Beach Reading

Beach Reading
Beach Reading

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crying Blood
By Jennifer Cloud

Amelia is an assassin on the run.  She often wishes her life had somehow taken a different turn. She never wanted to be a killer. Eventually, she will die by the violence that ruled her life.  She just isn't sure if she'll die by the hands of the man she loves, by the family she pled her allegiance to, or by the many enemies she made over the years. All she knows for certain is that she is being hunted.

She is a creature of instinct.  For any of them to win, they'll have to beat her at her own game.

~My thoughts~
This book is labeled as a contemporary women's romance and it lives up to the name.  I was kept in suspense the whole time I was reading this one, never knowing what was going to happen next.  Just when I thought I had something figured out, the author would throw me another curve, and I loved it!!!

I have changed the title and author of this book to reflect the actual work of the true author.  To get a free e-download of this book, you can go to Obooko.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Faithful Shadow
By Kevin J. Howard

How often do you really notice a shadow?

When Lewis and Clark discovered Yellowstone National Park, with its bubbling lakes and steam spraying from the ground, they thought they'd wandered into hell.  Sometimes your first impression is the correct one.  Kevin J. Howard's novel, Faithful Shadow, takes you beyond the splendor of nature to the terror that lies beneath, one that should have never been discovered.

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park's history.  Ranger Joe Rand, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong after a string of disappearances.  When a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate.  Joe and Lieutenant Dale Caffey of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into.  They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke.  Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above.  The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging only to feast on passersby.  After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature.  After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that, in fact, the creature is hunting them.

~My thoughts~
I don't read very many books that are in the Horror genre because I am admittedly a wuss, and when I do read one I will not read it before I go to bed because I do not want to have nightmares.  This book would definitely have given me nightmares.  I was caught up in the story right from the beginning.  There were a few typos, but they did not take away from the story line. It is available in paperback and ebook editions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

By Debra Chapoton

Five troubled teens living together unsupervised confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways.  Paranormal meets Psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.

High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts:  the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him.  When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.

One by one, strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens' beliefs in the supernatural.  How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

~My thoughts~
This book seems to be aimed at a teenage audience, but I still enjoyed it.  I would have liked for the author to let us know what happened to all of the teens by the end of the book.  A couple of the teens were left hanging as to where their life was going to go.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chessman (and His Nine Lives on Death Row)
By Terrence W. Cooney

On May 2, 1960, on its ninth attempt, the State of California finally executed Caryl Chessman.

Terrence W. Cooney's Chessman, told in the liberating form of a factually-informed novel, introduces the reader to all the players in a long odyssey that brought such infamy to the state and country.  From Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown to Chessman himself and to the landscape of a fast-changing California, Cooney anchors a chapter of the state's history that for too long has meandered a-sea.  Many of the facats of this hysteria-inducing ordeal were gleaned from archival histories, both oral and written.  And while much of the dialogue is imagined, the times, attendees, and days of the meetings that hosted such conversations are not.

In 1956, the author was appointed by the California Supreme Court to serve as counsel representing a defendant who had pleaded guilty to two murders.  It was, Cooney knew from the start, a death penalty case.  Cooney argued that the arbitrary imposition of the punishment violated the 1791 Eighth Amendment of the Constitution's Bill of Rights against "Cruel and Unusual Punishment."  His argument was rejected.  Subsequently, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted that position in 1972 when it so ruled that the arbitrary imposition of the death penalty constiuted cruel and unusual punishment.

Four years later, still unable to shake the case, Cooney had become engrossed by the Caryl Chessman affair that had started to become headline news throughout California and beyond.  In 1960, Cooney produced the documentary: Justice and Caryl Chessman.  The film was shown in more than 1,500 movie houses throughout the United States alone, and in countless theatres worldwide.  During the filming of the documentary, Cooney met Chessman who was, at the time, the most famous resident of San Quentin's death row.  In the process, Cooney also met and conversed with Chessman's attorneys, prosecutors, investigators and jailers.

Calls for clemency came from all over: Norman Mailer, Ray Bradbury, Robert Frost, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Governor Brown's own son and future two-time California Governor Jerry Brown.  So strong was the worldwide vitriol over Chessman's impending doom, that his eighth stay of execution was issued by Governor Brown mainly out of fear of retaliation against President Dwight Eisenhower who was scheduled to be traveling in South America at the time.  Governor Edmund Brown later conceded that the Chessman affair cost him any real chance at a successful bid for the presidency of the United States of America.

After Chessman's execution, Cooney was able to meet former Governor Edmund "Pat" Brown and members of his staff.  After fifty years, after decades of anger, hysteria and misinformation, Terrence W. Cooney has made the boldest move yet by placing all of these facts into the center of a novel that attempts to get to the heart of the matter.

~My thoughts~
I received a cover letter from the author along with a copy of this book to review.  I was already interested in reading the book, but after reading the cover letter from the author I was even more so.  He advised me that even though it is labeled as a fiction novel, there are actual facts, dates and persons involved.  The author personally met with most of the people involved including the Governor and Mr. Chessman.  I was also informed that even though Mr. Chessman was executed, he was never accused of a homicide.  Any one who is for or against the death penalty should read this book.  There have been over 250 convicted prisoners exonerated and released because of DNA testing results and most of them had been sentenced to execution.  How many innocent people have been executed?  Will we really ever know?