Off Season by Jack Ketchum

April 18, 2007 at 8:57 am (Books I've Enjoyed)

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ve likely already found out that I love a good horror movie.

Well, this applies to books, as well. I grew up on Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, and John Saul. Good stuff. I still read John Saul and the occasional Dean Koontz. But the goriest I’ve ever read from them were The Right Hand of Evil (Saul) and Strange Highway (I may be wrong on this title – by Koontz). Both were gory. Both were wonderfully scary.

And until recently, they might have been the scariest books I’ve read. It’s hard to get  realistic os.jpggore and terror down on paper, I think – probably much easier to do so on the big screen.

But man! I just finished reading Off Season by Jack Ketchum, the first of his books that I’ve ever read. I have to admit, the quote from Stephen King on the front cover of Off Season is partly the reason I bought it in the first place. Let’s face it. If Stephen King says “If you read this book at Thanksgiving, you won’t sleep again until Christmas,” the book HAS to be scary, right?

It started out interesting enough…. slowed down a bit as we were supposed to get to know the characters, so little happened. Then I finished the first third of the book, a little saddened that it was turning into another typical horror novel that afraid of offending readers by giving the details. I want the details, darn it. I want to be afraid to go to sleep….. and WHAM, reached the second third of the book.

I’m not even going to describe the plot of the book here, simply because it would sound like any B horror movie that’s come out lately. So I’ll simply say this… every scream, every fumbled run from the maniac that you see in those movies is ten times worse in Off Season, explained through the internalizations of the characters to the point where you’re short of breath while reading their experience.  Don’t read this if you want to be a little afraid. Don’t read this if violence or gore offends you.

But if you want a roller coaster experience of a good scary…SCARY…. book… check this one out. Then make sure you read it during the day…………..

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A Perfect Book…………

December 18, 2006 at 10:19 am (Books I've Enjoyed)

hpl.jpgIt’s rare for me to read a book in one sitting any more, but that’s exactly what happened with Her Perfect Life by Vicki Hinze. I was grabbed from page one and kept on till it was over. This is an emotionally gripping tale about an American pilot who was shot down in Iraq, assumed dead and held as a POW for 6 years. When she’s finally rescued, she comes home to find everything she’s dreamt of is gone or changed or forgotten.

I highly recommend this to anyone with a heart that actually beats. It will be rejuvenated by the time your done reading this.

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Squeeze Play – Kate Angell

November 15, 2006 at 8:51 am (Books I've Enjoyed)

sp.jpgA book about baseball players. What’s not to love? A hero named Risk. What’s not to drool over? A heroine who changes wigs and hair color depending on her mood. What’s not to laugh about?

Kate Angell has such a fun-loving, light and breezy voice, it’s difficult to take longer than an afternoon to finish her books. I’ve loved every one of them so far! She’s brilliant with one-liners and quirkiness, and her writing is sexy as hell.

Squeeze Play is centered around Risk Kincaid and Jacy Grayson, who’ve been friends since their teens, and essentially, have been one another’s booty call. But neither know that the other wants more from their “casual” relationship, and Risk is determined to have a commitment from Jacy by the time he leaves his hometown. This story is a sexual explosion of humor and fun!

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Books I Enjoyed this October

November 1, 2006 at 8:10 am (Books I've Enjoyed)

Surprisingly, this was a good month for reading for me. I’m lucky if I get in one or two books a month. But this month, I was on a reading roll!!!!!!!!!!! (Still pitiful, I know) ss1.jpg

SLIGHTLY SETTLED by Wendy Markham

GLORIOUS ANGEL by Johanna Lindsay

SQUEEZE PLAY by Kate Angell

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I just finished reading…

September 11, 2006 at 5:35 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

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Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor. I would have bought it based on the cover alone, but when I read the burb and discovered it was set in a fantasy post – Author Camelot, I knew I had to buy it and read it ASAP. Glad I did. It was a fun book, a bit dark, but that’s what I write so I didn’t mind. It was sort of like a fantasy/medieval Dark-Hunter story with gargoyles, female merlins and demons. I highly recommend this tale to anyone who dares to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy good fiction! (Story blurb from www.BarnesandNoble.com)

The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest…

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful — and feared — man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London…

A spirited peasant mired in drudgery, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman, but never expects that by fleeing her fate, she will meet her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed…

Kerrigan’s goal is simple: barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur’s Round Table. Yet she is the one person who holds no fear of him. More than that, her nobility sparks something foreign inside him. In his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows. Now Seren’s courage has forced him into the light that will bring either salvation to both of them…or death.

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Annie’s Song – Catherine Anderson

August 10, 2006 at 10:49 am (Books I've Enjoyed)

annie.jpgIt’s so rare for me to get lost in a book and forget about critiquing it or evaluating it, that I tend to cling to books that manage to move me emotionally nowadays. Annie’s Song is definitely one of those. I borrowed it from a friend but plan on buying my own copy to re-read when I need to remember why I love story telling so much. Catherine Anderson smacked me over the head with the reason I do love books… CHARACTERS.

 Annie’s deaf, believed to be a moron, and raped brutally, cracking her childlike vision of the world. She’s so innocent and naive, but smart and amazingly endearing. When Alex Montgomery discovers that his brother raped the town moron, he does the right thing and marries the poor idiot…only to discover she’s not an idiot at all.

I can’t say enough about the emotions dragged out of me while reading this story. I’m all for great plots, unexpected twists and such. But this book is proof positive that stories about well-written characters are what readers will hold on to long after the book is closed.

READ IT!

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

August 2, 2006 at 12:42 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

poaThe third book in the Harry Potter series, Prisoner of Azkaban was the first to really mature the main cast. It also matured JK Rowling’s plotting skills, as well as her knowledge of the world she’d built two books before. The intricacies of POA are woven like a carefully planned spider web. Details you toss out as irrelevant come back to be crucial by the end of the story. Minor characters become vital. Throw away lines return to taunt the reader who didn’t pay enough attention. But I don’t believe POA would have worked as the first book in a series because it IS so plot heavy. It works as the third book because JK already gave us two stories to fall in love with her cast. There’s not as much character development in this one alone as was in the other two, but that’s ok. She did her job years ago. No need to rinse and repeat, thanks. Any writer struggling with plotting… this is definitely a book to plot and chart and read for that purpose if for none other.

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FESTIVAL – Victoria Barrett

July 17, 2006 at 4:55 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

fes.jpgVictoria Barrett


I have to admit to reading Festival a few years ago, so this is not a recent read for me. But that should say something about it’s memorability factor. I came across the book while looking for another here on Amazon and was immediately reminded of how much I loved Festival. There are so many fresh elements to this romance. For example, the hero and heroine fall in love before they ever meet face to face. Telephone calls…sexy telephone calls, allow them to get to know one another and enjoy each other’s good qualities before physical factors come into play (What a nice change!!)A time-travel and romance saga is the best description for Festival. I highly recommend it.

Look for Victoria, who is currently writing under the name Vicki Hinze

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12 Sharp – Janet Evanovich

July 3, 2006 at 4:56 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

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I got my Plum fix. Jolly good times. Way more detail as far as the Ranger/Morelli/Stephanie triangle in this book.

Here’s a quick break down of the synop. Stephanie is stalked by a woman who claims to be Ranger’s wife. Ranger’s suspected of murder and kidnapping. The sexual tension spikes a dozen times, and, once again, we’re left wondering……

I thoroughly enjoyed 12 Sharp. Had only one issue with the big “reveal” scene at the end where the “whodunnit” and why is explained by the bad guy. His reason for not killing Stephanie right away seems a bit contrived. But who cares. I don’t read these for the mystery. I read it for Ranger/Morelli/ Stephanie, and this one just ups the ante on that scenario.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

June 27, 2006 at 4:57 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

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Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite HP book, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. It simply means it’s not as fabulous as the others.

In chamber of Secrets, Harry finally learns why he can talk to snakes, but it’s also the first book where death becomes vitally important to the entire series. For those who don’t know, death is, indeed, a main theme to Harry Potter … how we deal with it, fear of it, what we’re wiling to do to escape it etc. It’s the first book where life or death becomes a reality for a character other than Harry – namely, the person opening the Chamber of Secrets.

One of the reasons I do like COS is because it’s also the introduction to Moaning Myrtle, who is so annoyingly cute and nerdy, you can’t help but like her, and also, it’s the introduction to Dobby, the house elf. Thankfully, the movie included both of these elements (though the following movies left out Dobby, which I think was a huge mistake on their part.)

So, final thought: if you read Sorcerer’s Stone, chances are you read Chamber of Secrets quickly after and so on anyway. They’re like Lays potato chips. Betcha can’t eat just one.

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