Category: Books & Writing

Let's Go Play At The Adams'
Let’s Go Play At The Adams’ by Mendal W. Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a CREEPY little book! It’s not for everyone, naturally, since it’s about a bunch (five, to be exact) of kids who tie up their babysitter and torture her. Yep, just because they can.

At times, it was tough to keep going – not because the tale itself is brutal or crazy or creepy (I often read that kind of stuff, after all) – but because of the punctilious and antiquated narrative accompanying the action. However, I think that actually helps create the haunting atmosphere.

Ultimately, this twisted little story keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see if it will take *that step* and *do that deed* … it engages both senses and ideas in a way that’s uncommon and inward-looking while cultivating sincere empathy. That’s quite a feat.

In these times of daily horrible news stories, maybe everyone should read something like this, which depicts so vividly what goes on under the surface. It’s about a mundane place and average people, all of which could be in our own backyards. In that way, it really is more terrifying than Lord of the Flies and The Exorcist combined, as the jacket claims.

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Review: Masquerade

Masquerade by Susanne Alleyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wickedly dark! A terrific, quick read in the best tradition of the Brothers Grimm and other warped and macabre fairy tales.

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Like Part of the Family
Like Part of the Family by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yet another well-written work by Jonathan Maberry! He never fails to deliver. This is a quick read that’s well worth the investment — especially if you like the supernatural!

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Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (and Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, and Myths
Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer’s (and Editor’s) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, and Myths by Susanne Alleyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent, quick, and amusing read … and SOOO illuminating! Medieval Underpants reminded me a bit of reading Bill Bryson’s work, filled with clever quips and tons of factoids. Alleyn does a fabulous job of pulling together examples from literature and film to illustrate the howlers that writers just get “all wrong” about clothing, hygiene, money, food, and myriad other topics when portraying the past in various lands. This is a must-read for aspiring authors of historical fiction, but also a fun read for the rest of us!

Review: Fingersmith

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an imaginative work! This book truly immerses the reader in its time and place, and with its changing perspective and unlikely twist, holds interest like the best of masterpieces. The characters are absolutely wonderful, and the pieces of the mystery fall together flawlessly in the end. I was very impressed!

I recommend this book strongly for readers of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. Yes, romance – especially nontraditional romance!

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