Life has, for so long, felt like a perpetual never-ending storm. Will it ever cease? Will the seas calm, the swell subside, the winds tame to more gentle breezes? I have waited patiently, tried to coax it along, done everything and nothing. It is a force far greater than I am able, alone, to effect.
As I sat on my patio, looking out at the mountains reflecting on this a thought crept in. Some ghosts are trapped in the trauma that most affected, or in some cases ended, their lives and how disturbing that would be. Why? I wondered. Is it a punishment?
Then the two concepts collided into an even more terrible thought. What if…
Did I die in those initial storms? Some pertinent part of my person, of who I was, did. What if I am only a ghost trapped in the perpetual storms that were that death? And that part of me that is the ghost of my former self is trapped in the loop, which leaves the rest tethered to the storms. Will there come a day when I come face to face with my own ghost?
I face my own demons rather frequently and handle it. But ones demons are not the same as ones self. Demons are an external force, the other is internal – a true part of the person created by the external influences. By the end of this particular conversation with myself I had to wonder where the idea arose. Was that one of those little pieces of telepathy that creeps in unbidden from time to time? Or was it my inner psyche trying to tell me something imperative? Warning me perhaps?
Since I suffer from a stress disorder perhaps it was my inner warning system trying to avoid the shock of the actual event when it came. The day I would look up and come face to face with my own ghost. Though I am very much alive now, there are parts of me that died long ago. Some of those parts in very traumatic ways during periods of great turmoil.
So the next question is, how many others have had this experience? Not the turmoil and trauma, but the meeting their own ghost part? This made me think of the legends of the Dopple Gangers. Is this where that comes from? Maybe we set a part of ourselves loose upon the world when these things happen. Parts of us that carry on things, lives, actions we cannot carry on ourselves.
And so something very interesting was born in my brain and this is one of those stories that will haunt me until it is written.
By John Kachuba
This was an EBook I purchased a while back, but hadn’t gotten to, there are a lot of them backed up on my Reader. This was one of those books I took a chance on and I can’t say I was sorry I did, but there are some things about this book that were a put off.
To start with, I was impressed with the historical aspects as well as the way that the legends of a real place were woven into the work. The characters were pretty consistent with real people, up until very late in the story. There was not unnecessary material or off shoots into nowhere. The plot line and the story itself were good; it kept me reading to the end.
What cost the writer was the distraction of editing issues, a few places that distracted with dialogue that didn’t sound natural and the use of the word upon, over and over again and often in inappropriate places. About one third of the way through the book he also quit using contractions, which is very distracting. Another distraction was not researching a particular medical condition worked into the end when a Doctor pays a personal visit to a remote place. This may be because I work daily with this particular suggested trauma related issue and so I know better through experience. It’s a hot button topic, which is trying to relate to current issues. Done properly it might have worked, done improperly it detracted. Since there are many people dealing with and suffering from this issue as many veterans are returning from overseas with it, there are many out there that it will pull out of the story at a critical point.
Had this been a first book, I might have been a little more lenient, however, as a seventh book, not so much.
Halfway to the Grave
By Jeaniene Frost
A five plus!!
This is book 1 in the
Night Huntress series.
I put this book on my wish list and it sat there for a long time. Finally I went looking for an audiobook and was just in the mood for something new. A writer that was unknown to me, so I took a chance. Boy am I glad I did! I absolutely loved this book. It had the right balance of just about everything. The strong female protagonist grew throughout the story, matured as events like what she goes through will do to a young woman, and stayed that strong, independent, capable woman to the tough choices she faces at the end.
I am beyond impressed with the writing, the characters and plot. The right amount of conflict between the two main characters, the right amount of tension at the right times and while there was some sex in the story, it wasn’t graphic and was for the most part tastefully done and not overdone. She also captures the characters of an old-fashioned small town and unreasonable discrimination to an art. The tension between mother and daughter is very realistic as are the rest of the relationships, no sugar and flowers here! The character comes to recognize the same behaviors in herself and faces a choice between her mother’s affection or changing destructive attitudes.
This isn’t one of those everything goes right at the last minute and everyone walks away happy kind of stories. It’s a real world, real struggles kind of book that readers can associate with, especially in the relationships between the characters.
This was an audiobook – unabridged, I won’t listen to one that slices the book up. I want to take a moment to say that the performance, given by Tavia Gilbert, was excellent. Hopefully she’ll stay with the entire series. I am already on book two! More to come.
This is the first in the Ghost Walker Series.
I love Christine Feehan books, just let me say this up front. But, I can only take them in small doses under normal circumstances and usually rate them around a four stars. Partly because of the romances that tend to boarder a little too closely on damsel in distress is rescued by handsome prince patterns. Don’t get me wrong, her females are stubborn, to the point you sometimes want to reach in and shake their heads to see if there’s anything up there. Strong, however, would be going too far. Willful maybe. The men tend to be more typical of chauvinists than truly romantic or protective, save for in the bed, which there is a lot of. Even then some of them could stand to sit back and let her teach him a thing or two instead of fainting to his touch.
This series is lining up to change that particular problem. The main female lead in this book is strong, educated, but not stupid or stubborn. She uses her considerable brains and doesn’t let him change her thinking and not to her undoing either. Yes, there’s some rescue, but as much on her part (and maybe a little more so) as on his, which is refreshing. The character is well balanced, as is the plot, the romance, the seduction and the emotions.
Lilly is her own person in every regard with realistic human reactions and emotions. She is rich, but that fits into the story line. She couldn’t do what she does without the power and privilege, but she wasn’t bred to it, which grounds her in reality. She’s physically scared and has typical female views of herself as too lacking for a man like him.
Ryland, her male counterpart, is a soldier. A Special Forces leader and this, too, is very well done. As a former military spouse I can say from experience she was dead on with this character. Men in his position, who do the job he does, are very much like what she portrays. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, gentlemen! He’s strong and tough and tries to keep himself all he can be and cares about his men and what is happening to them. He tries to step up and take control and it goes pretty good, but for Lilly, who is having none of it. Again, the emotions, reactions and everything about his loyalty and behaviors drilled into him are very realistic and well done.
The sex is pretty graphic, but that is the way Feehan writes and she’s good at it. Be prepared for plenty of it, but it didn’t feel like nearly as much as in some of her books. This one I got in an audiobook, the performance was great and the narrator had a very sexy voice (male). I wouldn’t listen to the sex scenes in public though, even with the headphones on!
***I think a man would like this book just as much as the ladies. There was a very nice balance between story, character and animal attraction (and of course the results of that - it is Feehan after all). But a man would enjoy the storyline, action and bravado as well as the tasteful, manly romance. I'd certainly recommend the book or audiobook, for appropriate ages of course.
The Doll in the Garden, A Ghost Story
by Mary Downing Hahn
I am, of course, way over the target age for Mary's books. However, I really enjoy them and share them with the target audience. I never share a book with a kid without reading it first, just in case. I read Mary's because I enjoy the stories, too - that's just my excuse! Her reputation in infallible in appropriate content.
She has a talent for seamlessly enduring characters and story lines that also have valuable lessons. Her material teaches morals, sympathy, empathy and so much more. They are also stories that can be very important for kids going through something similar to what the characters are enduring in the story line. In this case moving to a new location after the loss of a parent and all the things that go with that. It's a neat little mystery and ghost story all rolled into one about struggle, friendship and doing what's right.
This story does not disappoint and will keep a kid reading to find out what happens next. It is a five star read from a five star author.
The creek is such a different place in the winter. Only the sound of water gurgling over rocks is the same. Gusts of wind moaning through the boughs of the trees and the caw of crows in the distance break the stillness. The smooth waters are still tempting, but oh so deathly cold. Numbness would set in quickly; hypothermia fast on it’s heals.
I’ve often wondered at a death so sure and swift. I’m morbid that way. The winter creek is not terribly familiar to me. I cannot remember knowing it as a child. I would see it last as the fall leaves drifted to float away in the current and see it next when the leaves were just opening to the warmth of spring.
The snow covered mountains tower around like expectant ancestors, pines swaying in the breeze. It’s calming even now, even in the cold, the wind tugging at my jacket and turning skin to tingling ice. I see myself there, in the waters depths, at the bottom of the deepest pool. That is where my soul finds peace, security, safety, where no one can touch it or break it.
A murder of crows flies over in the deep grey sky, high lighting the dimness of the place. The shadow of its summer existence that is winter. The old Craft place, it’s failing structure out lined in snow, the lonely deserted graveyard staring down from the knoll over looking the creek.
This is a different experience, but I can’t help but see the parallel. Our own souls are much like this, our personalities too. We have mirror images within ourselves that differ in only the details, but the details are what make that startling difference. Light and dark, day and night, the good and bad that lies within us all.
I believe I have mentioned before that I once had a journal in which I put things I had learned along my path. When I was a child and we’d take the ride to what we called “the farm,” which was the place where the creek that this blog is named after is located, my father would offer up nuggets of his own. Little bits of information he wanted to impart. As most children are apt to I’m sure at the time we quietly rolled our eyes and could not fathom how the information might apply to us someday. Of course, every bit and parcel did, eventually, apply.
As they are apt to do my own have done very much the same thing. Roll of the eyes, the sigh and proceed to do everything I warned them against. It was only recently that the elder of them laughingly admitted to repeating just the things I’d done that I had warned her against. Once all is said and done we can laugh about it, because the painful and harmful bits are over and there isn’t a thing we can do to change it. She hopes her own will listen someday, I only smile and nod. I laugh after she leaves. A mother’s revenge for everything her children have put her through is that her grandchildren will return the favor and torment those who once tormented her in much the same ways.
So, now that they are grown and on their own path, what wisdom would I give them that they might actually heed? Since they have some experience behind them, some heartbreaks and friendships that have run their course, I now offer up the one thing that I think both might benefit the most from.
To my daughters I impart the most important lesson learned. Learn it now, learn it early, while it can still benefit you most. You are just finding your paths, stay true to them, stay true to yourself and do not let false hopes, friends or loves lead you astray.
~Let no one pressure you into being what you are not. Your path is yours alone. Others may parallel it for varying distances, but you ultimately walk alone. The consequences in life, whether for your action or action suggested by others, are yours to bear. Make no mistake, you bear them alone.
This is true of spiritual matters as well. You must find your path, not just the one followed by the popularity of the masses. Look carefully at the history of that which you follow. Was it a truly honorable path, or merely disguised as such? You must find strength, peace, security and serenity on your own, for it is yours to seek, not others to give.
By: Rita Herron
This was a well put together book: storyline, plots, characters are all well developed. I enjoyed the story and this writer has some great phrases that really bring the scenes together and bring the very rfealistic characters to life. The characters are genuinely unique and not cookie cutter like too many books these days.
I picked it up off an exchange shelf and it sat on the corner of my desk for a while before I finally got to it. Wish I'd picked it up sooner and very glad I didn’t look at any of the questionable reviews for this one. Either it wasn’t their preferred genre or they weren’t reading the same version.
Definitely a good read, though the main character could have been a little less needy with her own protection and rescue. And a side note, as someone who lives in the Appalachian Mountains in just such a place, the setting is very well defined and just the way these small places we live in are, all the way down to the trashy trailer park (though not all trailer parks are trashy ones) and weed ridden junk yards.
Last Kiss Goodnight
By: Gena Showalter
Four and a half stars!
While the cover on this book was what caught my attention I never fail to be agitated by cover work that does not match the author’s descriptions, especially of characters. That having been said, the book itself and the writing have earned their place among the best books I’ve read over the past few years. The characters, the setting and the story were all vivid and seamless. Vika, the heroine’s character is not overdeveloped for someone in her position and not weak or naive like too many female characters in so many romance novels. The action and movement were strong and compelling and the cringe worthy moments really made you cringe. The only fault one might find with this book is that there are places that slow down the book that seem almost intentional, but not natural. For me as a reader, that also slowed me down in finishing the book because it created a lull – a great stopping point that left me in no hurry to get back to it. Overall a good book, a good job and time well spent.
Many thanks to Caroline for a fantastic interview about me and my books! Check it out on her blog as we talk about Chocolate