Review: All Things Bright and Strange

All Things Bright and Strange

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.

The people of Bellhaven have always looked to Ellsworth Newberry for guidance, but after losing his wife and his future as a professional pitcher, he is moments away from testing his mortality once and for all. Until he finally takes notice of the changes in his town . . . and the cardinals that have returned.

Upon the discovery of a small chapel deep in the Bellhaven woods, healing seems to fall upon the townspeople, bringing peace after several years of mourning. But as they visit the “healing floor” more frequently, the people begin to turn on one another, and the unusually tolerant town becomes anything but.

The cracks between the natural and supernatural begin to widen, and tensions rise. Before the town crumbles, Ellsworth must pull himself from the brink of suicide, overcome his demons, and face the truth of who he was born to be by leading the town into the woods to face the evil threatening Bellhaven.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert is one of those great reads that fits into several genres. Historical, paranormal, and commercial fiction are just a few genres that this one slides into…I was hooked. My curiosity of this plot lured me into a whirlwind of mystery.  The characters were interesting. I was traveling back in time to post WWI. There was a lot of craziness happening inside this read. Some may like it, others not so. It was good but could have been better. Too much was attempted in this tale.

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Review: Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017

 

 

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There.

 

 

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend, Judith Carrigan, can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan is an interesting novel. A thriller that holds a lot of action, intrigue, and danger. Explorations of murder, past secrets, and the truth are found among these thrilling scenes from their past. I was captivated. Jennifer Finney Boylan created a thick mysterious atmosphere in which I couldn’t deny. Her characters were believable. It was fun following them especially, Judith, as the intensity of the situation came unraveling from the past. Friendships tested, complex scenarios, and drama filled characters made for a fun read.

The pacing of this story was slow. Not quite up to my normal steady/fast paced environments that I usually love. The whole position of the friends locked up and things escalating out of control reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars. I noticed that the book switches from past to future a lot. This was understandable as it explored the backstory of what happened to the cast of characters and what was currently happening to them now. Despite their past that haunts them as adults that they are now, I wasn’t that impressed with the rest of the current happenings of the story. Overall, it was good but not as good as I had expected.

 

 

Review: Danny and the Dreamweaver

Synopsis:

Danny is a grumpy video-game junky. He daydreams in school and has a long-standing rivalry with his neighbor.
Yet Danny soon finds himself ensnared in a bizarre dream. Controlling his dream is Nostrildamus, an odd-looking creature with a huge nose and no eyes, yet can oddly see into the future.
Taken on a time-traveling hunt to solve an art-related mystery, Danny meets strange looking artists, like Hippopotamus Bosch and Michelanjello, while Nostrildamus tries to impart subtle pearls of wisdom.
Yet, what does it all mean? And what effect, if any, will all this have on Danny?

Find out in “Danny and the DreamWeaver,” an imaginative adventure of criminal intrigue, time travel, and art history, infused into a bizarre dream that will have you scratching your head and smiling, until the end! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Danny and the Dreamweaver by Mark Poe is one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. The cover also caught my attention. It was strange looking and made me wonder what it was about…

Inside this intriguing yet fascinating story, was a teen who meet a nose figure in a dream. From there, the main character, a teenage boy, learns a lot about famous artists as well as life. I love art and this story covered it in an interesting way. Mark Poe was creative. His book took me on an adventure. It was part fantasy and part time travel. Educational yet entertaining. I would recommend this book to YA readers everywhere. 

Review: Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa



Synopsis:

When food writer David Dominé buys a three-story Victorian house, little does he know it is located in an enchanted neighborhood, one full of gargoyles and gas lamps, hidden courtyards, towers, turrets, and gingerbread trim. The 1890s structure he will call home becomes known as La Casa Fabulosa–or the fabulous house in Spanish–because of its elaborate façade. His is just one of hundreds of striking dwellings in an area famous for its fanciful architecture and 19th-century charm, however. The neighborhood is also replete with colorful characters–an assortment of vagrants, cross-dressers, gypsies, and random misfits that make life interesting, to say the least. There are even rumors of modern-day witches and voodoo queens. When strange noises and puzzling smells start to keep him awake at night, and bizarre coincidences punctuate his days, he discovers that enchantment can take many different forms. The oddballs and oddities, the weird and wonderful he encounters in this enchanted neighborhood come to life in Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa by David Domine is a unique memoir. His writing isn’t anything like others that I have read. If I didn’t know it was nonfiction, I would have thought it was a novel. The creativity and exciting scenes leaves readers with amazing visuals. I can see the writer as each moment happened. His thoughts about how strange everything was…as well as the unexpected outcomes. I love anything with a history. It seems the place the writer bought as his new home, has a ton of it. The architecture is the best. I can only imagine the stories behind it. The characters are eccentric. But they make the reading enjoyable. Some scary, mysterious, and hilarious details will keep readers intrigued. The title of this book also, caught my attention. It pulled me into its contents and from there I was on a journey. Exploring those around the main character. From neighbors to animals, there’s a bit of everything you can and couldn’t imagine. The humor is great. I definitely enjoyed reading Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa, and I highly recommend it to others.