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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Interview: Marri Champié, Author of Silverhorn

Today I’m pleased to bring you a Q&A with Marri Champié, whose new book Silverhorn will be released soon. Enjoy!

About Silverhorn
Silverhorn is a paranormal contemporary fantasy by award winning author Marri Champié. It will be available on November 5, 2018, via Kasva Press. The book lies somewhere between Fantasy/Science Fiction and a modern day Western.

Silverhorn explores themes of magic/mysticism, history and Celtic and Native American traditions and heritage, family dynamics, love, friendship and music. It follows Willa – a young, beautiful rising rock n’ roll star who is also a cowgirl whose family ranch is the Silverhorn, a wild area that has long been off-limits to outsiders. Willa becomes obsessed with finding the truth behind a mysterious legend about what is on the other side of Silverhorn Canyon – is it a Native American legend or something far more ancient? She risks it all to find out. Readers who enjoy cross-genre novels in which science and magic coexist, and those drawn to the Wild West will find it doubly appealing. Continue reading Interview: Marri Champié, Author of Silverhorn

Book Review: The Selah Branch by Ted Neill

I liked it. And yes, that is a simple statement about a fairly complicated book, but it is the salient fact, as far as my review is concerned. Much of the following is somewhat ancillary to that point, but I think important (obviously, or I wouldn’t have written it) nevertheless, so bear with me…

If you’re not familiar with the book, here’s the summary:

Kenia Dezy, a Georgetown college student, is unable to join her best friend in Haiti for summer practicum. Her dreams of helping those in impoverished communities are quickly dashed, until a professor suggests she study in Selah Station, West Virginia. The town has a rich history of black culture, as it was one of the stops of the Underground Railroad where escaped slaves would cross to Maryland, and that Selah Branch University was the first fully integrated university. As she discovers more about the town’s backstory, she learns that an industrial accident at the Selah Island Coal Processing Plant spread toxic waste throughout the town center, adjacent neighborhoods, and even the university campus. As a result, the area was declared uninhabitable.

Selah Station was once a multicultural environment, but now “there are just as many poor whites here as blacks.” Kenia also learns the truth about her father’s disappearance, as he came from a line of shamans and had the ability to time travel, which she inherited. He journeyed to another place and time but was unable to return. During her interactions, Kenia forms connections with many people in the town, including the Pennel family who has witnessed her ability to time travel. She, along with the family’s uncle, Mike, travel back to 1953 to stop the sabotage of the coal plant that changed the town forever.

Continue reading Book Review: The Selah Branch by Ted Neill

Book Review: Resurrection Men by David Craig

I’ve commented before on how some excellent books just don’t seem to lend themselves well to reviews – at least not lengthy ones. I have credited it to the strength of the plot (as odd as that may sound) and to the originality of the story. If things are well-crafted and full of the right kind of surprises, it’s hard to describe them in any great detail without giving things away. Such stories don’t deserve to have one iota of their enjoyment marred (or possibly marred) by an overzealous – and overly revelatory – review. As a result, one can speak to tone and writing, to characterization and pacing or theme, but it’s tough to be very explicit or descriptive without running the risk of saying too much.

This was such a book for me. Continue reading Book Review: Resurrection Men by David Craig

Book Review: Gigolo: Inside the Secret World of the Super Rich by Ben Foster

This was not my usual choice of memoir…

This is the tale of one talented and (un? you be the judge)lucky young man’s journey into the world of money and privilege most of us only encounter on television. It was a LOT steamier than I usually read, and such an unusual blend of elements – family drama, VERY explicit sex, and a zen-flavored explication of one man’s approach to life and living. Those are NOT usually found together, and you’d think that combining them would lead to a jarring, discordant mess of a read. On the contrary, I found that the combination rendered the book into a delightful salty-sweet confection of a tale full of morality and questionable decision-making, and drama and fear, and unbridled optimism and equally unbridled glee. Continue reading Book Review: Gigolo: Inside the Secret World of the Super Rich by Ben Foster

Book Review: A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

I am a huge fan of Sherlockiana – the reimagining of Sherlock Holmes’ world and the people who populate it (be they original to the Doyle stories or new creations), including his creator Sir Arthur himself. But I’m also always a little skeptical when someone takes on a character or persona that is so beloved and so canonical and has become so entrenched in the literary universe. It must be no small task, daunt-wise, to decide you are going to take a famous character on as your own, and I’m both impressed and wary when I see that someone has done it. There are a number of fantastic books that have resulted – the Laurie R. King Sherlock/Mary Russell series, the Anthony Horowitz books being my favorite examples – but there are an equal number of disappointments (I won’t list those but if you’re curious am happy to share my thoughts!). It’s a bit of the old adage, paraphrased – “when they are good, they are very very good, but when they are bad they are (or tend to be) horrid…” Still, I’m a book optimist, so whenever I see a title that purports to carry on the Holmesian style of deductive mystery solving with a Holmes-adjacent cast I tend to at least give it a go. This was one such title, and while I’m not sorry I read it, I must confess it wasn’t one of my favorites – despite the presence of a little-known historical feminist journalist (Margaret Harkness), Sir Arthur AND Jack the Ripper, any one of whom (let alone all three together) usually offer greatly intriguing options for a story…
Continue reading Book Review: A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper



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