Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Frost Moon by Anthony Francis

Frost Moon by Anthony Francis introduces us to the incomparable Dakota Frost, magical tattoo artist and skindancer. Not only can her tattoos perform some useful function such as make a transformation smoother for a were, they can move on the skin of the wearer. In the case of Dakota, this can make for one impressive display since she has several tattoos inked on her, mostly by her own hand. Most impressive in description to me was her dragon tattoo that started on one foot and ran all the way up her body.

The book opens with Dakota being escorted into the police station, not for anything she's done wrong, but because of what her father's old partner, Rand, hopes she can do. A serial killer is stalking those with magical tattoos and worse taking a tattoo as a trophy of sorts on or near the full moon. The police and the feds hope that she can shed some light on this and help warn others.

Dakota meets a wide variety of characters over the course of the book including vampires, weres, magic users, and some relatively normal people. Anthony Francis does a nice job of world building an "Edgeworlder Atlanta" where all these non-mainstream people live. He does a great job in fleshing out all of the characters involved including the minor ones. The subplots tie together nicely with the main plot at the climax to the novel.

Dialog is believable. Dakota has some nice banter with Philip, her main love interest and man in black. Dakota banters well in general and isn't afraid to speak up for herself. Occasionally as a result, she will put her foot in her mouth like when she is first being introduced at the werehouse. This makes her more endearing.

I was surprised at the identity of the serial killer. I don't think there was really any foreshadowing leading up to it, but it wasn't totally unbelievable either. You'll have to judge for yourself. And it is worth the time.

I received a copy of this book in return for my unbiased opinion.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Reads

This week I am encouraging you to check out Friday Reads on the web or on Twitter. To quote the site: FridayReads is a global community of thousands of people who come together each week to share whatever they’re reading. Our goal is simple: to raise reading’s visibility and encourage more people to join in!

Every week thousands of people chime in on Facebook on their FridayReads page, on their homepage (, on Tumblrand on twitter using the hashtag #FridayReads and let the world know what they are reading. And audiobooks count too. Kindle, Nook or paper - it doesn't matter just so long as it's a book. Kids books are fine. Middle grades, YA, Grown-up, whatever you're reading just post it.

You can see what other people are reading in the feeds and lists as they appear, but Friday Reads also does a blog post about which books were the top listed books for the week. This is interesting as sort of real world information and not necessarily what the newspapers are saying, but what people are really reading. 

Check it out on Tumblr  this week and participate for a chance to win a copy of The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. This is the sequel to I Am Number Four.

I've been participating in Friday Reads for a while now and I find it interesting to share and see what other people are reading as well as watch the number of people admitting to reading climb each week.

Give it a shot, why not? Let them know on the web or on twitter what you've been reading or are reading today.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere

The Door to Lost PagesThe Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumière
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was drawn to The Door to Lost Pages because among other things it sounded like a wonderful bookstore, one you'd like to find on a little side street and explore. The chapters in the book are really more short stories that are loosely strung together with Aydee and the store as common elements.

"Bestial Acts" introduces Aydee as a 10 year old leaving home and encountering supernatural beings that in turn give her comfort and lead her to the store. The other chapters have different main focuses, though through it all Aydee continues to grow up. Then in "Lost Girls" Aydee must confront herself, her own worst fear as it turns out.

Perhaps especially intriguing is the tale marked "Coda" which appears after "Lost Girls". It seems to be from the author's perspective and talks about the weird building across the street from him that is changing appearance and aspect daily. He is tempted on more than one occasion to enter the building, but ultimately only one visage will truly tempt him.

The book is well written and the writing is varied from easygoing stories like "Let Evil Beware!" to erotica and coming of age in ":Dregs" to horror that reminded me of H.P. Lovecraft in "Dark Tendrils". Lalumiere shows that he has a wide range of writing that he is capable of and that he can do it well.

I would recommend this book to adult fans of urban fantasy and sci-fi/fantasy. It's not a long read, but it is a good read.
The Door to Lost Pages

I received a copy of this book in order to provide my unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Play Dead by Anne Frasier

Play DeadPlay Dead by Anne Frasier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elise is a Savannah detective who has had a somewhat unorthodox education as a teenager from a root doctor. David is a Yankee, former FBI agent, and working on recovering from his son's death at his ex-wife's hands. Together they are investigating the deaths of young men in Savannah that resemble zombiism. Paralyzed by tetrodotoxin, the poison of the pufferfish, the young men are aware of their fate up until their deaths.

The book was taut with suspense. I did not see who the killer was before the identity was revealed.

This is a mystery book, but I also shelve it under horror because the idea of being paralyzed, but aware of everything and under the control of a criminal is horrifying. Not to mention finding out that the body you are cutting into to autopsy is really alive and not dead after all would be horrifying both to the supposed corpse and the medical examiner. And to make it worse, there is an element of necrophilia that eventually comes up. Don't kiss me with that corpse breath!

In addition, the author handled the culture of Savannah and that of the root doctors well.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I would love to see a sequel with these detectives in Savannah.

View all my reviews (My Goodreads book reviews anyway).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Review: Don't Shoot Me in the Ass and Other Stories by Michael Stephen Fuchs

Don't Shoot Me in the Ass and Other Stories by Michael Stephen Fuchs is a hit selection of short stories. There are 10 tales in the collection varied from action/adventure to humor to philosophical and emotional. He shows that he can write diversely and do it well.

When I picked up the book, I was afraid that it would be simply a wise cracking collection. To my surprise it opened with a what if action/adventure story based on the idea of rioting immigrants in response to the passing of the newer immigration laws. It's quite believable, yet told with liberal dashes of humor. As to what happens, no spoilers here. You'll have to read it for yourself.

Other examples of stories include high tech corporate espionage, hijacking airplanes, a relationship tale in a corporate setting, and still there's more.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I read it in about 3 sittings. I hated to see it end!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased opinion. This is a Kindle edition.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shelf Awareness

Subscribe to Shelf Awareness and enter to win a free book!

Shelf Awareness is a publication that previously only had a professional edition. Now they are publishing a version just for Readers.

"The publication booksellers turn to for news on the book industry is now publishing a version for book lovers! Shelf Awareness: Enlightenment for Readers is a FREE emailed newsletter with reviews on the 25 best books publishing each week along with author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways and more. Right now they’re running a contest for new subscribers. Check out the button on our website to sign up for the new publication and to be entered for a chance to win a great book!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Magnetic Poetry

Magnetic Poetry

Above all, the Magnetic Poetry site is hoping of course that you will buy one or more of their products.

But, what was invaluable to me is the play tab. Once selected, it takes you to another screen where you can choose which kit you want to play with. Once a kit is selected, it will take you to another screen where the words are in a pile to the right and there is a work space to the left. Basically have at it! Play with the words.

There is an option at the end to submit your poem as well. I didn't submit mine because I couldn't find all the little s's and whatnot that I wanted to add to make it fully make sense.

I really enjoyed playing with it and plan to do so again. I used to the poetry kit and created the following on this occasion:

Wild woman with a
smoky, velvet voice
poison words rob you.

Yesterday's secrets
surround your smile and
seep into the
windows to your soul.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just a note about the Borders thing

What seems like a million years ago, but was probably closer to 12 years ago, I worked for Borders. In the beginning all was good. But then, there seemed to be changes on the corporate level that trickled down and affected us at the stores. And our lovely GM quit. And there was a general shake up on the managerial level. And this was the beginning.

We had a very lucrative program going on the weekends where at least one night - Friday or Saturday, we had local talent of some sort come in and perform. Sometimes it was music, othertimes spoken word. People would come in and listen and shop. Then go to the theater down the way. Or come in after the theater. Either way, our sales were up on the weekend. BUT, corporate felt this wasn't good. And wanted us to discontinue the program. And thus came the first firing of the community liason. Followed soon after by a drop in sales. And soon after that by the gm quitting because he didn't want to be a part of what was to come.

Then there was the chinese fire drill among the remaining managers and eventual hiring of a new gm. Followed soon after by another manager leaving. And you start to get the picture. Something was brewing. And this was 12 yrs ago.

Suddenly Borders stores started popping up all over the place. And not doing well. The locations at least near us, were poorly chosen. The rent I'm sure was decent, but the locations weren't busy enough to sustain. And yet, Borders left the stores open and I have no doubt lost money on many of them. I don't know how many Saturday nights I walked into one of these stores (after I left the company myself) and there would only be one or 2 customers in the cafe and maybe the same browsing elsewhere in the stores. Saturday night at the Barnes and Noble a few miles down the road was packed.

Those of us who worked at the chain could see that the changes were not all good and that the company was spreading itself too thin by building too fast. So, I think to some degree the problems they're having aren't totally unexpected, but are very disappointing.

I still enjoyed shopping Borders and visiting the few people I know that continued to work for the company. Now all 3 of the Borders closest to me are on the list of 200 that was published as to be closed. They assure us that the list is not written in stone and some may change status as rents are renegotiated, but I don't hold out much hope. Here is the link to the pdf that they published with the list of the 200 closing stores: And here is a link to the Galleycat article that contained the information

So, is this the end of Borders?