Kinx's Book Nook: August 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Feature & Follow (10)


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #112
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

Q: Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?


A: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I love the cover of this book, but I found it very tedious to get through.




Author Spotlight: Tamela Buhrke


I escaped by childhood in the drab, frigid winters of Chicago by delving into the fiery worlds ofscience fiction and fantasy. Soon hobbits, fairies and elves became more real to me than snow and rain. As I got older, I stumbled upon Anita Blake and the urban fantasy genre. Having all my favorite fantasy creatures living in our world and being regulated by our laws tickled my imagination bone.

Before long, I was sucking down paranormal fiction like an alcoholic at a free wine tasting festival.

Soon I would absorb so much paranormal juiciness, that it would start oozing out my fingertips. They twitched to write my own urban fantasy. In the 1990s, I could be seen at local coffee houses in Tempe, Arizona, devouring books, mumbling over their plots and jotting down story notes. It's taken many (a lady never tells how many) years of shaky typing, but finally those words formed my first novel, Angel Unraveled and then the second novel, Angel Unprepared.

Currently, I watch the waves wash over the Mexican Baja coast while writing nove three and dreaming of mermaid novels yet to come.

Author Q&A:

Why did you decide to become an author?


I can't remeber a time when I didn't want to be an author. I wrote stories even as a young kid. Bad stories. But they were great to me.

Unfortunately, I grew up. And all those voices that tell us to be pragmatic and find a real career won out. Until one day, I realized I wasn't happy. Writing makes me happy. So I returned to telling stories and I haven't looked back.


What authors do you look to for inspiration?

The list would be so long. Hmm...

Jim Butcher for the way he mixes action and humor. He's also fantastically geeky and mixes geek culture references that I adore. Anne Bishop for the way she can twist darkness into light and fill you with hope. James Rollins for how he deftly mixes paranormal elements with thrilling adventure, yet makes them so damn believable. Janet Evanovich because she makes me laugh out loud, even in a crowded airport.

My biggest inspiration is writer, director, genius, Joss Whedon. Because he's Joss.


What are you aspirations as a writer?

I'm a member of a group that calls ourselves "Bestseller Bound." So that's my professional aspiration.

My personal aspiration as a writer is to tell a story that touches people. I want them to leave behind their troubles and turn pages 'til the wee hours of the morning. Cry. Laugh. Be surprised. And if they walk away learning something about themselves or life, that would be the whipped cream on my mocha latte.


What are the pros and cons of being an independent author?

Pro is that I have complete, total and utter control. Did I just drool a little bit?

Con is that I have complete and total responsibility. Heh. I hate how control and responsiblity come together that way. I have to do all the work. I'm not just the writer. I'm the marketing person, the public relations gal, the designer, the bookkeeper, etc. And if I don't do a good job, I don't sell books. Or worse, I piss off my fans. Thankfully, I have a background in marketing. But's not easy wearing all the hats.


How did you come up with the concept of Andi's World?

I'd been dreaming about angels. Very "Disney" of me, I know. But they weren't sweet cherubs. They were pretty fierce (hint: might be somthing we'll see in future books).

I'd also been reading a lot of urban fantasy and, although I love kick-butt female protagonists, I kept thinking that wasn't how I'd respond to the monsters. I'd do my best to save the world, but I'd need a bladder control product.


Then I met a homeless woman who was much like the character I write in chapter one of Angel Unraveled. She was having delusions and talking about inviting the vampires and witches to a meeting with the president. It was very sad, but she seemed so confident and sure of her reality, that made an impression on me.


Somehow, (I'm thinking pixy dust was involved) that pot of ingredients had cooked itself into world-building stew called Angel Unraveled.


How many books will be included in the Watcher Series? What is the next book in the series? When will it be released?

I'm envisioning at least seven books. I've got a lot of ground to cover. We find out more about Andi's past and her people in book two, Angel Unprepared. All is not as it would seem. Andi's people are not a happy people. We'll be uncovering a lot of that in the book three, which I want to have out during the Christmas season. I've tentatively named it Angel Unleashed.


Besides the Watcher Series, what are series are you planning?

I am in the planning stages of a paranormal thriller/action adventure. I can't say much about it, except that there will be mermaids...of a sort.

Is that vague enough?


What other supernatural creatures will Andi face in upcoming books?

In addition to the demons, vampires, saints and other creatures she tangles with in book one, book two features Andi tackling the fairy world. There are lot of different types of fairies. She may meet one that may or may not resemble a grinch. Most importantly, she'll battle wits with a succubus.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Thanks Tamela! I can't wait for Angel Unleashed! Please check out Angel Unraveled and Angel Unprepared. They are really fun to read!! 


Angel Unraveled
Published in 2011

Psychic Andi Andreas is sick of seeing ghosts and reading futures. So when a sexy Tucker Calhoun falls, battered and bloodied, into her arms, Andi jumps at the chance to use her talents for more than just tarot cards. She and Tucker investigate a gang selling a new kind of drug. But her thrill turns to panic when they discover this drug temporarily turns users into vampires.

Worse, a sassy she-demon in strappy sandals is threatening to unleash the drug as a virus—contaminating the world and converting the human race into monsters. As Andi struggles to stop the demon, she unlocks a secret from her past and awakens new abilities. But will Andi's new powers be enough to save the world?

I loved this book! Here is my review.

Contact Info:

Website
Twitter
Facebook



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday (11): Cold Mountain



Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.
My Throwback Thursday:

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Originally published in 1997

The hero of Charles Frazier's first novel is Inman, a disillusioned Confederate soldier who has failed to die as expected after being seriously wounded in battle during the last days of the Civil War. Rather than waiting to be redeployed to the front, the soul-sick Inman deserts, and embarks on a dangerous and lonely odyssey through the devastated South, heading home to North Carolina and seeking only to be reunited with his beloved, Ada, who has herself been struggling to maintain the family farm she inherited. Cold Mountain is a deeply-imagined addition to the literature of one of the most transformational periods in American history.

Why do I love this book? Because it's a beautiful depiction of the American Civil War. The movie did not do it justice. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cover Art: Magic Bites

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Collector Edition
 
 
 
Isn't it amazing!!

Review: Geek Love


Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Publishedby Alfred A. Knopf (a division of Random House)
Releasedin 1989
Paperback,368 pages
Fiction

From Goodreads:

Geek Love isthe story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias setout – with the help of amphetamine, arsenic and radioisotopes – to breed theirown exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers forlimbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan…Iphy and Elly, thelissome Siamese twins…albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick,whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious – and dangerous –asset.

As the Binewskis take their actacross the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderousrevulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of siblingrivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurouslight on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and theugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

GeekLove is a powerful reading experience. I read this book last year and I stillcan’t stop thinking about it. The images from this book are strong andprovocative, something you can’t forget. Just by reading the first sentence ofthe synopsis, parents who create their own freak show, you know that you are infor a wild and insane ride.

Ms.Dunn created a unique and disturbing menagerie of characters with the storytold from the perspective of the albino dwarf, Oly. She tells of her lifebefore and after her carny life was destroyed. Oly never considers herself asuccessful member of her family; but she clung to her life in the carny world. Herlife revolves around her more powerful siblings. She is their caretaker andfollower. She is stuck in the middle of a deadly sibling conflict.   

Throughoutthe book, Oly takes us through all the dynamics that surround her disconcertingfamily. The constant battles of family supremacy continue to put Oly in themiddle and she must pick sides, with the sides ever-changing. Her presentconsists of constantly keeping vigil over her daughter. Oly’s raging emotionsconcerning her daughter, Miranda, are at the same time vicious and somewhatmotherly. Oly’s character makes you feel many things: horror, revulsion, and sympathy.

Arturo,the Aquaboy, is the main attraction at the Binewski carnival. He is totallydependent on his family for his basic needs; but he rules over them with atyrannical fist. He constantly feels threatened, especially by his sisters,Iphy and Elly. They are in constant battle on who is the main carnivalattraction. Their parents, Al and Crystal, let their creations take over, ruleand ultimately destroy their family. Furthermore, Arturo has a fanaticalfollowing that eventually turns into a cult. He preaches that the only way to “Peace,Isolation, Purity” was to become like him. He is able convince his followers tohave their extremities amputated to feel isolated and helpless, which feedsArturo’s megalomaniacal needs. He is truly a diabolical character.

Thenthere is Chick…the little innocent and dangerous boy who brings destruction tothem all. All Chick wants is for his family to be happy. However, h e is theone who brings a brutal finality to this tragic sibling rivalry.

Ifound this book to be an amazing read. It is disturbing but intriguing. Youwill not be able to put it down. Be careful not to read it before you go tosleep because you will have some serious funky dreams.  I DID!

Rating:4 out of 5 Stars

Monday, August 27, 2012

Promo Blitz: Savage by Willow Rose


Savage by Willow Rose

From Goodreads:

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a paranormal romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up.

Excerpt:

I removed my clothes and followed her into the cold water that sprang from the center of the earth in a spring somewhere further north and therefore had the same temperature all year around.

"Are there any animals in this water?" I asked as she carefully took me by the hand and led me in.

"There might be manatees," she said with a shrug.

What about alligators?" I asked and turned as I thought I heard something move behind me in the water. "Someone told me that there are alligators in all waterholes in Florida."

She laughed. "There might by, but we rarely see them. Besides. It just makes it that more exciting, right?" She pulled mu hand and drew me close to her. Our bodies felt warm against each other, her skin was soft, and touching it made me forget about animals in the water and the sounds of nature. I even forgot about my concerns as to hurting her and disappointing her parents. All I could think about was her and me, here right now in this water that was caressing our bodies. I kissed her again and held her naked body close to mine while allowing the passion to rise in me. Suddenly she pulled away from me. 

"Stop," she whispered urgently. I looked at her and say that the expression on her face had suddenly changed.

"What's wrong?" I asked sensing that my voice was shaking slightly. If it was out of fear or caused by the arousal I didn't know.

"I thought I heard something."

"Like what?" She shook her head while her expression cleared. She smiled. "It was probably nothing."

About the Author:

Willow Rose writes Paranormal Romance, fantasy and mystery. Originally from Denmark, she now lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. When she is not writing or reading, she enjoys to watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Contact Info:


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (8)



Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

From an author for review:

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?


From Dutton Books (contest):

The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards

From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling novel The Little Book, comes a novel about a love that is capable of bridging unfathomable distances.
Recently returned from the experience of a lifetime in fin de si├Ęcle Vienna, where she met and tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden has no choice but to settle into her expected place in society, marry the man she is supposed to marry, and wait for life to come to her. As the twentieth century approaches, hers is a story not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890s Boston—a privileged upbringing punctuated by a period of youthful adventure and followed by the inevitable acknowledgment of real life—except for one small difference: Eleanor possesses an unshakable belief that she has advance knowledge of every major historical event to come during her lifetime.

But soon the script of events she has written in her mind—a script described by no less than Sigmund Freud as the invented delusions of a hysteric—begins to unravel. Eleanor Burden, at once fragile and powerful, must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, secure her belief in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may—or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history to her will and deliver for her the life she knows she is meant to have.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Feature & Follow (9)



 
Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #110
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?

 
I love the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews but I never liked the cover art for the books, except Gunmetal Magic which is great.
 



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Throwback Thursday (10): The Godfather


Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.
Here’s how it works:1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

My Throwback Thursday:

The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969)

More than thirty years ago, a classic was born. A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and the powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor that was passed on from father to son. With its themes of the seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and family allegiance, it resonated with millions of readers across the world—and became the definitive novel of the virile, violent subculture that remains steeped in intrigue, in controversy, and in our collective consciousness.





It all began in 1969 with this marvelous book. Like all books that have been adapted to film, it is so much better than the movie. You get so much more from the characters, more backstory and development. If you love the movie, you should definitely read the book. I highly recommend it!!

Review: The Handmaid's Tale


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Published by Anchor Book (A Division of Random House)
Originally published in 1985
Paperback, 311 pages
Fiction

From Goodreads:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining fertility, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

What a strange book! I’m still not sure if I really enjoyed it or not. While reading, I had so many questions that were never answered. I wanted to know more about Gilead and how it was created. I wanted to learn about the society prior to Gilead. Why was there such a disdain for women?  How did the Commanders come into power and how they were able retain it? The historian in me really wanted to know the how’s and why’s. In the end, a few questions were answered for me; the main one being why the limited perspective from the Handmaid. But there were not enough answers for me.

The descriptions of how the Handmaids lived are very powerful. There was such resignation, desolation, and tremendous sadness. The great lengths the Commanders and their Wives went to prevent Handmaid suicides was truly disturbing. The monthly visits were brutal to read. The triangle between the Commander, Serena Joy and Offred was very disconcerting. Ms. Atwood is a great writer who can really convey emotion or the lack thereof. Offred’s efforts of detachment from the whole impregnation efforts were so very sad.

There is an intense feeling of claustrophobia that runs throughout the entire book. The handmaids are basically caged until they were needed by the Commanders. The constant fear that all citizens felt, also, ran throughout the book. No one was really safe. Paranoia was a constant companion to all. The Eyes see everything. In this way, The Handmaid’s Tale, reminded me of 1984, very fatalistic.

Even though fear runs rampant, rebellion is always just beneath the surface. It seems no one really accepted the severe rules of Gilead. Each character, in their own way, would try to grasp at any ounce of freedom they could; whether by reading a fashion magazine or smoking a cigarette. No one was really happy.

In the end, this tale was very strange and sad. Margaret Atwood is a wonderful writer and her descriptions were very intense and poignant. However, I found the story very disturbing and too many questions went unanswered.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday (7): Frost Burned



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
 
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #7)
Expected release: March 5, 2013
 
Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson's life is calming down, at least enough that she can focus on mundane matters like Black Friday sales. But on her return, Mercy is unable to contact her mate, Alpha Adam Hauptman, or the other members of their pack. All she knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam's disappearance may be related - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from the most unlikely of allies: the vampire seethe.
 
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Author Spotlight: Lane Stark




Lane Stark has had three enduring passions through her life: travel, art, and the written word. She has traveled the world, lived abroad in both Europe and Asia, and experienced many cultures. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in linguistics, has studied eight languages, and recently ended a career as a graphic artist. She has now turned her creative attentions to full-time writing and leisure-time photography. Travel provides a wealth of inspiration for books, and she finds herself weaving tales around the people she meets and the places she explores. She and her husband have indulged their love of the vagabond life by moving into an RV full-time and following the roadways to new adventures. She is currently working on a second novel featuring RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao, A Premature Death.

Interview with Ms. Stark:

1. Why did you decide to be a writer?

I never decided to be a writer. I've been making up stories since I was old enough to have the words, and I've been writing them down since I learned to write. I'm an only child and natural introvert, so I spent a lot of time in my imagination. I've always wanted to write novels and about fifteen years ago started the attempt, through trial and error, to learn the craft.

2. What authors do you look to for inspiration?

My favorite author is John Irving, who is the master wordsmith, and his books are exquisitely plotted. Reading an Irving novel is a creative writing class. My favorite mystery writer is Elizabeth George, whom I try to emulate. Her mysteries are always character-driven and written with thoughtful intelligence.

3. How many book do you plan to write for Marcus Chao? Will it be a series?

Marcus will definitely return - again and again, I hope. I like the character, and I want to get to know him better.

4. Why did you choose Bella Coola for the setting of your book?

When I was working on my B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics at Rice University, I had the good fortune to know and learn from Dr. Phillip Davis, an authority on the languages spoken by tribes of British Columbia. He has spent a lot of time in Bella Coola, studying the language of the Nuxalk, and he shared many stories. When my husband and I found ourselves wandering around British Columbia on vacation one summer, we decided, on a whim, to turn off the main highway and drive on a mostly unpaved mountain road into the Bella Coola River valley. My first impression was that it was the perfect setting for a murder mystery. I finally put the story together a few years later.

5. What kind of research did you conduct to learn about the Nuxalk?

Most of the initial research was related to the language, which reflects the culture in many ways (or maybe the other way around - a continual linguistic debate.) When I decided to write the book, I called the Bella Coola RCMP office, and they generously provided information about police procedures, the local office, etc. For Nuxalk culture and traditions, I read several books written by anthropologists and the people of the valley. Then I let my imagination take over.

6. Are you currently writing? If yes, what?

I'm always writing! I'm well into the next Chao mystery, A Premature Death. Simultaneously, I'm working on a rewrite of a paranormal suspense novel I wrote before that was the popular genre it is now. I haven't decided which book will be published first.

7. What are your aspirations as a writer? 

To have any many readers as possible enjoy my books, with each project, to improve and get closer to a mastery of writing, an unachievable goal, probably, but the challenge is half the fun.


The Hour of Predators
Self-published on November 18, 2011

"It is the hour of prowling bears, circling night owls, vengeful spirits, and savage hearts. It was the hour of predators."

Two murders have shocked and divided the community of Bella Coola, a small, isolated village in a remote river valley on the coast of British Columbia. The evidence points to a teenaged Nuxalk boy, and the simmering tension between whites and tribe members heats up. To find the trusth RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao must sort through misleading clues, cultural conflicts, tangled relationships, sexual scandal, and even indications that the crimes might have been committed by a sorcerer. 

Marcus is a man whose life has skidded into remorse and misery. His own infidelity has ended his marriage to the woman he still loves, and now he finds himself with only two things to keep his sinking spirits afloat: the need to serve justice and his eternal fascination with solving the mystery of the crime. This latest puzzle, however, is proving to be a maze of intrigue and suspense, and his mettle as a detective as well as his principles will be tested.

Contact Info:
Lane Stark

Buy The Hour of Predators at Amazon.





Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: The Hour of Predators


Published by Lane Stark
Released in 2011
EBook, 356 Pages
Mystery

From Goodreads:

Two gruesome murders have shocked and divided the community of Bella Coola, a small, isolated village in a remote river valley on the coast of British Columbia. The evidence points to a teenaged Nuxalk boy, and the simmering tension between whites and tribe members heats up. RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao must sort through misleading clues, cultural conflicts, tangled relationships, sexual scandals, and even rumors of sorcery to find the truth.

Marcus is a man whose life has skidded into remorse and misery. His own infidelity has ended his marriage to the woman he still loves, and now he finds himself with only two things to keep his sinking spirits afloat: the need to serve justice and his eternal fascination with solving the puzzle of the crime. This latest puzzle, however, is proving to be a maze of intrigue, and his mettle as well as his principles will be tested.

Lane Stark proves to be good mystery writer. I really enjoyed the story, characters, and her writing style. Ms. Stark is able to keep the reader engaged in the mystery. The plot was not overly complicated but it had enough suspense to keep you guessing the who’s and the why’s. 

There are several really good characters in this book. In the beginning, I was really confused because I had a difficult time figuring out who was the main character. Marcus Chao doesn’t really come into the story full-time until about halfway through the book. However, once he is involved, the story revolves around him trying to solve the murders. In my opinion, the two characters are Daniel and Claire, the two teenaged Nuxalk tribe members who are accused of the committing the murders. I thought that Ms. Stark conveyed really well the desolation that both kids felt by living with their abusive family in Bella Coola. 

Ms. Stark painted a very vivid picture of Bella Coola. She wrote, 

“On all sides the sheer granite faces of the Coast Mountains rose three thousand feet into the cerulean sky. White glacial ice streaked the dark gray summits.” 

Throughout the book, Marcus and others feel the claustrophobia of the tiny town.

The Nuxalk culture plays a large role in this story. Shamans and sorcerers still have enough power in the tribe to command fear and respect within the Bella Coola community. Qama, Claire’s great-grandmother, is one of those that commands that fear. She is truly a scary and evil person and a pivotal character in the story. The descriptions of the different mannerisms and rules of communication helped provide a good picture of the tribe. There, also, deep culture conflicts within Bella Coola. The tension is always right on the surface and these murders almost took the town to great violence.

Overall, I really liked this book. The only reason I rated it three and a half stars was my confusion of the main character. I never really felt that he was fully established as the main character. Otherwise, I thought it was intriguing and a good murder mystery.

“It was the hour of prowling bears, circling night owls, vengeful spirits, 
and savage hearts. It was the hour of predators.”

Rating: Three and a half out of Five Stars.   

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Feature & Follow (8)


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #110
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind, it doesn’t have to be a book blog.


One of the first bloggers who gave me advice was Tea and Text. She was the first person to tell me about memes and who to follow on Twitter. Also, Book Chick City for their fantastic reviews. And last but not least, Parajunkee's View for the wonderful Friday meme and the Blogging 101 advice. I've learned so much from those bloggers!