Debh2010's Blog

Books and Knitting – go figure

Angels at Christmas

Angels at Christmas, by Debbie Macomber.  This is a two story collection of stories about three busybody angels named Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.  They are sweet, sometimes slightly sad tales about angel interventions, and nice to read.  Of course, there is a religious theme, but not too specific, so the stories can appeal to just about any basic Christian beliefs – not taxing or worrisome.

Here’s the back-of-the-book:  “It’s Angel Time!  Every Christmas, three lovable angels visit Earth.  Once a year, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are allowed to intervene (or, more accurately, interfere) in human affairs.  Despite their frequent misadventures and the chaos they often cause, things always seem to turn out right….

This Christmas, join Those Christmas Angels as they respond to Anne Fletcher’s prayer request.  She wants her son, Roy, to meet a special woman — and the angels contrive to throw Julie Wilcott in his path (literally!).

Watch as the heaven-sent messengers reunite a divorced couple, bring peace of mind to an elderly man and grant a little boy’s fondest wish.  Because there’s always joy Where Angels Go.

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy offer you laughter and Christmas cheer in these two heartwarming stories!”

***1/2 stars out of five.  They’re not literature, but they’re nice to read.  I have another one of her’s coming right up, and I’m looking forward to it. 

Happy Reading everyone!

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June 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book Blog Supplemental

Supplemental because this is not about a book, but it is about a terrific story.  Terrific must be my word of the day – it’s certainly been at the top of the adjective list for really-good-I-am-so-impressed words.

Don’t ask me why, as I have no real reason, but I went looking for Harry Potter fanfiction today.  Back when the HP books were coming out, one by one, every year or TWO, I would go to fanfiction.net and read what people thought happened between books.  It was really fun.  In fact, I wish I’d saved some of the URLs or author names or something, since some of the stories were really good.  Even Jo Rowling has a certain appreciation for fan fiction, though she gets a little perturbed when her characters are portrayed as more mature than her target audience should be subjected to.  Still a lot of those stories are very good.  Today, I found a gem.

Written in 2000 and updated in 2001 is a delightful in-between story about Dobby and Winky, called Backstairs at Hogwarts,  written by DeSoto.  It takes place sometime after Goblet of Fire.  All the major characters participate and it’s just great.  I tried to research DeSoto to see if I could find more stories written by him, but so far, no luck.  All I really know is that DeSoto is an adult male fan of the book series.  He’s done a truly impressive job with this story, and I’m delighted to share it with you.  Please read Backstairs at Hogwarts, located at:  http://www.fanfiction.net/s/155822/1/Backstairs_At_Hogwarts and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Reading!!!

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Pagan Stone

The Pagan Stone:  Book Three of the Sign of Seven Trilogy, by Nora Roberts.  Well, I wasn’t disappointed – it was terrific.  Lots of action, lots of mystery, and in the end just enough romance and spicy stuff to keep it moving.  Excellent reason to lose sleep.  Ah, yes, again I’ve been up all night reading.  It’s one of my favorite indulgences, and one that I don’ t give in to all that often.  It’s been fun.

Here’s the book blurb:  “Years ago, after their blood brother ritual, Gage, Fox, and Caleb emerged from the woods, each with a piece of bloodstone.  Now, it will become their weapon i nthe final fight against the demon they awakened.  Winner take all…

Shared nightmares, visions of blood and fire, and random violence plague the longtime friends and Quin, Layla, and Cybil, the women bound to them by Fate.  None of them can ignore the fact that, this year, the demon has grown stronger — feeding off the terror it creates.  But now the three pieces of the bloodstone have been fused back together.  If only they could figure out how to use it.

A gambling man like Gage has no trouble betting on his crew to find a way.  And though he and Cybil share the gift of seeing the future, that’s all they have in common.  Were they to take their flirtation to the next level, it would be on their own terms, not because Fate decreed it.  But Gage knows that a woman like Cybil — with her brains and strength and devastating beauty — can only bring him luck.  Whether it’s good or bad luck has yet to be determined — and could mean the difference between absolute destruction or the end to the nightmare for Hawkins Hollow.”

Really good series, and I’m going to give this individual book ***1/2 stars out of five.  Though she wrote it like a trilogy, it’s really like one really long-assed book — she doesn’t do a lot of back tracking and filling in of the back story, and if you tried to read them out of order, things would not make sense.  Still, none of it matters.  Instead, since I have actually finished a series, it’s time for the SERIES RECONSIDERATION!

SERIES RECONSIDERATION SCORE:  **** Four out of five stars for the series.  It’s very good, readable, the characters are nicely developed and fleshed out, mostly believable — except for everyone in a Nora Roberts novel being beautiful, and they almost all are (but if that’s my biggest gripe…) — the scary stuff was good, really very good, not too scary, but just enough to keep you in it.  I liked the fact that they weren’t all wealthy and living lives of ease.  Ms. Roberts generally gets this aspect of things right — real people like to read about real people sometimes — and I particularly like that about her characters.

Most excellent couple days of reading.  Very refreshing.  Okay, now I’m going to post this up to the Crackbook page, and then I’m going to go fall down.  Happy Reading!!!!

June 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Hollow

The Hollow:  Book Two of the Sign of Seven Trilogy, by Nora Roberts.  This one leaves you hanging too, but that means the end ought to be spectacular.

Here’s the stuff on the first page inside the covers:  “For Fox, Caleb, Gage, and the other residents of Hawkins Hollow, the number seven portends doom — ever since, as boys, they freed a demon trapped for centuries when their blood spilled upon the Pagan Stone…

Their innocent bonding ritual led to seven days of madness, every seven years.  And now, as the dreaded seventh month looms before them, the men can feel the storm brewing.  Already they are plagued by visions of death and destruction.  But this year they are better prepared, joined in their battle by three women who have come to the Hollow.  Layla, Quinn, and Cybil are somehow connected to the demon, just as the men are connected to the force that trapped it.

Since that fateful day at the Pagan Stone, town lawyer Fox has been able to see into others’ minds, a talent he shares with Layla.  He must earn her trust, because their link will help fight the darkness that threatens to engulf the town.  But Layla is having trouble coming to terms with her newfound ability — and with this intimate connection to Fox.  She knows that once she opens her mind, she’ll have no defense against the desire that threatens to consume them both…”

Anothe r *** three stars, but I’m really enjoying this series.

READ UP, READ UP!!!!  We can always make more.  Happy Reading everybody!

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers:  Book One of the Sign of Seven Trilogy, by Nora Roberts.  OMG.  Excellent read.  I’ve sat up into the night finishing the first one and starting the second one and I’m now debating with myself to go to bed so I can get up in the morning to harvest my damn cupcakes on Farmville, or read all night and harvest before I go to bed.  But, that wouldn’t be very responsible, and I’ve got stuff to do.  Still, it doesn’t make it any easier, LOL.

The synopsis comes from inside the front flap on this series, actually the first regular page.  It’s exactly the sort of thing they usually put on the back of the book, so I’m going to give it here:  “It had been the Pagan Stone for hundreds of years, long before three boys stood around it and spilled their blood in a bond of brotherhood, unwittingly releasing a force bent on destruction…  Every seven years, there comes a week in July when the locals do unspeakable things — and hten don’t seem to remember them.  The collective madness had made itself known beyond the town borders and has given Hawkins Hollow the reputation of a village possessed.

This modern-day legend draws reporter and author Quinn Black to Hawkins Hollow with the hope of making the eerie happening the subject of her new book.  It is only February, but Caleb Hawkins, descendent of the town founders, has already seen and felt the stirrings of evil.  Though he can never forget the beginning of the terror in the woods twenty-one yeas ago, the signs have never been this strong before.  Cal will need the help of his best friends, Fox and Gage, but surprisingly he must rely on Quinn as well.  She, too, can see the evil that the locals cannot, somehow connecting her to the town — and to Cal.  As winter turns to spring, Cal and Quinn will shed their inhibitions, surrendering to a growing desire.  They will form the cornerstone of a group of men and women bound by fate, passion, and hte fight against what is to come from out of the darkness…”

So, straight up, good vs. evil.  Very energetic in the telling and well worth the investment in time.  I’m giving it the standard three stars *** until I’m done with the third installment, and if it stays as good as the first one, it will come up significantly in the ratings.

Man, it left you hanging at the  end.  What if you couldn’t get the second book?  What if I hadn’t found them all at the same time and had to wait for them to come out one by one.  I’m very lucky.

HAPPY READING – GET OUT THERE AND READ!!!  I don’t care if it’s the back of the cereal box – just do it!

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dead and Gone

Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris.  This is seriously one of my favorite book series, and True Blood is one of the only television series that I try and catch on the first run.  Of course, I also play it on the on-demand.  Dead and Gone has just come out in paperback, and it’s making me itch to get the newest one, Dead in the Family, which I won’t because it’s in hardback and I don’t spend that kind of money on a five hour read.  Excellent, most excellent.  I hope she keeps writing the stories forever.

Here’s the back-of-the-book:  “Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, knew little about vamps — and nothing about Weres.  Until now.  The Weres and shifters have finally revealed their existence to the ordinary world, and the backlash may have claimed the life of someone Sookie knew.  But her determination to find out  who is responsible for the murder is put aside in the face of a far greater danger.  A race of unhuman beings — older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves — is preparing for war.  And Sookie will find herself an all-too-human pawn in their battle….”

*** three stars for series work, but I can already tell you that if Charlaine Harris ever finishes this series (and I hope she keeps going, or did I already say that?) it’s going to be a ***** five star review.  Holy crow.

Oh, and a couple of days ago, I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  I can’t currently find my copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I know it’s here somewhere. 

Happy Reading!

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling.  This is the umpteenth time that I’ve read this book, and it never gets old.  I still meet people who have never read this book, and I’m always surprised – though I guess I shouldn’t be.  I’ve been told that they aren’t into magic or that they can’t see reading a children’s book, but to my mind, this is a book more about relationships than magic, and more a force of creativity than just a children’s book.

For the uninitiated, here’s the back-of-the-book:  “Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick.  He’s never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon.  All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.  Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger:  a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed.  There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.”

Since I have read this series multiple times, I’m going to stray from my usual habit of awarding series work *** three stars.  Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone is a ***** five star book.  If you have not read this book, please gift yourself a couple of leisurely days to relax and enjoy the magical, wonderful, wizarding world of Harry Potter.  I don’t lend mine out, but they have it at the library, and you can get it on various eBook readers or on audiobook from the library, if you have a library card.

NOTE:  If you’re one the folk who have seen the movie, but haven’t read the book, it’s worth the investment of your time.  The first movie was especially faithful to the book, but even still there were some changes and differences between them. 

Oh, and yes I guess I am on a rip-tear through the Harry Potter books – or at least it feels like I might be, but I think it’s in preparation for the final two movies.

HAPPY READING!  Whether you’re reading this book, a magazine or the back of the cereal box – READ!!!

June 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Part two from this morning:

Trading Up, by Candace Bushnell.  I didn’t like it, I’m not a Candace Bushnell fan and I’m still not sure why I read it.  Well, I know, really – I liked the HBO show Sex in the City.  It was a one-hour vapid, decadent escape with beautiful people in fun places doing outrageous things, once a week.  I never watched it in syndication and it didn’t bother me to miss an episode.  So…. I guess I thought I could read one of her books.

It’s taken me a month to read it.  I have to put it down.  It offends my senses.  The women are whores – they use sex and treat men like idiots.  The men are whores – they use sex and treat women like disposables.  ACK!!

Here’s the back of the book:  “”.  There was no back of the book, only praise for the story from people who don’ t have to buy their own copies.  It’s about Janey, a Victoria’s Secret model who has slept her way almost to the top and thinks she has integrity.  She marries a man who thinks he’s in love with her, and they start to tear each other apart.  Sad thing is, in the end she’s right where she wants to be in a new town, ready to take it by storm.

Absolute crap.  No redeeming moral to the story.  No poignant end or heart of gold to save it. 

* and I’m being kind.  Seriously.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last Week

Soooo…..  guess I’ve been lazy about posting my book reviews.  I have at least three that I need to do, all from last week.   I’m going to cheat on the first one.  I read another Debbie Macomber and liked it.  I know it was a Blossom Street book, but they’re all jumbled together and I don’t remember which one.  Sheesh.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.  Wow.  I think the reason I haven’t already reviewed this book is that it’s not an easy book to read.  It’s eloquent, haunting, frightening, sad, beautiful and bleak.  It’s taken me most of a week to come up with that.  At first I thought it was like a train wreck, but I didn’t like that “train wreck” usually implies that it’s a mess or something.  Maybe more like a bad traffic accident.  Horrible, but you can’ t look away.  But it’s more beautiful than a traffic accident.  If you can stand to read a book doesn’t do much uplifting, but still has a worthiness about it, this is a good book to read.  This is one of those books that I chose because of the movie.  I tried to watch the movie and couldn’t.  I love Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall… the movie was too much.  The book’s a whole lot too.

Here’s the back of the book:  “The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.  The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey.  It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which a father and his son ‘each the other’s world entire,’ are sustained by love.”

And that’s it.  This book made me feel. ****1/2 out of Five.  If it had a little hope in it, I would probably have given it five, but it would have ruined the story.

Getting very dark outside – I’ll finish this after the big thunderstorm.  Posting now.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment