The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview

The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Title: The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel (#3) by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #90 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing, Ballantine – Bantam

Publication Date: To be released May 8, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Crooked Staircase – Eerie cover evokes dark evasion

Have you seen that #ForgetSleep hashtag recently? You could easily apply the tag to this book but it wouldn’t completely explain the third book in this series. This is a Koontz suspense meant to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you hanging there, breathless, until the fourth (and final?) episode is released. That you should have such patience! Continue reading “The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview”

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Unique Blogger Award

The Unique Blogger Award

I am thrilled to be nominated for a second award by Nina over at The Cozy Pages and so appreciate the shout out. Nina never fails to like and comment on posts, though I’ve no clue where she gets the time–she is a very busy mother of three and a professional outside her home. She posts very insightful and detailed reviews and always balances her posts with what she found that was good and what didn’t work so well. If you haven’t already, check out her blog, please.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-12 people for the same award.
  • Ask them 3 questions.

Nina’s Questions:

1) You are in the bookstore and you see someone walking around for an hour looking at all the books looking lost. Finally, you decide to ask them if they need help. They admit they have no idea what book to read next, what book would you recommend?

Book tastes vary so greatly from person to person and age to age, it’s fortunate we have so many to choose from!

  1. Orangutan by Rita GoldnerFor a very small child, any book that offers large, colorful pictures and very short, simple descriptions that can be shared, such as my Phoenix author buddy Rita Goldner’s book Orangutan.
  2. My generation grew up on Nancy Drew for tweens and teens. Clean, imaginative, and resourceful, but these days the go-to book is Harry Potter.
  3. Adults: Anything from cozy mysteries to tear-jerking literary classics such as from author John Steinbeck. I’ve not yet begun to compile a “favorites” list this year, but if I knew a person’s taste, I might refer to the variety of great books from my 2017 list. These include a range of genres from historical fiction (Stone Song by Win Blevins), a travelogue (Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat Patterson), an anthropomorphic tale (Telemachus), to legal thrillers and men’s adventures (anything by Michael Reisig), even the enigmatic Dean Koontz (The Whispering Room).

2) Imagine you get the opportunity to go back in time, maybe a mad scientist has figured out the technology, who knows? Anyway, the only thing is you need to feed the contraption a classic book and you travel to the time that it was written. What book would you feed that machine?

Rosemary's Baby by Ira LevinThat’s a pretty funny question since I just finished a book about that very thing (time travel), Valley of Time by Jeremy D Holden. But no, I don’t want to go back to 1974. I would feed the contraption Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, 1967. Rosemary’s Baby came out after we were married and possibly thinking about a family. It scared me to death.

3.) You are in the library and you see someone reading at a table. Then you see the worst thing imaginable…. they are doing your bookish pet-peeve. What are they doing to that poor book?!

I have seen people dog-ear or fold the page in half–(even ripping a page out–but no–the worst? Writing in the margins.

My questions for you:

1.      When was the last time you bought or borrowed an audiobook, what was it, and was it as rewarding as reading would have been?

2.      The beginning of the year, there are myriad lists of reading challenges. Do you add challenges, find they increase your reading, or diversify your reading choices? Or not.

3.      It’s easy to come across little sayings in each book we read, something memorable. Have you begun to collect quotes, and if so when was your last, and what was the book and author?

Disclaimer: I’d love it if you would respond to this tag with your answers, but we are all busy. If you do, however, please link back to share your answers.

My Nominations:

CathyRy

Yesha

Kerry

Alysha

Jessica

Nicole

Cathy

Have a super week everyone! I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

My Favorite Reads of 2017-Rosepoint Publishing

My Top 12 Favorite Books for 2017

Welcome to my version of The Bloggers Dozen–twelve of my favorite reads during 2017.

These are laid out in chronological order, and please don’t ask me to narrow it down any further. I didn’t choose these by the rating I gave them, though most came in between 4.5 and 5 stars. They all resonate with me–still. Lest you think they may all be thriller and suspense (since I seem to lean that way), I’ll mention that they were actually all over the board from Literary Fiction to Cozy Mysteries and Animals. I did have a number of other five stars reads–just that these were special for me.

Okay, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for a story that includes (especially) dogs animals. Also, if I had to count–and even I was curious–of the twelve listed here, free BookBub books only accounted for one this year as I discovered NetGalley and got serious about their offerings to the tune of 58.3% of those I downloaded. That doesn’t add up to 100% though, does it? That’s because I devoted 33.3% to author requests and beta-reads.

Follow the link to explore my full review and give you additional links to the books. Perhaps you might find one you missed that looks particularly exciting for you as well–I HOPE SO!

Stone Song by Wil BlevinsStone Song by Wil Blevins

This is the story of the Lakota Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, a man who lived—and died tragically—on his own terms. HistFic 5/5 Stars

Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat PattersonDining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson 

Travelogue from Mexico to the “Boudin Capital of the World” with two kitties loose in the car. (Doncha just love that cover?!) Foodies will love! Travelogue-food 5/5 Stars

Telemachus by Peter GrayTelemachus by Peter Gray

Interpret this anthropomorphic metaphor as a Greek tragedy, engaging all the elements of love, challenge, loss, and triumph as seen through the POV of a protagonist bird and his flock. Literary Fiction 5/5

Hunting Hour by Margaret MizushimaHunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima 

Loved, loved, loved, this Timber Creek K-9 Mystery and K-9 drug-sniffing German shepherd, Robo. Cozy mystery-5/5 Stars

Fender by Brent JonesFender by Brent Jones

This emotionally packed literary saga will have you grabbing for a hankie. (But it is a “good” cry.) Fender is a Beagle, btw. Literary Fiction 5/5 Stars

Snap Judgment by Marcia ClarkSnap Judgment by Marcia Clark

If you thought a novel by an attorney (yes, “that” Marcia Clark) would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Suspense-crime 4.5/5

Sea of Doubt by Jeremy D. HoldenSea of Doubt-The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Jeremy D. Holden

You know by the title that you are in for an intelligent and socially unacceptable ride and after the hook at the beginning, that’s how this book proceeds. So how would you announce to the world the Second Coming? Mystery-suspense 4.5/5 Stars

Her Last Secret by Barbara CopperthwaiteHer Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Loved the way this brilliant author took you to the week prior to the tragic Christmas day event, seamlessly introducing each of the major characters using their own POV. Gripping psychological thriller 5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten RitterBonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’ve said it before, will say it again–how is this fair? Ritter is a successful actress–pretty, intelligent, and now an author? Yes, she can grow, but really, try reading this and visualize Jessica Jones. Psychological thriller 3.5/5

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyOutside the Wire by Patricia Smiley

At last–a female protagonist not damaged by an abusive childhood or sporting model-like height and classic features! This lady sounds real. Sympathetic commentary on ex-military. Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Whispering Room by Dean KoontzThe Whispering Room (A Jane Hawk Novel) by Dean Koontz

Jane is the ubiquitous former FBI agent gone rogue. She’s smart, she’s dangerous, and she’s on a mission. Uh oh Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Wild Road to Key West by Michael ReisigThe Wild Road to Key West (The Cave of the Stars) by Michael Reisig

The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. One of my favorite authors; this book includes some HistFic-Men’s Adventures 5/5 Stars

Which of the above did you read? Did I miss something fantastic this year that you’d love to tell me about? Do you have a suggestion (book or author) for my 2018 reads?

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a successful 2018!

Happy New Year!

Rosepoint Reviews – November Recap

Happy Holidays! Christmas tree decorations

We are now on a frantic race to the end of the year! SOO much to do on top of regular blogging, reading and reviewing activities. Gifts, wrapping, cards, dinners, and events, one of which I’m participating in tomorrow at the Lake County Public Library! I will be presenting the new edition of Sole Survivor, new cover, as well as the story of how the painting came into my possession almost 90+ years after it was painted.  If you just happen to be in the area….

Author Event - Lake County Public Library

Gearing up on holidays, and down on books, I read and reviewed seven books including many ARC’s, as well as #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting two of my favorites (Dr. Jan Pol and M. D. Grayson). Spent some heavy time doing #AmReading posts, as well as #TBR pics, which is a great way to introduce what I’ll be reading and reviewing next. These are concentrated on #Bookstagram and shared with this blog. Bookstagram gives me the opportunity to use that artistic inclination my grandfather bestowed on me, and it’s been a lot of fun.

My November reads, all ARC’s through NetGalley:

  1. November 06 – Outside the Wire by Patricia Smiley
  2. November 07 – Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone
  3. November 11 – The Tell All by Libby Howard
  4. November 19 – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
  5. November 21 – The Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler
  6. November 26 – The Plot is Murder by V. M. Burns
  7. November 28 – Mayhem & Mass by Olivia Mathews

Here’s hoping all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good day of food and family, but many of you not in the U.S. will also have a chance to do that on Christmas. There is something magical this time off year; in our part of the world, snowfall and the beautiful sights and smells of leaves, fireplaces, and winter-time activities. In my younger years, that included skiing. Now I’m looking wistfully at snowmobiles. Definitely on my bucket list!

Not all of my December reads are ARC’s from NetGalley, but the month has filled in very quickly. Hope all of you are avoiding the puddles and finding just the perfect gifts! Winter is a great time to read. Do you have one you are excited about? I’m always open to recommendations! ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#Author Spotlight – Dean Koontz

author spotlight

Rumored to be worth over $145 million, Dean Ray Koontz is most definitely a successful author. Born in Everett, PA in 1945 (72 years of age), his novels are generally described as suspense thrillers, although he frequently infuses his stories with horror, fantasy, and sci-fi aspects as well.

His official website notes he has sold over 450 million copies of his works, sixteen (paperback) of which were included on the NY Times bestseller list as number one. He used numerous pen names early in his career including Brian Coffey.

His childhood less than standard 50’s Cleavers, Koontz was the product of an abusive alcoholic father and his defiant “physically diminutive mother.” Koontz discovered the Catholic faith and converted while in college. Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton(And btw, he gives a shout out to English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton who wrote about the fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective Father Brown. Father Brown is a featured English series on NetFlix.) I find this connection fascinating since I innocently wandered into Mayhem & Mass recently and the review brought a comment from fellow blogger, Angela of Books and Opinions, LLC who also noted G. K. Chesterton as being a favorite ol’ English author. (Freaky, huh?)

Graduating in 1967, Koontz went on variously teaching English in high school and working for a federally funded poverty program. It was during this time that he began writing in earnest and in ten years his major breakthrough novel, Whispers, was published in 1980. Of course, since I’m usually late to the party, was just introduced to Koontz through NetGalley with a book I recently read and reviewed called The Whispering Room. It was just released on November 21, 2017 and I still think the newest of his books.

When I mentioned to my son that I was reading a Dean Koontz book, his eyebrows shot up. “I’m surprised you’re reading Koontz, mom, he’s a horror writer.” (Not considered my usual genre. True.) And, perhaps this might be considered that, but more so psychological thriller and suspense. (Also, gripping, thoughtful, and perhaps sci-fi coming true.) After I posted my review, one of our old Navy friends, Kitra, saw the review on Facebook and noted, Just an FYI he grew up in Ted’s little town, donated a lot to the library in honor of his English teacher. Was happy to see that.”

Dean Koontz - author - Happy Holidays photoDean Koontz is currently living in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden, Ms. Elsa. You’ll have to read her story, which is related in typical humorous Koontz style here.

Mr. Koontz has joined my favorite authors list and I’m looking forward to his next well-crafted novel. Have you looked into his books lately? Which was your favorite? (Info gleaned from Wikipedia and the Dean Koontz website.) ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean KoontzTitle: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #76 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Publication Date: To be released November 21, 2017

Source: Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley

Title: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel 

See what I mean? Obviously, I have been living under a rock, as if I’ve read a book by Dean Koontz before, you know I’d have remembered it. The Whispering Room is, yes, the second in the Jane Hawk series, having best-seller The Silent Corner directly preceding it, and apparently preceding it by only a few months(?! Is that even possible?). Apparently so, as here it is continuing exactly where the first left off (so I’ve been told). And–old story–I haven’t read the first one. Holy Moses! Mr. Koontz really puts the prose out prominently, doesn’t he? Continue reading “The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!