Monthly Archives: July 2011

tonight

life sets

like sunsets

chasing dreams

light

my love

my nights

where life

can be

more ordinary

complacently

wired

wandering

lost

dreaming

lies like grass

crunching

under my feet

delete

all the lies

contradicting

what I’m feeling

tonight

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broken

 

I spend my time

swimming inside my head

thinking

drinking

away this sadness

 

Loathe this perfect

life I will never have

and I spy

inside

a longing to

wish upon stars

 

Dream

to keep these

memories  from

seeping into my

oblivion

I seek

solace

peace

quiet

 

and wait patiently

soundlessly

hoping for tomorrow

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The Lust Garden by Billy Jolie

 I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 The Lust Garden written by Billy Jolie

He was alone in the lust garden of his dream. She was coming to meet him. And they would be there together. Forever.”

Gianna Salvani is an actress, an up-and-coming music star and beautiful.

But deep down inside her soul lies fear.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of herself.

Fear of being alone.

Always in the spotlight, she longs for anonymity, yet craves the attention.

Immediately, I identified with Gianna’s character, but not int he way you may think.

I have no desire to be a super star. In fact, I’d loathe the constant attention, the hounding of the paparazzi, the inability to ever be truly alone.

Yet it is her insecurity and innocence that draws the reader in. She is doll-like in appearance, a helpless lamb to the slaughter.

She loves it.

And she hates it.

Life for Gianna will never be “normal”. She is under constant scrutiny.

She simply wants what we all want: to be happy.

I first discovered Billy Jolie via Twitter, as I noticed a post where he was asking for a review of his new novel. I confess, it’s taken me awhile to read and review, not because I wasn’t intrigued, but as you know, I often bite off entirely more than I can chew book-wise. At the time, I was reading another novel for review, as well as my regular 5 or 6 books I read for pleasure alone. What can I say? I’m a multi-tasker like that. Or maybe just insane? I prefer to think of it as “keeping my plate full”. I like to read a variety of books: e-books on my Kindle, unpublished manuscripts for editing, books of poetry, theories of writing, short stories…..

So you can see how I often lose track of just how many books I’m reading at one time. Thank God for Goodreads.com!

Alas, I digress.

Billy had me sucked in from page one. Literally.

“A cloud of hot steam tickled his face triggering the onslaught of a lustful hunt. The splashing water seared his face and burned like popping oil from a frying pan. With delicate hands, he greedily pawed locks of blonde hair, forcing his prey under. The beautiful lamb he’d chosen was exposed, her anorexic figure stripped naked and flailing in the shallow liquid of a porcelain bathtub.

 The sweet water dripped from his chin—his baptism, his rebirth as the lion. She wriggled beneath him, with the desperation of a strangled fish. But he had her pinned with the brute strength of his knees, paralyzing her fragile chest. Entwined together, their weight spilled the water over and down the perched, clawed feet where it puddled along the tiled floor.”

Honestly, how could you NOT be enthralled with that introduction? Murder, mayhem, rock stars, models, drug addiction: this book has it all!

Everytime I opened up this book, I was instantly lost for hours, my eyes glued to the screen.

And once I started reading, everything was lost. Dinner left uncooked. One day, I spent almost all of my productive hours simply reading. And I never felt guilty. Not even once.

Billy Jolie takes us into the world of Gianna, as well as other characters, and leaves us wondering just how all of these glorious story lines will connect. Because they always do. This is the measure of a superb writer. And Billy does not disappoint. He dangles clues in front of your eyes, and we grasp at random meanings, always uncertain, but pleasantly surprised.

In all honesty, I did not even consider how the murderer would fit into the plot. Was it random? Was it fate?

And I was never disappointed.

By the last 100 pages, I didn’t care if I missed out on my life. I HAD to know how it ended!

And it was glorious. Fulfilling yet sad.

I’m a sucker for a great ending, and this book gives the reader exactly that.

You can find Billy Jolie here:

http://www.billyjolie.com/

http://www.twitter.com/billyjolie

http://www.facebook.com/billyjolie

http://www.myspace.com/billyjolie

 

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Sex Demons, Harems & Snark. Oh my!

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig
 
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
 

Save My Soul by Zoe Winters

All he’s asking for is her soul.

After buying the antebellum home she’s fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she’ll call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn’t, she could die. And that would be the best case scenario.

Honestly, this book sat in my TBR (to-be-read) pile for awhile about a year. Unfortunately, it usually got shoved to the back burner by more persistent library books (with due dates), or an unpublished manuscript I was beta reading. It wasn’t that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the first Preternatural Book, Blood Lust, but such is the life of an avid reader.

You can check out my review of Blood Lust by clicking on the link.

The aspect that I loved most about Save My Soul was the fact that while Blood Lust is a compilation of three separate novellas, this second book is devoted entirely to the story of Luc and Anna.

Immediately, I identified with Anna Worthington. She’s smart. She’s sarcastic. She’s independent, yet vulnerable. Just don’t tell her that!

I positively adored all of the relationship dynamics in this paranormal romance! Anna vs. Lucian. Luc vs. Cain. Anna vs. Tam. The entire harem of Atlanta prostitutes, brought to Anna’s house to fulfill Lucian’s desire to feed. Even the Catholic priest played a significant role.  And I must add that I absolutely adored/abhorred the townsfolk, especially the elderly twins and neighbors of Anna. 😉

In Book One, the author introduces Cain, who is the original incubus, as we discover in Book Two. Originally, I’d thought that this second book would be more about him, as I knew it was about an incubus. However, I am thrilled that the author made Cain into more of a “bad boy”, at least as far as demons go, and lent a softer side to Lucian, making the reader more sympathetic to said demon.

Lucian, while still a sex demon, was limited by his humanity, or better yet, his soul and the feelings he feels. I’m  a softy for a demon with a humanitarian side, so I immediately took to Luc. Plus, he’s straight-up gorgeous?! Honestly, I’m impressed that Anna hung onto her values as long as she did. I’d have succumbed much sooner than she. Slowly, but surely, Lucian breaks down her tough-girl barriers, and Anna eventually realizes how much she loves him. Even with the blood-bonding, Anna understands that what she has with Luc is more than just a simple physical attraction. What they have is so much more…

So go buy the book! NOW! 🙂

You can access Zoe Winters’s website by clicking on her name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Because it’s not always easy to know how to live.

Synopsis:

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

I just recently finished this exciting new novel by Paula McLain, and even though I checked it out from the library, I will be buying this book, simply because this is one of my new top ten favorite novels of all time.  (Thanks, Dan, for the recommendation.)

It’s poignant.

It’s lovely.

It’s heart-warming.

It’s heart-breaking.

It’s a glimpse into the often chaotic mind of a classic American writer.

It makes you want to read The Sun Also Rises again. And again.

From the start of the novel, I identified with Hadley, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.

But by the end of the novel, I kind of identified with Hemingway as well.

Or perhaps I simply felt sorry for him.

As a writer, I’ve had my own struggles with depression and alcoholism, and even thoughts of suicide.

Written from the perspective of Hadley, it paints a portrait of a man, a child, a lost soul, wandering through the darkness of the world, looking for light, inspiration, and acceptance.

The language is gorgeous. The POV changes between Hadley and Ernest. It makes you want to spend all day in a cafe, drinking coffee, and reading.

This book is a definite MUST READ for the Summer!

PAULA MCLAIN was born in Fresno, CA in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court

System, moving in and out of foster homes for the next 14 years. Eventually, she discovered she could — and wanted to — write. She received her MFA

in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and since then has been a resident at Yaddo and the recipient of fellowships from the National

Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of two collections of poetry, a much-praised memoir called Like Family (Little Brown, 2003), and one

previous and well-received novel, A Ticket to Ride. Paula McLain lives in Cleveland, OH with her family.

You can find Paula McLain on Goodreads.com.

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summer sets

As I sit quietly in the corner,

 reading  words so full of hope,

love, loss, and new beginnings,

 a soft pinkish-orange twinge of light

 radiates through the window.

The sun sets yet again in the West,

and I grasp at promises of light,

impending dark,

but no matter now the insignificance of

fate, time, darkness and dreams.

This, only this

is the moment I have waited for.

Just this glimpse of beauty,

fading quickly into the horizon.

As the night looms closer

and still closer,

creeping into twilight.

Then finally, the sweet bliss of night.

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New Release: Office Politics, by Sharon Gerlach (via Running Ink Press)

New Release: Office Politics, by Sharon Gerlach Running Ink Press is thrilled to announce the first full-length release of Sharon Gerlach:  Office Politics. Malaria is nothing a good dose of quinine can’t handle. At least that’s what software training specialist Frannie Freeman thinks when her vile office manager Malia—aka Malaria—unexpectedly marries their boss Sam, whom Frannie has loved for years. Certain it’s only a matter of time before Sam comes to his senses, she hides her heartbreak be … Read More

via Running Ink Press

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