Rosepoint August Reviews Recap—Hello September!

Rosepoint Reviews Recap

There are glimmers of hope now in the fight against CoVid and hoping for a breakthrough before winter hits may not be as impossible as it seemed even a month ago.

We here in NWI are just beginning to harvest a few vegetables from our garden although many starts have been eaten by the bunnies and deer and the tomatoes have never really gotten started with just a few now beginning to ripen sufficient to eat. BUT! The squash, OMG, is the cockroach of the plant world. No water, no prob; no sun, no prob, searing daytime temps, no prob. And then the cucumbers have given us sufficient numbers to start making pickles. Mainly sticking to dill as sweet pickles can be a pain and I’m remembering all the reasons I quit doing this stuff!

I’m definitely enjoying just a little of the respite that the reviews from the CE has given me—at least enough to put up dill pickles and take a day off to celebrate our 58th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow! Doesn’t seem possible…

But in the meantime, WordPress has been warning us for some time about changing up their editor again to yet another block format, which I thought previously had gotten dumped for being a bigger pain than canning pickles. Got stuck with trying to work a review through the ever encumbersome blocks and discovered several items I routinely use are missing. That little review took over four hours and it still ended up a mess with missing links, symbols, and indents. Sorry, ya’all!

Of course, the complaint went straight to the “Happiness Engineers” who once again explained how much time it was going to save me. Where I used to write up my posts and reviews in my old Word 2003 program and then copy/paste now requires building blocks and hunting for stuff that used to be intuitive. UGH!

I did, however, manage to post fourteen reviews despite the switchover. Also posted were a number of spotlights, book tours, blitzes, non-fiction, cozy mysteries, literary fiction, animal fiction, thrillers, and military fiction.

One Night in Drake Mansion by Channing Whitaker Paws and Order by V M Burns Save Her Soul by Lisa Regan The heart beats in time - Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book III Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning The Night Drop by Ian D Wright An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson a Longmire Mystery Penned In by Lynn Cahoon Walks with Sam by David W Berner Flash Point: The Final Conspiracy by Thomas A Whitmire and Jacob O Miller The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James Trick or Thief by D E Haggerty

One Night in Drake Mansion by Channing Whitaker
Flash Point by Thomas A Whitmire and Jacob D Miller (a CE 5* review)
Paw and Order by V M Burns
Save Her Soul by Lisa Regan
Finding Home by Corinne Joy Brown and Ginny McDonald (Beautifully illustrated children’s book)
Song for a Lost Kingdom by Steve Moretti (blog tour)
Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning (my 5* review—author request)
The Night Drop by Ian D Wright (a CE review—author request)
TV Netflix Series vs Audiobook-Walt Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson
Penned In by Lynn Cahoon
Front Line by Jessica James (a CE 5* review)
The Spiritual Adventures of Russell the Dog by Trisha Watson
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James (library audiobook)
Walks with Sam by David W Berner (non-fiction-meditation)
Trick or Thief by D E Haggerty

Many of the above are from NetGalley or BookBub, author requests, and the audiobooks are from my library.

The challenges: I made my Audiobooks challenge goal–15 (Stenographer level 10-15) and achieved 10 for my Renaissance Reader level in the Historical Challenge. It would appear to me there is no longer a working challenge for Mr. Linky for either July or August. Oh well.

NetGalley: Only four giving me 62 towards my goal of 75, but I think I can manage that one.

Goodreads goals—Mercy! Three behind with 110 and at this point in serious jeopardy of failing the year’s goal of 170—yikes! I may have to give that one some edit thought.

How are you doing with your challenges? Which ones did you try? Achieving some of your goals yet? Did you also read any of those listed above? Agree with my/our assessment? I may still go back and look at the Murder Mystery Bingo challenge—there will be time during the winter months. Maybe.

In the meantime, blogger buddies, authors, and lovely readers, take care, stay safe. Once again I’m hoping that wherever you are, you and your situation has at least stabilized and that you remain successful in staying healthy. 

And, as always, thank you, I so appreciate your likes and comments!

©2020 V Williams

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James – A Supernatural Thriller Audiobook or Print?

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James

Book Blurb:

Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the best-selling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

My Review:

So much hype. So many reviews that praised this thriller…and that cover? How many readers are old enough to have seen many of those motels on the road? Are you driving exhausted yet and ready to pull over? Gees, it so hooked me in…

until I started listening to the audiobook.

Many who have read my audiobook reviews before know that I generally much prefer the audiobook—they usually make it come alive, so real, so yeah—part of the conversation.

Vibes of Norman Bates—don’t take a shower…

Told in two POV’s, Vivian is working the night shift at the front desk in the early 80s when she begins to see ghosts. Once she begins to investigate, however, she discovers there have been a number of murders, disappearances, and she’s beginning to make a solid break-through when she herself disappears—without a trace.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St JamesFast forward to 2017, Carly Kirk visits the town of Fell hoping to figure out why her aunt disappeared. At odds and without ties, she gets the front desk job at the motel, also on the night shift, where she can freely dig around for additional information. It doesn’t take long before she, too, begins to spot apparitions, smell cigarette smoke, smell perfume.

Okay, the descriptions of the motel and how it has run to ruin are creepy. The people Carly meets are interesting but seem to get her nowhere, rebuffing inquiries. The ghosts begin to fade into the background as the storyline begins to flip back and forth between Vivian’s story and her discoveries and Carly’s story and her progress.

Vivian begins to think she knows what happened to the girls missing and murdered. She’s pushing her luck, but something just seems…off.

As Carly begins to make real progress, the story timeline overlaps and it’s déjà vu told in two perspectives. Their POV begins to blend and it’s no longer easy to remember who is speaking, only that Vivian’s perspective tends to make a little more progress pushing the plot.

While I had difficulty connecting to either of the two main characters, I did enjoy two support characters who added real interest to an otherwise dull delivery in what was essentially the monotones of both Vivian and Carly.

Worst, I knew (or thought I knew) what happened to Vivian about half-way into the narrative. And was right. The only thing left was to get the why and how.

I’m not sure why the audiobook was narrated in this particular fashion. I’ve never before listened to such a dull droning approach to reading what I understood was a successful novel by a bestselling author. While the description, the people, the plot may have provided a disturbing picture and engaging mystery in your head while reading, this audiobook may only relieve your insomnia.

Book Details:

Genre: Supernatural Thrillers, Horror Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Penguin Audio

  • ISBN-10 : 0440000203
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0440000204
  • ASIN: B084641FWV

Print Length: 352 pages
Listening Length: 11 hours
Narrators: Brittany PressleyKirsten Potter
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Source: Local (Audiobook Selections) Library
Title Link: The Sun Down Motel

Add to Goodreads Simone St James - authorThe Author: Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two prestigious RITA® awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She writes gothic historical ghost stories set in 1920s England, books that are known for their mystery, gripping suspense, and romance.

Simone wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school. She worked behind the scenes in the television business for twenty years before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

©2020 V Williams V Williams