sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult; though it reads with such authority you’d swear is a non-fiction on rocketry that merely involves a story. Thank heaven we are introduced to the protagonist and “his team” as young children, albeit geniuses, as the subject of rocketry would otherwise have been well over my head. As is, it was broken down into easily understandable snippets of believable dialogue between kids. And kids, as well as young or old adults would enjoy this easy introduction into a fascinating subject. Continue reading “Lost Coast Rocket – Review”
Genre: Currently #3585 in Best Sellers Rank for Literature & Fiction-Action & Adventure-Mystery & Thriller-Crime
Publisher: Devonshire House Press
Publication Date: September, 2016
Submitted by author for review
Blacktip Island – Cover invites inspection and obviously conveys a Caribbean theme
Psst–want to have a fantastic Caribbean adventure and save some moola?How about an Islander hop to a fictional Caribbean, Blacktip Island? Ahh, the sun, the surf, the people…but what about the people? Well, that’s the thing, you see. Blake Calloway had it good, working in his dad’s investment firm, right up until he screwed up a few decimal points. An innocent mistake! Unfortunately, when he tries to disappear on a remote island with some cash, blending in with the other scuba enthusiasts, he accidentally rescues one of them–again–an innocent mistake. So much for blending! And just like that, the book has you within the first few pages. Continue reading “Blacktip Island – Review”