WIRN August 9, 2012

WIRN (What I’m Reading Now)

Sorry, all. I just couldn’t stay away. I had every intention of pausing the Gabaldon series and reading a quickie book in between but the last hundred or so pages of Dragonfly in Amber propelled me quickly from bed and to the bookshelf to hastily begin book 3 of the saga, Voyager. Two hundred pages in, the book is about that much longer than book 2 and the words on the pages about 1/2 the size. My eyes are taking a severe beating (happened to have an eye exam today – not the 20/20 vision I had once as a child before developing my 2-3 book a week habit) but it won’t stop me from continuing to read. I just can’t stop.

Voyager begins almost immediately after Dragonfly… ends. Jamie Fraser is badly wounded in the pivotal battle at Culloden. He has sent Claire back thru the standing stones in an effort to save her and their unborn child from sure death during the battle. Jamie charges into battle like the hero he is, blatently intending to die in battle- for he cannot imagine a life without his beloved Claire. But with what has become his luck, he lives and manages to survive three days with a few other badly injured men cooped up in an old abandoned farmhouse. The English come, finally to shoot the Scottish highland traitors. Jamie, in intense pain (emotionally and physically), is more than willing and ready to go. But if he did, that surely would be the end of the book series and so through a series of circumstances has his life spared. Thus ends Chapter One.

Throughout the next hundred pages, there seems to be three stories developing. One, Jamie’s: back in the mid 1700’s…two, Claire, her daughter, and Roger Wakefield: in present time, trying to figure out if Jamie survived the battle at Culloden and if so, what happened afterwards? And finally, three, Claire and Frank’s: immediately following Brianna’s birth and their struggle to find a happy medium after all that developed since Claire’s disappearance.

Diana Gabaldon effortlessly weaves these three stories into the flow of the book. While in the 1700’s, I yearn to read more about Claire and her Daughter in the mid 1900’s…and while there, I can’t wait until I reach the chapter that has Frank Randall doting over a child he loves as his own but knows is not really his…it’s during these pages that I just itch to read Jamie’s story again; to become a fly on the wall during his adventure of life.

I can’t believe that 2000 pages later, these characters still come to life before my eyes. When I think I might start to become bored of the storyline something suddenly happens to pique my curiosity once more.

I know since I began this blog, it’s been ALL about Jamie and Claire Fraser and that may bore you but if you’ll just pick up the book you’ll see what I mean! Unbelievable writing, characters, history. It just unfolds before your (sometimes very tired) eyes.

Choose my next book!

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s enjoying their week so far. I was browsing on Amazon and thought it might be fun to attempt to have everyone vote for my next book purchase! You vote for it, I’ll read it!

Here are the four options:

1. Fifty Shades of Grey

Now you may see this option and after reading my previous entries, ask yourself: huh? She hasn’t read this yet? But it’s got it all! Romance? Check! Smut? Check!… Well, I also happen to like well-written books and I have to admit I’m not psyched to read this after reading some of the reviews on Amazon. I like my romance and sex well-written so I think I may have let myself be swayed by the reviews in that respect. Another reason why I haven’t yet read it is because it’s completely mainstream (weird, a book revolving around BDSM mainstream??) and I don’t want to just read it because everyone else is. However, I have to admit that I’m very curious to see for myself what all this fuss is about… (Remind me when I do read this one to talk about the Beauty series by Anne Rice…fabulous books, just fabulous.)

2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Being an avid US History fan, I consider myself fairly well acquainted with our nation’s history. Until now, I’ve never heard that Honest Abe was a stake-wielding, kick-ass vamp hunter. This book intrigues me, I know it’s very popular right now but have to admit I have walked past it at the store without much of a second thought until now.

From Amazon: “While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.”

3. Spellbound Falls

This is the first installment in what I believe is going to be a trilogy of books from Janet Chapman. I’m familiar with the author; I’ve read another series she has about time-traveling Scots (sounds familiar, I know…hey, what can I say? I’ve got a type when it comes to books) and she’s a great author if you love a quick fluffy read.

From Amazon: “Maximilian Oceanus arrives in Spellbound Falls just in time to save Olivia Baldwin from an overly aggressive suitor, only to find himself attracted to the beautiful, if rather aloof, widow. And although Mac has come to Inglenook to get a handle on fatherhood, his newly discovered six-year-old son has set his sights on finding his father a wife.”

4. The Time Keeper

I’ve never before read anything by this author but after reading the synopsis for this book, it sounds downright fabulous. It releases September 4 and is about the first person on earth to count time, Father Time.

From Amazon: “In Mitch Albom’s newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.”

Okay, everyone! It’s up to you! Vote for the book you think I should purchase next!

 

WIRN August 5, 2012

WIRN (What I’m Reading Now)

Er, well, in this case it should really say WIAR (what I already read). I picked up this book Saturday afternoon while grocery shopping and had it read in little over seven hours. I didn’t even stop to post about it.

My plan was to finish Dragonfly in Amber and then start this book. I just couldn’t wait though. Lynsay Sands is my all-time favorite author and I just had to read this one first.¬†Fortunately I read it so quickly I was able to pick up Dragonfly in Amber again as if I had never put it down. (I had really expected to finish this one last week-end but got sick and it definitely slowed the reading down.) I only have about 150 pages left though (and that’s out of 950!) so I’m in the homestretch.

Anyway, back to Lady is a Vamp… Lynsay Sands never disappoints me and this latest installment to her Argeneau Vampire series was no exception. The book stars Jeanne Louise, a 103 year old immortal¬†(considered a baby by most of her family) who is kidnapped by mortal co-worker Paul Jones in an effort to save his dying 5 year old daughter. Jeanne Louise quickly realizes that Paul is her lifemate and the story goes on from there…

I’ll follow this entry I’m sure with another WIRN, which will either be the next Gabaldon installment, Voyager, or another (much shorter, fluffier) novel titled The Miss Fortunes.

Hope everyone’s enjoying the Olympics this past week, I know I have!

Book Review: The Presence

“Imagine, if you will, the great laird of the castle! The MacNiall himself, famed and infamous, a figure to draw both fear and awe…”

The Presence is a book written by Heather Graham and is set in (big surprise) Scotland. I can assure you that I do read books set in other countries, it just happens that I seem to keep picking up and enjoying those that are Scottish themed. I have to say, I feel like I had to “graduate” to Heather Graham books. When I was big into the historical romance genre, I did read her One Wore… trilogy and really enjoyed them. However it took me some time to pick up one of her paranormal suspense books. Once I finally did, The Presence was the one I chose and I was hooked! After reading it, I went on a major Heather Graham book buying spree and ended up with most of her books in this same genre.

The Presence is about Toni Fraser and her friends who put a lot of money and effort into turning an old run-down Scottish castle into a huge tourist destination. Night after night, they put on reenactments that involve local history, murder, and an imaginary laird named Bruce MacNiall.

Toni’s business venture becomes quite popular but then girls in the local town start dying just as a mysterious man bursts through the castle doors claiming to be the real Laird MacNiall. Toni is stunned- how can it be that this man exists? Toni invented him for the purposes of the performance… yet he does exist. And not only that, but scary lifelike dreams suggest that Bruce is connected to the grisly recent murders.

This book is excellent and was a great breath of fresh air for me. Most of the novels I read center primarily around a romance and it’s always nice to read a book- and not only that but be fascinated with said book- that revolves around a different aspect. Graham’s more recent books are of the paranormal suspense genre and are nothing like paranormal romance. Ghosts frequent her books and The Presence is no exception. It’s really interesting to get involved with both the mystery of Bruce MacNiall (past and present) and the mystery of the murders.

Characters are memorable and have their own individual personality. The best thing about Graham’s books is that you can read each one of them as stand alones even though some characters do cross-over from one book to the next.

Final Review: 3/5 stars.