Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fled (A Dovetail Cove Novella) --by Jason McIntyre

Fiction / Noir

83 pages /4114 KB
5 Stars

I've read other McIntyre books, the Night Walk Men, and though dark (advertised as such) thoroughly enjoyed them, so admit to looking forward to my first dip into the Dovetail Cove series. Having been assured one could enter the series with any book, that they all tie together but are not linear, I entered the currents with Fled. I was not disappointed.

Charlie Scobie has lead an interesting life, and returns to the island home of his new bride for their honeymoon. It is a place of darkness for Charlie, and he is forced to face some things he'd rather forget, and in fact thought he had.  Or at least come to grips with them.

Personally, I wonder if McIntyre didn't channel Rod Serling for this story.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dom of Las Vegas (Sin City 1) --by Tricia Owens

Fiction / Adult

221 Pages /1975 KB
5 Stars

Oh, my.

I first 'met' Ms Owens with her Moonlight Dragon books, which I love. I then read one of her Pirate books, so I was aware she knows how to toss spice into her pages, but this book was, well, ah, a wet panty book from darned near page one to page last! Not, mind you, that I'm complaining. I'm not. No. Not at all.

Ms. Owens lives in Las Vegas, and while I'm somewhat comfortable with the idea that much of her books are nothing more than pure imagination, well, she has a very healthy imagination. Personally, I'm glad she does, and that she shares it.

This story was, in a word, Fun. It may not be so for everyone, but if you have an open mind, a sense of humor, if male/male sex intrigues you instead of turning you off, I think you'll enjoy the ride. The writing is good, the characters developed (very developed), and the story fun (I said that already, didn't I?). Admittedly, I probably wouldn't want to leave it around where my teenagers might find it, but they're in their late 40s/early 50s, so I have no say over what they read.

Ethan is a young man whose life-long dream is to be an agent with the FBI. Alas, he's also gay, and a submissive. He worked his way through school, and works for a small detective agency in Indiana. While on a business trip to Las Vegas, he meets Max, a dominant, wealthy, and owner of his own detective agency. One thing leads to another, we get ups we get downs, in just the right amounts before we get to the end. There are 10 books in the series (at this time) and I look forward to reading them all.

Rise of the Dragon, Moonlight Dragon Book 5) --by Tricia Owens

Fiction / Urban Fantasy

175 pages / 4154 KB
5 Stars

Legalities first: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING! Do not begin this book until you have a full pot of coffee and enough time to read it all the way through to The End. Once again, Ms. Owens has given us a marvelous one-sit read. She rates a space on your bookshelf alongside Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs, and Jim Butcher.

If you have not read the earlier books, I strongly suggest you do. While they could probably be read as stand alone books, they will be much more enjoyable if read in order:  1. Descended from Dragons, 2. Hunting Down Dragons, 3. Trouble with Gargoyles and, 4. Forged in Fire.

Poor Anne Moody. She is still cursed. The cameos in her pawnshop constantly give her dire messages, the walls and ceiling of her bathroom drip blood, something stomps forth and back on her roof at night. But, hey, it's home. She inherited the Moonlight Pawn Shop from her uncle when he disappeared, and she lives in the back. She deals in the mundane items people pawn for money to spend in Las Vegas, but she also deals in magickal items. Nothing too serious or heavy, but every so often, she's fooled. Oh, did I mention she is also carries dragon blood in her veins? A dangerous thing to have.

Her boyfriend is a gargoyle. Human by night, stone statue by day. Her best friend is a monkey shifter. And then there are the Oddsmakers. They are uber magickal beings, and they do not like dragons. No, not at all. They do not like wild magick they can't control. And they do not want anyone in Las Vegas wielding magick without their knowledge and permission. How do you keep a Dragon under wraps? They are also Evil.

Poor, cursed, Anne Moody. She thought her biggest problems were the unseen and unknown Oddsmakers, who teleport her whenever they feel like it to their underground lair to order her to do this or that, until she was drugged, kidnapped, and woke in a secret US Military underground prison/laboratory under investigation for High Treason. Yes, she meets the Men in Black, up close and personal, and they were nothing like the guys in the movie. Yes, the end of the world is coming, and only Anne Moody can save it, and she's an unwilling guest of Uncle Same. Poor, cursed, Anne Moody.

The most awful thing about this book is, it is book 5 of a 5 book series. That means the series is now ended. All the loose ends are neatly tied. We learn how Anne Moody became cursed, we learn what happened to Uncle James, Orlaton, and the others. However, with Ms. Owens' imagination and abilities, I hold high hopes there will be more books about the Moonlight Pawn Shop, the neighbors, and of course my favorite alpha dragon, Lucky.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A House of My Own: Stories from My Life --by Sandra Cusneros

Nonfiction / Memoir

400 pages
5 Stars

This was my introduction to Sandra Cisneros. I look forward to a long and rewarding friendship through the pages of her other books.

I read this book at night, in bed. Often, after finishing a story, I would put the book down and think about what I'd just read. What did she say? What did I read? (They are not always the same things).

Cisneros was born and raised in Chicago to working-class parents. Her father came from Mexico City, and the family frequently returned to his home for summer vacations. She is the only girl in a family with 6 brothers. No one in the family truly understood her penchant for writing. I, for one, am delighted no one managed to stifle her. She can relate to the average person, and perhaps more important, they can relate to her.

Her style of writing is like conversing with an old and beloved friend. While they are written for adults, there is nothing in any of these stories that a much younger person could not read. I enjoyed, tremendously, reading about the differences between her two cultures. I loved the gentle humor, and even laughed out loud in places. Especially the restaurant story in the Epilogue. No spoilers here, you'll have to read it yourself.

This is a book to be read and enjoyed many times, as are conversations with old friends to be had as often as wanted.  Buy this book. Give it to friends, relatives, and libraries. Give it to women, and give it to men. Most of all, give it to yourself.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Sociopath Next Door/2d read --by Martha Stout, Ph.D.

Nonfiction / Psychology
256 pages
5 Stars

If you are a reader of this blog, the title might sound familiar. I originally bought, read, and reviewed this book two years ago. See for the original review.

At the time I first read the book, it was research for a character I was developing. Turns out, the character is not a sociopath. I am relieved. Well, then, why did I read it a second time? Turns out I now know someone who began to set off warning bells. The bells have become a clamor, so I thought I'd give the book a second go-through.

The book held up well the second time through. One of the things I was quick to notice, I underlined very different passages this second time through. Before I was looking for a fictional character, and general information on sociopathy. This time, I read it with a very specific person in mind.

A sociopath has no conscience. S/He has no empathy, no capacity to love a pet or another human. They are often charismatic in the extreme, which is why they are such good con-men. Often, they have a grandiose sense of self worth, and the world is their oyster. They do not care who they hurt, or how they hurt them. They are here for one reason and one reason only: Domination. They are never, ever, responsible for anything that happens, it is always someone else's fault. If they marry, their spouses are usually somewhat shallow, and considered trophies. They serve one purpose – to make him look better. They have no guilt. Period.

Around 2/3 of the way through the book, Dr. Stout gives us 13 rules for dealing with sociopaths in everyday life. Basically, you don't. But her Rule of three is worth remembering: "One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you're dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly."

While the first part of the book is downright scary, especially if you think you know one, the last part of the book offers hope. This book is very well written, and her stories/examples could become stand-alone literary works all by themselves. While the sociopath is a pitiful creature, condemned to being alone, never, ever offer them pity. They feed on it, and like a vampire, will suck you dry. In fact, they count on it, and use it against you.

I strongly recommend you buy your own copy, and read it. Even if you don't know anyone you suspect might be a sociopath, you just never know. Besides, there is a lot of good information in here that may come in handy as you travel down life's road.