Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mail Day

My doorbell rang, and I was thinking, "who would be coming here this time of day?"
I had forgotten with all that has been going on in the last two weeks that I was getting Spin by Catherine McKenzie.
I will be part of the blog tour later next month.

I have been having some personal issues and have to apologize for being behind on a few reviews.

I still have to finish reading Jolted by Arthur Slade and Cheers by Nicholas Pashley. I will try to have them up before the end of next week.

All are Harper Collins Canada books.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Book of Spells by Michael Johnstone

This book of shadows is designed to look like a cookbook.
But don't let that fool you.
At 384 pages, this is book covers almost every type of ritual you would be looking for in an easy to understand layout. The introduction covers the basics for anyone not familiar with spellcrafting, including a brief overview of the Wiccan holidays.

The Book of Spells, is one you should have in your collection if you are a practicing Pagan.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Elvira Three Pack

Back in the mid 1990's Horror Hostess and Queen of Hallowe'en, Elvira along with her long time writing partner John Paragon, put out a series of books.
They were as campy as the Mistress of the Dark herself and filled with classic monsters but that wasn't the only gimmick they used. As the first book in the series Transylvania 90210 suggests, they mixed pop culture icons from Saved by the Bell and 90210 to create something that could only have come from The Mistress of the Dark.
These make for a light laugh out loud read at just under 200 pages each, and a series I dearly hope gets a reprint. I was little depressed to find out there were only 3 books in the series.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Men of Jane Austen Part 3

This is the last part of the final challenge for the All Jane Austen Challenge

I know I have not covered all the men, I have to be honest, this was a challenge that was unrealistic. Which I of course would not admit when I started this one. I am admitting it now.
Does that mean I failed the challenge? Maybe.

Something I have noticed in a general sense with the men in her books, that is the age. The average age of her heroes and villains is around 34.
Almost as if the men over this age are of no interest to her at all. I can in part understand this, as I am one for younger men.

I also noticed there are not alot of father figures in general in her books. The ones that do appear, seem to have little to do with things.

It makes one wonder if Jane Austen found the lives of her male characters as interesting as she seemed to for her female ones?
And why I am about to do something completely odd. I am going to "cast my Austen men". If I was doing a production of a Jane Austen, I would choose these real life men to play her characters This would be my dream cast. Some of these names you will recognize and some will have you scratching your head as to whom they are. ( The names with ** after then are wrestlers. )

Mr. Knightley = Jay Lethal**
Mr. Elton = Randy Orton**
Frank Churchill = Austin Aries**
Colonel Brandon = I have to go with the actor who's played him and stuck in everyone mind Alan Rickman. I know there have been other actors who's played him, but for me there is no other Colonel Brandon.
Mr. Willoughby = Andrew McCarthy.
Mr. Edward Ferrars = Jack Huston
Mr. Robert Ferrars = Jimmy Jacobs**
Edmund Bertram = Jude Law
Tom Bertram = Benicio Del Toro
Mr. Crawford = Alessandro Nivola . Again, I know he played this character already, but for me there is no other Mr. Crawford. No one can live up to his version of it.
Mr. Rushworth = Ryan Reynolds.
William Elliot = Desmond Wolfe**
Captain Frederick Wentworth = Sheamus**
John Thorpe = Steven Mackintosh
Henry Tilney = James Marsters
Mr. Bingley = Chris Sabin**
Mr. Collins = Eric Young**
Mr. Wickham = Kevin Zegers. And yes I know that is a cheat as he already did the movie Jane Austen Book Club playing the character of Trey
Mr. Darcy = Alex Shelley **

I hope I remembered everyone.

So this is the final part to my final challenge. As I said, it was more then I could handle. I'll remember not to be so bold next time.
This has been fun, coming around to peoples blogs over the last 6 months seeing everyones reviews.

In the end you have to ask yourself "What would Jane Do?"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Into the Dark by Peter Abrahams

This is a children's book, but don't let that fool you, it packs a punch.

Plot: Ingrid is a devotee to Sherlock Holmes novels and seems to find one mystery after another. Her Grandfather is a war hero who is having issues with a local corporation trying to buy out his land. While out with a friend Ingrid stumbles upon a dead body on her Grandfather's farm and now must prove his innocence. Clue after clue leads Ingrid to the alibi she needs to clear her Grandfather, only he refuses to tell the truth. While this is going on, her parents break up, and her dog gets kidnapped. Can Ingrid keep her wits about her before it's too late?

I really enjoyed this novel. It had a good pace with 26 chapters and 300 pages. The characters were solid, which they would be as this is the third installment in the Echo Falls series.

You follow Ingrid exclusively as she pieces together the clues of dates, times and logic. The fact the character is a 13 year old girl lends to the quirks and pitfalls of letting something that might be obvious to an adult, expand as the next part of the puzzle.
Her sidekick shifts from her dog to her best friend, but you never feel the shift as jarring.
Using the subplot of the school play as a backdrop foreshadows the crime so subtly you don't realize it till you are in the last chapter. Brilliant.
The use of direct quotes from various Sherlock Holmes novels helps to link together plot points that would otherwise seem overlooked. It's easy to get behind the characters and it's clear who's side you should be routing for.

There was only one thing in this novel I did not like, that was the whip cracking housekeeper. It was a new take on the bad guy, but she was almost an after thought, brought in within the last two chapters.

I would recommend getting the other two novels as well, Down the Rabbit Hole and Behind the Curtain as there were references to things that happened in the past novels. Otherwise this works well as a stand alone piece.

As I said in the beginning, this is listed as a children's book, but adults who enjoy a good who done it will find it a nice bit of entertainment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Movies about Books -part 2

Secret Window. Based on the novella by Stephen King, Secret Window Secret Garden.
Is about a writer who is being accused of stealing another writer's work. We are taken through this situation which is only a small part of his downward spiral into madness as we discover his recent divorce.
He's done this in the past, and now has to face this demons.

This being a King story right off makes it a good one, true horror comes from inside not out. Johnny Depp once again pulls you into this world and makes you believe that what you read might not be what you see.